Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better. – Dr Steve Maraboli
If only life were so straightforward and we never received rejections. Rejection hurts especially when you don’t know why you were rejected in the first place. You may have received a job rejection or a rejection in your relationship, friendship or even from opportunities and it may take a huge knock on your ego.
Like everyone, I’ve experienced my own fair share of rejections in life, definitely too many to keep track of but I’ve decided to share two that have stuck with me till this day. I’d always been a high achiever in High School, part of every sports team, involved in music & choirs, a member of the school council, a peer mentor for the younger students and I had good relationships with most of the teachers so applying for Head Girl seemed like the right thing to do. The worst thing is when others expect you to get the position you’ve applied for, as in they could almost guarantee that I’d become head girl and that’s why the rejection was even more painful. I felt so embarrassed but also confused. What happened? Why wasn’t I good enough? I’d done everything by the book but didn’t receive the outcome I so desperately wanted. Why?
I also remember receiving one of my medical school applications rejections; I had waited for ages to hear back from this university after my interview and finally the day came only for me to find out that I was rejected. I felt dejected and not good enough, I thought about how much my parents had spent on my transport, accommodation and other costs all for me to attend this interview. I hadn’t failed myself alone but I’d failed them too.
No matter how many times you may have been rejected and how much you think you’ve become immune to the pain of rejections, they still hurt. I was truly devastated but looking back now, having that particular medical school offer wouldn’t have made a difference, I love where I am studying now and wouldn’t change it for the world. You have to trust that rejection is life’s way of protecting you and is all part of your journey, how you handle rejection says a great deal about your character.
SOME TRUTHS ABOUT REJECTION
One rejection isn’t a projection of future failure
Rejection doesn’t label you, it enables you to adjust and move on
Rejection can be an invitation to live in expectation of something else
There is usually an element of protection wrapped in rejection
Don’t let today’s reaction be tomorrow’s regret
There is much more to you than the part that was rejected
What one person might see as your liability another might see as your greater asset
Rejection is a short term set back not a permanent position
WHEN DEALING WITH REJECTION…
• Don’t be so hard on yourself – Rejection is a painful part of life and I’m sure we can all say that we have all experienced our fair share of rejections. Rejection is not necessarily—probably not even usually—a reflection on who you are, what you have written, or the way you present yourself.
• Try and find out why – This will prevent you from making the same mistake twice and also improve your chances of success the next time you apply for a similar position. Learn from it! Finding out why will not only put your mind at rest it will also help you to develop your character and is a great opportunity to move forward with more wisdom.
• Remember the positives – Adopting of gratitude is essential, despite the outcome it is still a great learning experience and there is a lot to be grateful for. For example: at interviews you can meet great people, form lifetime friendships or simply network which might in turn open the door to an even better opportunity.
• Reevaluate – In all honesty rejection most definitely makes you rethink your decisions. Sometimes it takes rejection for you to realise that a certain position isn’t what you want to do or the direction you want to go in. Self-reflection is important, so ask yourself key questions; “Did I put in enough preparation?”, “Am I well su