2011 started out how past New Year’s have: surrounded by friends and family with numerous hopes and resolutions made. After ending 2010 with a much coveted interview for what I thought was my dream job, I was confident 2011 would be my best year yet.
Unfortunately, I soon found out I didn’t make the cut and I was devastated. I quickly began questioning my life and career choices as well as my own abilities. Why am I so passionate being a music journalist? Why would God give me this writing talent only to be accompanied by numerous failed job interviews? No one likes rejection and I was trying my best to see the silver lining, but had a much harder time than I care to admit.
So, of course I turned to music. Oprah Winfrey just launched her OWN network a few days before and one of her first aired shows, Master Class, featured Jay-Z discussing his life, struggles, failure and the importance of staying true to yourself. He knew when he was writing all his rhymes and rehearsing them as a child that he had something special that the world had to hear. He didn’t shy away from failure and instead, it motivated him.
“When I first started making music, that’s when I first realized that I was tapping into an emotion and I knew there were small pockets of people all across the country that I spoke to directly. But I didn’t have the vehicle to get to them. I didn’t have a record label at the time so I tried to get a record deal. And I couldn’t get a record deal,” Jay-Z said.
Winfrey summed it up best: “Being turned down from a record deal didn’t stop him, it propelled him,” she said.
Jay-Z continued his story.
“The record company would be my bridge to them and they didn’t give me that bridge. So, it was a very important part of my career that we didn’t give up right there. That belief in myself and belief that I had something to offer. So, we built our own bridge and I started my own record company.”
We all face obstacles and rejection at some point in our lives and we have two choices: rise above them or settle and accept them. After watching Oprah’s Master Class with Jay-Z, I realized it was time to move on to the next big thing. Maybe I don’t need a full-time job writing about music. Maybe I’m supposed to continue to develop my journalism skills and venture out of my comfort zone to discover new genres and perfect my first-person articles. Whatever the reasoning this job didn’t work out, I wasn’t going to let 2011 get off to a bad start.
“I believe that everything that happens in life is there to build character and is there to be learned from. Everything that I base my life upon has worked out that way for the most part. I believe that things happen for a reason. That’s just the way of the world. [The] most important lesson to me is just to be true to yourself,” Jay-Z concluded.
True words to live by. What do you think? How have you dealt with rejection? What lessons have you learned?