You will get rejected over and over! Getting turned down is a necessary part of the journey, and it can be discouraging when you hear “no” over and over again. Most will give up. I learned to stay the course at an early age, and today I’m going to share my secret with you.
I was cut from the basketball team four times (8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th grade)! Maybe it’s not surprising; I was 5’7 and weighed 140 pounds. It actually had nothing to do with my size or skills.
The lessons I learned from this experience set the platform for how I live my life; from relationships, to my business, and everything in between. If you’re stuck, ready to give up, lacking motivation, or feeling unlucky – this post is for you.
If at first you don’t succeed…
I remember freshman year tryouts like it was yesterday. We were playing a 5 on 5 full-court game. Three possessions in a row – I brought the ball up the court. I went straight for the basket. I mean, that is the goal of basketball, to put the ball through the net right? Sort of.
The first time, I scored with a layup. The next two I missed. I was being selfish. I didn’t pass the ball. Heck, I didn’t even see anyone else on the court. It was all about me. I didn’t understand the concept of team basketball, and Coach V cut me.
I was devastated. I went home, shut my door and cried under my covers. Coach told me, “I selected players who would make good varsity players, and if I made a mistake then you should prove me wrong.”
I made it my goal to do just that. I became obsessed. I was angry because I was a better player than what I had showcased that day. I planned to do whatever it would take to make the team.
Once I made it, I envisioned ripping off my jersey and yelling at Coach V. I was heartbroken. I worked hard to make the team the following year, but was cut again and again. However, I didn’t give up. I knew I had one more chance to make the team my senior year.
Here is what I did:
4:45 AM – Wake up!
- 5 AM – I went to the gym and practiced my shooting and ball handling. I would even eat raw eggs like Rocky.
- 6 AM – I would head to my high school football stadium, climb over the fence, and run stadium snakes (running up and down bleachers). I was scared to death that a homeless guy would grab my leg!
- 7 AM – Lifting/basketball practice (Coach had open gym before tryouts).
- 8 AM – 3:15 PM – The only thing on my mind during class was basketball.
- 3:15 PM – Practice in the field house.
- 7 PM – Personal training.
I repeated this schedule until tryouts and I made it! I had matured since Freshman year – I didn’t go crazy and rip my jersey off like I had planned. Coach V saw me wearing my jersey, and that was enough for me.
Lessons from my rejections:
Break it up
Break up your goals into micro-tasks so that they are manageable. Each day, focus on one objective that you’d like to accomplish that will get you closer to attaining your goal.
- Take massive action everyday. Give up a weekend, or two, or your life if you want it bad enough!
- No one can stop you. Only you can stop you.
- There will always be opportunity no matter how many times you fail. You will get another chance. Will you give yourself that next chance?
Seek out the help you need to achieve your peak potential! No one gets to the top alone.
I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to say I sat on the bench! I lacked team basketball experience. This was my first time playing organized team ball. I didn’t have much confidence. It didn’t help that my teammates would talk trash me at every practice. I grew thick skin because of it. Thanks guys!
…Try, try again!
No matter what it is that you want, you can have it. No matter how many times you get rejected, you still have a chance. In the words of Mark Cuban, “Every no gets you closer to a yes.” Keep grinding. Chase after your dreams.
Which rejection are you most proud of? Celebrate your rejection with me! Comment below.