You cannot keep people from rejecting you, but you can keep rejection from enraging you.
I’ve been writing a lot about anger lately. I think we have an low-grade anger issue in America today. I think the statistical probability that your kid either has or will have suppressed anger is high. Why?
We can talk about athletic performance, success, and leadership all day long but at the end of the day if your soil is infested with anger or bitterness that stems from the feeling of REJECTION, I can almost predict the end of the story. And rejection is a common, daily, core feeling most kids are experiencing.
Why most kids are angry (even if it appears they are not)
Because they feel rejected. Rejected by:
Coaches who won’t explain to them the “why”. Coaches who won’t take a personal interest in them and help them get better.
An absent, unloving, uninterested parent not holding up their end of the bargain.
A bad friend or friends who ostracized them, rejected them
Those are the main reasons. Whether it is a perspective issue or a real issue, it needs to be addressed if you want your kid to get off the struggle bus and begin making progress towards becoming a highly confident, courageous, successful young man or woman.
Here is my spiel when I talk to these kids. It goes something this:
#1 Hurt people, hurt people. Never let a broken person’s opinion of you become your reality.
#2 What a person does to you and how they treat you (good or bad) is a reflection of the state of their own heart and mind. It has nothing to do with you or what you deserve.
#3 You cannot keep people from rejecting you, but you can keep rejection from enraging you.
#4 Accept yourself. God already has. People who do not accept you for who you are have not accepted themselves for who they are.
I could go on and on. The point is this:
Low levels of chronic, underlying anger, caused by rejection (which is a state of mind), lead to diminishing levels of self worth, performance, and internal joy and peace.
Coaches, we MUST:
Make it fun
Create an atmosphere of love
Create a safe environment where kids can open up and share
Probe. Ask the right questions
Spend more 1:1 time with them
Increase our still and ability to inspire (pull something out of them that lies within)
I do not want to see another kids potential squandered or see them finally blow up with an anger outburst and do something dumb.
It is preventable. It is a leadership opportunity. We’ve got this.
Dedicated to transformation inside and out,
P.S. The Youth Truth, now an Amazon #1 Best Selling Book, contains an entire chapter and exercise on this topic. I recommend it if you want to learn more about becoming a coach or parent of greater impact.