It seems as if when I go after something that I believe is out of my league. I am filled with insecurity and doubt. Even when I achieve that which I sought, I question the legitimacy of the exact thing I so greatly desired. I often ask myself, “am I good enough?” “am I seeking too much?” and “what makes me think I can accomplish this?” No matter what my self doubts are, I never allow them to keep me from pursuing any opportunity. The oddity of it all is that the opportunities that I believe I have in the bag I often am not afforded. I do not consider myself an arrogant or excessively confident individual, however, when I am rejected an opportunity that I believe that I would have, I am humbled. Rejection can be a strong blow to self-esteem, but it does not have to be. Every interaction, including being denied access, should be taken as a learning experience. I was inspired to write this post from a recent experience that I encountered. While applying for a summer program, every interaction I had with the elite institution gave me a boost of confidence. We often put people and organizations on a pedestal because of their brands. Being exposed to its flaws, lowered the mental standard I had previous set for the organization, which gave me a false boost of self-confidence. After several pushed admission decision deadlines, I was shocked to open my email to find out in fact I had not been admitted to the two week program. My shock turned to embarrassment. Attending and completing this program was one of the major goals that I had set for myself for 2014. I had already planned how I was going to announce my admission to the world. I felt shamed as if I had already made the big announcement. I thought to myself, “Now what?” Reaching “Now What? ” is a very critical moment. It essentially determines your future, more so than the cause of asking “Now What” This had not been the first time that I asked myself this question. My life has been a series of “Now What?” As I shared the not so good news with those closest to me, the answer to “Now What?” came to me. Early in my life, maybe around 14 or 15 years old, I learned a very important lesson: Everything will be okay. I have a very colorful background and everything in my life was not always simple. As a child I worried a lot, more than an adult, often when it was not even necessary. It was as if I were born with the worry gene. No matter if it was a situation worth worrying about or a minor situation that had been blown up in my head, I always found a way through the circumstance. Now, when I reach “defeat” or “rejection”, I easily shake it off, learn from it, and work on the next goal. Not being accepted into this program was not heartbreaking for me, nor were my feelings hurt. The truth of the matter is I had grown slightly arrogant and it may have been necessary to bring me back down to Earth. The answer to “Now What?” in this situation was to share my experience of rejection. From the outside looking in, everything always looks picture perfect. That is mainly because we share the positive experiences and not the negative. We share the result without the struggle. I believe that sharing the difficult moments in your journey, tastefully, will help others on their journeys. Rejection can be a very difficult pill to swallow. My suggestion is to eat a slice of bread, drink some water, and head back to the drawing board. Everything will be okay; just do not get stuck in the moment.