Lying down on my carpet, I stared blankly at a picture of a bike on my wall, willing my kids to go to bed. I had resorted to guarding my kid’s bedroom doors to ensure they didn’t come out.
All the help that was doing though because I could still hear them fooling around. And that’s when I started to think, if I was as persistent as my kids have been in NOT going to bed, I would have accomplished a heck of a lot by now.
I yelled through the closed bedroom doors, “go to bed, and stop talking.” But that did very little.
Aven, my middle child, came out and asked for a drink of water. I gave him my best angry face and sternly said, “NO”. But that did NOT deter him. He asked again. So I said, “NO”, in a louder voice. Yet nothing. He didn’t go back to bed and he didn’t give up.
This argument went on for another two minutes. Finally, I started to pull out the threats. I said to him, “if you don’t go to bed now, you will not get to go to the beach tomorrow.” So at that point he turned around and closed the door. YES! I thought. Finally he will go to bed.
Two minutes later I heard his door open and he came out and asked if he could have some water AGAIN. “Just one sip”, he said this time.
It’s as if he thinks asking for “just one sip” will make a difference and I will say yes. I roll my eyes and tell him, “No”. But he continued on his, “one sip argument” until I couldn’t take it anymore. I was so drained from saying no that I finally said; “fine, just get a quick drink of water and then go back to bed.”
He wore me down.
How can kids be so persistent? I mean I thought I was stubborn and determined. But on some days, it’s nothing compared to my kid’s stamina.
The next thing I know Thea has come out of her room with an urgent look on her face and yells at me like I’m on the other side of a football field,“Nyah pooped!” I was two feet away from her and still lying on the floor.
I jump up and went into their room to see Nyah lying in her bed. In one hand she’s holding a toy teacup and in the other hand brown, sticky, smelly poop.
Why oh why is bedtime so hard. And of course my husbands working so it’s all on me. On a good night, I yell at my kids to go to bed around five times. On a bad night, it feels like a hundred. This was a bad night!
After cleaning up the poop mess and throwing them all back in bed, I laid back down on the carpet and did some more thinking. If a five, four and two year old can be this persistent and ultimately reach their goal of a drink of water, or staying up late, then why can’t I be that persistent about my goals? Why is it that I want to give up as soon as someone tells me no.
You know why? REJECTION.
Rejection sucks! For kids, rejection just rolls right off their shoulders like a little splash of water. They wipe it away and try again.
I take rejection hard. I automatically think that those people are right and that I can’t do it. I accept their rejection and their opinions like it’s the absolute truth and my reality.
Why do I do that? Why do I let rejection define whether or not I reach my goals?
The other day, my kids acting agent texts me and says she’s got an audition for me along with my kids for a commercial. Now just so you know, I signed my kids up to audition, NOT me.
I was extremely nervous but thought hey, why not give it a shot? Long story short, we didn’t get the part. And even though I never wanted to be in a commercial in the first place, as soon as the opportunity arose and I tried out for it, I really wanted it.
When I got rejected, I felt like a loser. Like I wasn’t good enough and for the next week, I kept re-playing in my head what I could have done to be better. I tried to figure out why I didn’t get the part. Was I not pretty enough? Did I not do what they asked me to do?
At that moment, I needed my kid’s ability to reject rejection. To not let it defeat me. If I could bottle up my kids ability to do so, I feel like I could be a millionaire.
Unfortunately, I don’t know how they do it. But you know what helps? Getting your husband to rub your shoulders while giving you a pep talk. That does wonders! Ask him to tell you why he loves you and why you are not a failure.
Now as good as shoulder rubs and pep talks are, they won’t give you the stamina you’ll need to overcome those tougher rejections.
So what else can we do to become better at rejection and not let it crush us or ruin our dreams?
We need to remind ourselves that rejection from others does not mean we have failed. Those people don’t hold the key to our future and they don’t have the ability to tell us whether or not we are good enough. The only one who knows our future and what we are capable of is God.
There was a reason I was rejected from the audition that day. And although it hurts and sucks, I know God has a plan and for some reason that was a part of it. And maybe one day I will find out why, but until then I choose to trust God that it happened for the best.
When I look back on my life, I can think of many times when God has said no to my prayers and I can now be extremely thankful he did. I didn’t see it at the time, but I sure as heck see it now. So since I know that he’s been good to me in the past, I remind myself of this and think about the positive aspects around trying out for the commercial.
For one, I felt the fear and did it anyway and man did it feel good. I hate doing things that scare me, but once I’ve done them, there is no other feeling like it. It makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Another positive is that it also gave my kids the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone and practice public speaking, which I think is a very valuable asset to have as an adult (I’m still working on mine).
So as long as our failures and rejections lead us one step closer to living out our purpose, the one God created us for, then we have succeeded.
We need to take a lesson from our kids and start to realize that, one more “no” means we’re that much closer to getting a “yes”!