I recently came across a quote on Instagram that said, “See rejection as redirection.” Whenever I read something motivational or inspiring I like to think of ways to make it stick. Too often the inspiration disappears as quickly as it takes for us to double tap. With this quote, it was personal on so many levels and in so many ways. I like to connect on a personal level by thinking of ways that quotes relate to my life. In this case, when I think back to some of the things that didn’t work out the way I had originally planned like relationships or jobs, I see that in many ways those things that “didn’t work out” were some of the best things to happen to me. Although it may not seem like it at the time, a lot of our setbacks set us up for success later on. It might sound crazy but I’m not the only one who has experienced a setback that turned into a blessing. So, I asked my followers to share instances where rejection actually turned out to be redirection and helped them get to a better place in their lives. And I’m hoping it’ll inspire each person reading this into believing that better days are coming.
To be fair, I thought I’d share one of my own experiences. Here goes.
When my husband and I decided that it was time to start a family, I made the decision to pursue a career where I could work from home. I wanted to have a career that would allow me to care for my child on my terms. After considering a few options I decided to open a daycare in my home. I desperately wanted to leave the job I currently had and and liked the idea of having a daycare. But things didn’t really go the way I planned. I originally opened my business with partners, and that fell through. I had to push on by myself. Things were okay. In fact things were good. But when I became pregnant I had complications that forced me to close my daycare. I was devastated, embarrassed and felt like a failure. I became a stay-at-home mom. To make a long story short, that “failure” lead me down a dark road and I ended up writing as a way to vent. I started blogging and reignited my passion for writing. Soon after I became a freelance writer and then Life On The Up was born. Because of this “set back” I finally found my passion.
The following was submitted by Author, Tiffany Manbodh, IG: Desichica14
I began my first year of college at the University of Florida, which holds great prestige as it is very challenging for most to receive acceptance into. After about two semesters, I developed anxiety with my current live-in situation and coupled with other mental health related issues, I had to return back home in South Florida. It wasn’t until a few years later that I had come to terms with and understood how God moved in my life. The universe has its way of working things out essentially, whether we may not view it that way at times. Initially, I started off as a student studying health sciences, which would later lead me to a profession in the medical field. However, after some time, I realized that cup of tea didn’t quite suit me. After battling depression, I went back to a local college near me and completed my AA degree in a few semesters. It was there that I fell in love with the teaching courses and I was fortunate to be mentored by Professor Angulo, who gave me that push to further my studies at Florida Atlantic University. The school welcomed me with tons of scholarships and grants. If it wasn’t for God bringing me back home and grounding me, I may not have discovered my love and passion for the field of Education. What appeared to be a setback was the stepping stone to a new journey.
The following was submitted by Ebonie Carzo, Owner/Lead Cake Designer of Scrumptious Cakery, IG: Scrumptiouscakery.
Five years ago, I drove into a quaint neighborhood called Glenwood Park in Atlanta, Georgia and saw a vacant storefront. It was the cutest neighborhood and the cutest storefront I’ve ever seen. I began imagining how amazing my bakery would do in this location. I could see the children coming in and drawing on the chalkboard wall and playing in the colorful kid’s area. Adults sitting around drinking coffee and eating cake. My staff charmingly greeting each customer like they were family as they walked in the door. I immediately wrote a business plan and submitted it to the landlord. Within 24-hours he rejected me for being too conservative with my sales numbers and for only being in business for a year. I was devastated. I honestly thought it was racism because he refused to meet with me in person. In five years, I saw many bakeries open and close. I’ve learned how impactful sales tax, federal tax, employee tax, and business insurance can be on the bottom line. There was no way my business would have sustained all of the costs associated with running a retail bakery at that time. Looking back, now I know that my skills and my business knowledge just was not where it needed to be to open a storefront. I now have six years of revenue, working capital in the bank, business lines of credit, and several industry awards backing me as I search for the perfect storefront. My little bakery has been featured on television shows for our award-winning designer wedding cakes. Now my vision is to open a small boutique cake studio that’s open by appointment only and focuses on designing beautiful party and wedding cakes. The moral of my story is, don’t let rejection be a deterrent, let it be preparation for your elevation.
