Rejection is all around us, in different forms, every day. Whether it be a college denial letter, a turned-down date or our parents telling us they don’t approve of something – we face a lot of rejection throughout our lives.
There are several types of rejection that I have faced. Some of them seem to lead to other things but some of them just straight up hurt. I feel like I, personally, am not good enough, not just for them but future circumstances. It definitely hits on my self-esteem, as I tend to take a lot of things personal. It must be MY fault and my fault only. That can definitely cause emotions to rise and make the rejection out to be more than it is, but you can’t get down on yourself. Literally nobody on this earth does everything correct or with acceptance 100% of the time. You are surrounded by billions of other people that also constantly face rejection. You are not alone.
Rejection may leave us feeling vulnerable, as we are putting a part of ourselves out there for somebody else to critique. We also have to put trust in the rejection – that it was the best move for everyone – all around. That’s not an easy thing to do, at least not for me. I’ll often be left wondering why, even after an explanation. Sometimes the rejection just doesn’t sink in for a little bit. The reasonings don’t make sense for a while. That’s okay, give yourself time to process the rejection.
How we handle rejection may depend on the situation. We may be more upset about one rejection than another based on our priorities. And the worst thing about rejection is it never stops. We will face it our entire life, but we will also deal with it as appropriate and learn along the way.
Some rejection presents opportunity for learning. For example, I submitted a writing piece to an online magazine. I did hear back from them, but unfortunately they did not select my sample. Instead of slipping into a depressive state and feeling defeated, I asked for constructive critiscm back as to how I could improve, etc. While I would have loved for that piece to be published, it just wasn’t meant to be. So long as I stay motivated and focused, I know there will be plenty of more opportunities that I find or that arise.
Other rejection may leave you feeling like the world is unfair or biased. I am a fairly good interviewee when it comes to trying to get a job, but there have been times I really wanted a job that I didn’t get. I remember being well qualified and like the interview went very well. So when I got an email telling me that I did not get the job, I was confused, shocked and upset, as we had left the meeting on a positive note. I felt like whoever they went with didn’t need the job as much as me or they wouldn’t be as good at it, but that’s my emotions talking. In reality I have no idea what the other person was like and what kind of experience they had. And that’s when you have to take a step back and realize (at least in this particular instance) that the hiring company is doing what they think is BEST for them. And don’t think that because that other person is the “best fit” that you’re not good at your profession anymore, you can still be the best for another company, just not this one.
Rejection can also come unexpectedly or after you’ve gotten your hopes up. It can be very difficult to accept and move forward from. It may hit you harder than you thought it would because you were expecting a totally different response. Finding courage to get back out there can be extremely challenging because it’s very possible that you may face rejection again. And while sometimes you may feel like you’re “just going through the motions”, it will pay off in one way or another. Just hold your head high until your breakthrough comes. Because it will.
And believe it or not, some rejection will actually be affirming. Some rejection you may welcome with open arms. I know that may seem like that will never happen, but it will. Whether you are trying to hold out for another job, college, spouse or whatever – some rejections will prove that you are made for bigger and better things. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be “bigger” or “better”, it just has to lead you to what is right for YOU.
It’s important to remember that we will ALL face rejection in our lives. We need to keep that in mind when we are on the rejecting side. The way a rejection is conveyed by tone, choice of words, and the forum which it comes accross can play a big part in how the person receiving the rejection will act. It’s okay to be direct, but also know that taking the extra couple minutes to put yourself in the applicant’s place could really help you to cause the rejection to serve a lesser blow. I know it’s not the job of the person rejecting you to make sure your feelings are okay, but they can definitely help to make the rejection process more smooth.
While we cannot control how we recieve a rejection, we can control how we react to it. A rejection may not be the absolute end either, which is key. Like my writing piece, it’s not over with that magazine. I can keep submitting piece after piece and if I keep getting rejected, then I’ll have to accept that this opportunity just may not happen. Which again, is okay. I will say it over and over again, everything happens for a reason and this rejection was just another thing to add to the list.
Just know that rejection is normal and abundant. You will face so many obstacles throughout your life and rejection will certainly be one of them. Allow yourself to feel when a rejection comes along, but keep moving forward. Don’t get caught up in it. Because somebody else will see your worth, in whatever way you have to offer it.