So I am lying in my bed right now with tears falling down my face. I can’t stop crying. I feel SO stupid because it’s really no big deal. I don’t know what my problem is. I thought if I started writing, maybe I can figure out why I am so sad right now.
Maybe it’s because as a kid I never felt like I fit in anywhere. I wanted to be part of a group, but never found one where I could be myself. Maybe it’s because when I tried to be one of the popular girls in high school and tried out for cheerleading, they basically laughed at me and told me I wasn’t even close.
Maybe it’s because in college when I applied to be an RA they selected everyone I knew except me.
Maybe it’s true that deep down all we live for is connection to others and a sense of belonging. Or maybe it’s just because I felt like this was the year I was finally going to make the team.
I don’t need to go into detail, but here’s a short recap. 3 years ago I applied for a triathlon team because I loved their mission, their tag line, their logo, and their clothing. I felt like their company truly embodied who I was as an athlete and a person. It was a long shot as I knew I was taking the next year off from triathlon, but decided to apply anyway since I was doing a lot of swimming and running. I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t make it, so it was no biggie.
The following year I applied again. This time I had a FULL season of triathlon ahead, I knew a few girls on the team, and I was much more active on social media. I had been wearing several of their products and since I post a lot on Facebook and Instagram, there were a ton of pics out there with me supporting their brand. I thought I had a good chance of making the team. I didn’t. And I was surprisingly sad. I didn’t tell anyone I applied or that I was rejected, so it was my little sad secret. I shed a few tears, but decided I would just try again next year.
This year I raced over 50 races in their clothing. I promoted their brand and product constantly live and online, and met tons of their team members at races, expos, and through social media. I had people tell me I embody their mission and tagline and would be perfect on their team. When I applied this year I kept thinking “third time is a charm” (now that I think of it, I have no idea what that even means, but whatever). On the app they ask for all our social media info, this gave me even more hope since my accounts are flooded with pics of me wearing their brand.
Tonight I saw the list of the new team for next year, and I didn’t make the cut. Again. At first I was a little bummed, but no biggie. But then I started thinking about why they didn’t pick me (they don’t tell us why), and my stupid brain shifted into overdrive and all these “I’m a loser” and “I’m a failure” and “Nobody wants me” thoughts consumed my head. WHAT? Where did these even come from? I couldn’t remember ever thinking I was a loser, or a failure, or unwanted? I know I am a good athlete and a good person. I know I have people out there who love and want me. I didn’t know where this was coming from.
Then I remembered all the times I did think these thoughts in other areas of my life. As a wife, as a “mother”, as a business woman, as a leader, with my finances, with my eating, with my self-discipline.
SHEESH! Now that I think about it, I am a regular failure. I AM a loser! I don’t deserve to be part of a team, I would only let them down.
I can’t be the only one who feels this way from time to time, so I wanted to share with you the reason I was so shocked at how hurt I was. I thought I had overcome all these horrible thoughts and beliefs I had about myself. I used to think these thoughts on a daily basis, and I used to believe them whole heartedly. With time, patience, self-love, and personal growth (reading and listening to books to help me understand myself more and move toward the person I want to be), these thoughts and feelings have lessened. So much, in fact, that I thought they were gone, until tonight. Being rejected by the team I thought I was destined to be on, brought back all those old feelings of worthlessness and shame.
At first I was SO embarrassed that I got upset and cried over this seemingly insignificant incident, I would have NEVER shared this in the past, but now that I have had some time to reflect, I am glad it happened.
It was a great reminder not only of how far I have come, but also how far I still have to go. I never want to stop learning about myself and becoming a better and better version of myself. It also reminded me how important it is to include people in my life.
I posted something on Facebook immediately after my rejection and had several people respond with their story. Many were also denied and hurt about it. I even had a dozen people send me private messages sharing with me how they are sorry for me but not to be discouraged as I am an amazing person and athlete without the team. It reminded me how supportive people are and it made me want to be a better person for them. It also reminded me that we are not alone, that I do belong to a prestigious club with all the people I touch in some way every single day. I don’t need to be part of a team to be surrounded by my peeps who love me.
I am grateful for those of you who love me for me! And I hope by reading this you know that YOU are an incredible human being. And we don’t need approval or acceptance by any outside entity to be deserving of love and acceptance and worth. One of my FAVORITE quotes can sum this entire post up:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Now go out in the world with your head held high and be the amazing, compassionate, loving, full of life BAD ASS you know you are! And I will too!
See you soon!