The following was submitted by Christina Lumpkin, a Certified Perinatal Fitness Expert, Women’s Fitness Specialist, and Health Coach, IG: @coach_mom_wife_life
I’ve been rejected and redirected over and over again for the past decade. In 2009 I graduated with a BA in Sociology from Columbia University. Unfortunately an Ivy League degree wasn’t a golden ticket during the economic recession of that time. That year I started taking Fitness Instruction courses at UCLA then got my NASM personal training certification in 2010. Originally my plan was to work in fitness to maintain a flexible schedule while in grad school. But two years later, I found myself frustrated working in traditional gyms and fitness centers so I put my passion on pause to get a regular 40 hour job to pay my bills and also cover the full-tuition of a hybrid accelerated MBA in Healthcare Administration program that fit my work schedule perfectly. Once I got my degree in 2013, I planned to stay in corporate a bit longer, but got injured at work and ended up in intensive physical therapy for 2 months. I took that as a sign to move on—so I did.
A few months later I started a new position as a Fitness Manager for a high-end women’s only fitness studio and spa. It was my dream job, paid well, and I was doing what I loved—helping women reach their health and fitness goals. Unfortunately, the company unraveled quickly and ultimately closed in less than a year. Here I was once again forced to take a different path. In 2014, I started my own online and mobile in-home personal training services and taught fitness classes locally in the metro Atlanta area. I enjoyed the flexibility but about a year later I found myself wanting a greater sense of stability and ended up working another full-time fitness position as an Assistant Fitness Manager. A few months after accepting the position, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. When I told my employer, there was immediate resistance and I sensed the tension daily at work. Management micromanaged my every move to the point that I quit. At 8 months pregnant I walked away and never looked back. It was terrifying, but I knew it had to be done. There’s no way I wanted to return to working in such a hostile workplace as a new mom.
In 2016, during the third trimester of my first pregnancy, I got certified through Oh Baby! Fitness to teach Pre/Postnatal water aerobics and group exercise. I picked up some classes and taught the final weeks until I delivered my daughter in May of 2016. While on maternity leave, I browsed part-time teaching opportunities and landed the perfect gig. I accepted an adjunct teaching position in Spelman College’s Wellness Department on the day my daughter turned 3 months old. I’ve been teaching there ever since. I’ve also been teaching Oh Baby! Fitness classes for the past 4 years. During my second pregnancy in 2018, I decided to start my own business ventures again in addition to my teaching contracts. It was a slow, and at times frustrating process — but I did it. My business Journey2Motherhood Fitness (J2M), which provides health coaching, mindset motivation and fitness programs for busy moms and moms-to-be, was birthed over the course of two back to back pregnancies. Rejection and redirection brought me to this point. I sure am grateful that I trusted the process. Where I am today is far better than any other season of my life in the past decade.
The following was submitted anonymously.
I always thought I wanted to be in the medical field. I can’t even remember when the idea or inspiration happened, I was just told that from a very young age I always told my family that I wanted to be a nurse or a doctor. So naturally when I chose my major in college I went down that route. But almost immediately, I felt like something was off. No matter how hard I tried I failed tests and couldn’t seem to stay focused. Everyone was shocked. I ended up changing my major a few times, but still kept it in the medical field. I was determined to make this work. But nothing changed. I realized it wasn’t for me. Looking back, I think I probably saw the expression on my parents’ faces when I mentioned different career ideas as a child and perhaps that’s where this all comes from. I know they really wanted me to be a doctor. But I felt like an imposter. And worst of all that I failed. I eventually took a break from college and worked a few jobs here and there. Things were pretty dark during that time. I was depressed. I was trying to find myself, trying to figure out what I really wanted. I worked in almost every industry and I eventually fell in love with cooking which is so different than where I started. I’ve been a Chef for several years now and I’ve never been happier. When I started to do what I loved, things started falling in place. I’m opening my first restaurant soon. I’m so grateful for those “failures” because it makes me appreciate where I am now even more.
If you are having a rough time or adjusting to a difficult change, I hope this inspires you. Things can and do get better.