I learned a lesson a few years ago that changed how I view life, one that has been a real source of inspiration to make career and life changes. At the time, my son was a freshman in an all-boys prep academy and wanted to return to a sport he loved as a child. Despite the highly competitive nature of the sport at his school and not having played in a few years, his heart was set on playing soccer. As parents, we encouraged him to follow his heart, and he spent the summer in long hours of training and trying out for the freshman soccer team. The experience was rich in new friendships, a great connection to the school and yet, he was cut from the team early that August along with ten other students.

I still remember the calls from the other parents offering words of consolation and the reassuring words from the coaches affirming that “he will find his way,” yet rejection was how he started his Freshman year. As a mother, I felt bad for him and wished I could do something to shield him from the disappointment and prayed it wouldn’t hurt his self-esteem. I worried that he had no team, no pack to rely on in those first few months.

Aching Heart

The following spring rolled along and he wanted to play baseball. My heart fluttered with feelings of concern. Being our oldest child of seven, we could barely show up for routine practices and games and keep our family fed, clothed and educated, so we had not invested in private lessons and travel sports. What if he got cut from this sport too? I was anxious about this possibility, but he was not. He understood that a considerable number of boys were trying out again for this sport, and he gave it his best. We helped with fundraising, attended the fundraiser dinner and ferried him to all the practices and yet, he was cut again.

Two strikes of rejection cut through that freshman year.

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