In a world where social media has taken over, it can be difficult to separate online vs real life. You open instagram, twitter, Facebook and you get inundated with pictures and announcements of achievements and successes. However, we rarely hear about people getting rejected and this can leave a rather skewed version of reality. Rejections are an integral part of life and if someone hasn’t faced rejection, it’s highly likely they have never put themselves in a position to get rejected i.e. never applied for a job, never applied for a course/degree, never asked someone out or proposed to someone. Does someone like that even exist? So, you can see that rejections are a normal part of life which everyone faces at varying levels and often behind all the successes we see, there are first many rejections. It’s not the rejection that defines us, but how we deal with it that matters.
I have faced my fair share of rejections: university applications, job applications, article submissions. It’s never nice getting rejected, but I really believe that rejections are blessings in disguise. Here are a few ways I like to deal with rejections:
It was never meant for me
When I get a rejection, the first thought that comes to my mind is that it was never meant for me. That opportunity was never written for me, but there is something else better in store for me. As long as I know I tried my best and had the right intentions, I truly believe that something better is written for me. I have seen this happen time and time again where the opportunities I end up getting are always better than what I thought they would, even though at the start it may not seem that way. You have to be patient as the journey pans out.
What is coming is better than what is gone
A learning curve
A rejection is an opportunity for me to learn what I could have done better or where I went wrong. Getting feedback from people to see why I got rejected and what I can do improve myself for next time provides a great learning curve which, in the long-term, makes me and my work better. Treat every opportunity like valuable experience from which you always learn something, small or big.
A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.
Reassess whether the opportunity is the one I want
Getting a rejection is not the end of the world. It gives time to reflect on your decisions and re-evaluate whether the opportunity was the one for you. Sometimes we get so blind chasing something just because that is all we have ever known, we forget to think about the numerous other opportunities in life which may actually be better for us. A rejection might just be the thing to make you realise and explore new options. That is not to say that you should give up on your dreams, absolutely not. If you truly believe you want something then keep going for it, but there is no harm in checking out different opportunities. You just never know what is best for you.
Sometimes in the waves of change we find our true direction
Rejections can take a real toll on your self-confidence. It can make you feel worthless, stupid and angry. You begin doubting your abilities which can lead to horrible affects on your mental health. Let me just make it absolutely clear that a rejection does not define you. A rejection is not personal. A rejection does not reduce your self worth. Say these things to yourself after a rejection and affirm yourself that this rejection does not mean you are worthless or stupid. It is so important we actively remind ourselves of this because it is very easy to forget that. A rejection from a job does not make you any less worthy, it just means you were not the best fit for that opportunity but you will be for something else!
I am enough
So, the next time you face a rejection, remember they are normal and can actually make you a stronger person!