Rejection is protection

Wouldn’t it be nice if we always got what we wanted? 

In a way ‘yes’, but at the same time, after a while we would not be ale to feel truly satisfied when reaching a goal. Just as there is day, there will be night and just as there is negative and positive energy necessary to make a light bulb work, some you win and some you will lose. It is a fact that ‘the winning part’ we all enjoy very much, but did you know that you could shape the losing parts into a win? YES, this can be done by seeing it trough a different lens.

Let me tell you a story: 

When I was in my teens it was my dream to go travelling to discover how other cultures lived their every day lives. I wanted to learn about their philosophies and how they saw the world. But, travelling can cost a lot of money. So, I had to come up with a plan to fund my travels. As by coincidence, the year that I finished my studies, I was offered a summer contract in Brussels International airport. There, I met a duty manager, his name was Ben, from an airline company, who could see in me as he stated it: ‘the perfect stewardess’. I handed my resume to him and a month later I was selected out of 600 candidates to do the course to become a flight attendant. 

Fast-forward another two months and I was bound for London on my very first flight as a flight attendant, wearing my crisp white and red uniform, representing the Virgin Group. I was over the moon with how this dream had become a reality, so fast… and before I realized it I was flying all over Europe, having dinner in Barcelona on Monday, sightseeing in Rome on Wednesday, spending the weekend in Nice… Things were good! 

But, we always think that the grass is greener on the other side. I heard my colleagues talking about how the national airline paid much better and how they had more destinations. Apparently their uniform was designed by Armani and a million other things that made this organization look like the place to be. So, as you do when you don’t know better, I started my application process to become part of this ‘most fabulous crew’. I took the geometric and psychological tests, and passed; I took part in the group interview, and passed; I progressed to the leadership tests, and passed. So I thought, this is a done deal…but nothing was less true. After my medical exam, they told me that everything was excellent, however, with me having had spinal surgery, this would be an insurance risk… and what a pity it was they could not offer me a contract.

I was confused, what risk were they concerned about? I had already been flying intensely for six months without any issues. So, I appealed their decision with my medical doctor backing me up. But, it became clear that not even with a letter from my surgeon, they were going to offer me a contract. I was still confused and for a little while I was not willing to accept this final verdict. 

But then, something magic happened… The Virgin Group grew very quickly and different basis appeared like mushrooms: Copenhagen, Paris, Nice, Rome, Milan, London, Dublin, Barcelona, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin…. In these new basis all over Europe new staff had to be hired and trained. The company asked for volunteers to move out of their home base temporarily to assist in the hiring and train process. Consequently, I put my hand up and because of my multi-lingual ability I was on my way the next day. 

This was truly an epic experience! 

What was more, the company had signed a contract with a luxury travel company offering exclusive flights to small groups of executives to select destinations, such as Dubai, Israel, Rovaniemi, Bologna, Sardinia, Le Touquet , Mexico, Egypt…just to name a few. We often spent a few days on location discover in the surroundings and taking it all in what the region had to offer. While working on these special flight projects I met many famous people. On an afternoon flight, I even scored front row tickets for the entire crew to an open air Joe Cooker concert in Palma de Mallorca – a truly remarkable night I will never forget!

Although many colleagues of mine had made the jump across to the national airline, not once did it cross my mind WHY I did not get the job. Since so many opportunities had opened up to me, shortly after the rejection, my mind had been occupied with moving forward in life. But, the funny thing was …  a few years later; the national airline got into money trouble and the government first bailed them out. As time went by, it became apparent that they were still in dire straights and ended up going bankrupt. 

So, there you go. If I had been accepted 2 years earlier at the national airline, I would have missed out on all these amazing experiences. I would probably never have met Richard Branson and I would have had to start job-hunting once again.

I believe that everything happens for a reason and sometimes not getting what you badly want is a blessing in disguise. 

If we approach anything we do from a mindset of: ‘It is this or something better’, we are always right as, in the end life will show us what is best for us!
I am sure that when you reflect on your life, you can now recognize events that did not go the way you had hoped, and when you think about it, not getting it saved you a lot of heartache, pain or drama. So, next time, something similar happens to you and you recognize this pattern. Don’t get all consumed with negative emotions, but face the future with a smile and remember…. something much better is waiting for you, just around the corner.

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