“Rejection is for your protection”
The process of applying to the most competitive MD/PhD programs in the world began on June 1st at 6 am when I submitted my 2016 AMCAS application. Everything had been smooth sailing up until that point. I expected the same for the rest of the journey. Boy was I wrong.
The journey so far has been a mixture of unbelievable highs, such as getting invited to interview at Harvard Med and getting an interview for the MD/PhD program at Boston U (my alma matter) and crushing lows. Getting rejected from every school I applied to in California (Stanford, UCLA, and UCSF) really hurt.
Going into the application process I was quite confident because of my sterling academic and research track record combined with my athletic achievements. However, there seems to be no rhyme or reason to this application process and it had really shook my confidence.
I was conveying my feelings to one of my mentors and she mentioned that rejection is for your protection. She gave an example of how one of her close friends had lost a dream job to a colleague. She was devastated. But later on her colleague was raped by her boss.
Obviously this is an extreme example and you would NEVER want to inflict such a horrible experience on anyone. But it brings up a super important point. Due to our modern luxuries and advances in technology we have this misconceived notion that we have tamed Nature and are in control. This is absolutely false. We can not control what happens to us. We can only influence the end result. However, we have absolute control over the meaning we give to the events that happen to us.
So when you next experience rejection or failure, which you will again soon if you are pursuing excellence, the beliefs you have surrounding rejection will have a tremendous impact on your subjective experience. No belief is wrong or right. Yet if you control your beliefs, why would it make any sense to continue with a belief system that brings you suffering and unhappiness?
Living is a tough and challenging journey. But it can be filled with untold joys and learning experiences if you install and cultivate a belief system that empowers you to utilize all your hidden talents to improve this world.
Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,
PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.