We Attract The Problems We Need

* 6 minute read *

Have you ever noticed how the same problems or types of problems can seem to pop up in your life time and time again?

For me, one of those problems is rejection. In the past my life has been heavily impacted by a fear of rejection and a fear of rejecting.


This issue of rejection has continued to appear frequently in my life in a few ways:

  • Fear of rejection has prevented me from taking action in choosing and pursuing the kinds of relationships I want
  • Fear of rejection has prevented me from speaking my truth to others, setting clear personal boundaries and standing up for myself and what I believe in
  • Fear of rejecting has prevented me from expressing my preferences toward others, in the fear that I might hurt their feelings (and this in turn would lead them to rejecting me)

The frequency with which these kinds of experiences have appeared for me over the last few weeks has been freakish enough for me to stop and say:

Hey! What’s going on here? There’s got to be something bigger at play! What is the lesson that I’m supposed to learn from all of this?

Here’s an idea to consider:

13-08-17 Feature Image

We attract the problems we need, until we learn the lesson.

I’ve heard this message plenty of times before but the real light bulb moment came for me on Friday morning while we were running our first ever Random Act of Awesome.

RAOA Jumping group

We’ll be covering Friday’s RAOA in more detail in a later post, but to give you a bit of an idea of what happened, between 7:30am and 8:00am, 11 of us from the Be Awesome crew set up in one of Brisbane’s busiest CBD commuter transit points, Anzac Square. Armed with 500 stickers that said ‘Hi , I’m Awesome!’ and proudly wearing our Be Awesome t-shirts, we each individually connected with random strangers passing through the square, telling them that they are awesome, giving them a sticker and wishing them an awesome day!


Overall it was a beautiful and empowering experience. I got to see the eyes of several hundred people light up in that tiny moment of human connection that we shared, and I sensed the ripple effect that this small act of joy would have on these people and those that they connected with during the day.

However, there was one small experience that wasn’t so enjoyable.

A young girl approached in my direction with her boyfriend and as I had in my previous encounters, I looked her in the eye, smiled and said “Hi, I want you to know that I think that you’re awesome and I want you to wear this sticker!”. As I gestured to give her the sticker she aggressively replied “Don’t you dare!”

Woah!! This threw me back for a moment as I felt that familiar feeling of rejection.

But wait! There has to be a lesson here!

This girl didn’t even know me! She couldn’t possibly make a fair judgement on the spot that I was a bad person and worthy of being rejected. I started to think about other similar experiences in the past where I’d felt unfairly rejected and suddenly the lesson was clear:

Rejection is not a rejection of me it’s an expression of incompatibility.

The truth is that the Be Awesome message was incompatible with this girl in that particular moment. For whatever reason, she had her own stuff going on and she was just not open to hearing that she was awesome there and then. And that’s totally cool, she’s on her own journey and it has nothing to do with me.



Seeing rejection just as incompatibility has also helped me to say “no” and express my preferences to others. I realise now that when I say “no” to someone, I’m not rejecting them, I’m simply expressing an incompatibility.

Overcoming the fear of rejection and rejecting is still an ongoing process for me, but its challenging experiences like Friday and hearing stories like Jia’s that help me build emotional “muscle“. I know I’m getting stronger, I can feel the burn of “rejection” hurting less and less each time. I’m starting to see rejection as the universe’s way of protecting me from something I don’t need. What a gift!

So, I’m curious:

  • What is a common problem or issue that continues to pop up for you?
  • What could the lesson be at the heart of this problem? 
  • Who do you need to become (what kind of behaviour) for this to not be a problem in your life anymore?
  • Can you look back on past problems that you have overcome, with gratitude  for the experience they’ve given you?

Gratitude is your key to freedom and breaking free from self-pity, judgement and being stuck. I challenge you to choose  to try to see the lesson in every problem with gratitude and patience.

Til next week, Be Awesome!



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4 thoughts on “We Attract The Problems We Need

  1. Great post! I’ve recently come to terms with this realization myself after dealing with a decade of failed relationships. It wasn’t until this past doozy that made me wake up and think– hmm, why does this keep happening to me? Instead of blaming others, how can I take responsibility for my current situation? And what is the universe trying to teach me by continually sending me unavailable men? For me, it took realizing that the energy I am putting out into the world is the same energy I am receiving. Translation? It’s actually been ME who’s the unavailable one. What a wake up call that was…

    • Wow Rachael, thanks for this great wisdom. Isn’t this an amazing insight? It’s so simple once we grasp it. I realised also that it was ME rejecting myself first. Realising this has changed everything! Congratulations and thanks for an awesome share

  2. As a recipient of one of your RAOA stickers and ‘have an awesome day” wishes, I just wanted to say thank you! It gave me an instant pick-me-up from the worries that have been building up over the last six months, and I responded with “thanks, you too” which made me feel good. I kept my sticker on all the way to the office, and all through my day at work to remind me how that felt. I got a few funny looks and lots of my colleagues asked where I got the sticker. Only 1 or 2 people asked me why I was still wearing it, as they felt it was very brave to wear a sticker saying “Hi, I’m Awesome”. Isn’t it sad that we live in a society where people don’t feel they have at least one awesome thing about themselves that would deserve promotion? It would be great if we could get to a place where it is acceptable to be self-confident (as long as it’s not arrogance) because people who are confident will be more likely to tell other people when they are being awesome. People with no self-confidence always have to run others down to make themselves feel better. But being told you’re awesome is a great feeling and will have positive flow-on effects. I still have my sticker stuck on my coffee table, and finally got around to checking out your blog, which is awesome, and I’ll be following regularly.

    • Hi Melissa. Thanks so much for getting in touch and leaving this comment. We had no idea that our little RAOA experiment would have such a positive impact! I’m really glad that it made a difference to your day and I’m sure that you went on to change the lives of the people around you in a positive way. Here at Be Awesome we believe in confidence and humility and that being awesome is just about choosing to be the best version of yourself, which is different for everyone. Congratulations on having the confidence to own your awesomeness that day and I hope you continue to spread the Be Awesome love around!

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