Some things are easier to teach than others, aren't they? While I do my best to teach and empower my daughters to make good decisions about food (no, candy doesn't help you grow) and health (less TV, more outdoor play), there are some lessons that parents will naturally shy away from, myself included.
We love our children, we want to protect our children. And certain lessons cannot be learned "nicely". Attributes such as emotional strength and perseverance are nearly impossible to learn the easy way. I don't believe you can learn to be strong unless you've had the option to be weak. Perseverance isn't learned unless you break through walls and make your way over hurdles. It's messy and it's ungraceful. But I believe these are the lessons that are the foundation blocks for my children to grow and yes, succeed, in life no matter their goals and aspirations.
Learning to deal with rejection is hard. Watching your kid wrestle with rejection is harder. It's hard to see them struggle with something. You want to shield them. And it just gets harder and harder. Emily is only 5 - she and I are growing up together; her as child and me as a mother. I'm learning and growing up in my mothering skills along with her. I'll help her process the occasional playground slights when someone doesn't want to play with her. And I know the ante will keep going up. There will be boys that she will crush on (can you believe she's already started?!) and unrequited love. There will be sports teams that she will try out for and she won't make it on their roster. There will be colleges that she'll apply to, with her heart set on THE ONE campus she's dreamed of, that may only give her the thin rejection letter and not the fat acceptance packet. There will be jobs and promotions she'll be passed over for (sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly) and my job as her mother is to teach her how to gracefully lose. And after some pause and reflection, it's time to get back up and keep going.
That lesson is true for myself at 40 years old as well. As a female entrepreneur in business, there have been ample opportunities for success...and rejection. There have been thrilling victories which we have loved and are so proud of, but we've also faced rejections along the way. Not every grocery buyer has said yes to us as a brand. And while we have investors that believe in our products, our vision, and our team, some investors have passed on our opportunity; including one I really, REALLY wanted to have on board with his wealth of experience. Sometimes it seems like this is a journey inch by inch and some days, I climb 10 feet with ease and some days, I only gain 1 measly inch, with a lot of sweat and effort. Those days, I just focus on the direction in which we're moving, which is forward.
So keep climbing towards your goals, one foothold at a time. Belay on!
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