Success, however you define it, is often outwards-facing but rejection is that element that most people will not see. The world will see you as this excellent candidate but will not see the times that you were knocked back or things did not work according to plan because you were rejected.
Rejections are very interesting. I think it is that part of life that you get told how to deal with but when it comes, you are unsure what your reaction would be. I would not say that I fear rejection whenever I embark on a task but dealing with it at first was difficult for me. The interesting thing about rejections are people say ‘it builds up your resilience’ which I completely agree with. We know this will certainly happen at some point in our lives, yet we are so perplexed by the fear of being rejected.
So why is it difficult to accept being rejected?
For most people including myself, a rejection automatically equates to ‘I am not good enough’ or ‘I am not the best candidate’. Whilst it is true that you were not the best candidate at that point in time, it is important to remember that an application for a role (be it work, university or other things) does not translate to your worth as a human being.
It is important to not capitalise on this so that you do not find yourself in the vicious cycle of self-pity. I get it, you have been rejected (perhaps again) and it hurts but it won’t for long.
How do I deal with rejections?
I have to caveat this by saying I am not an expert at dealing with rejections. It is in fact, one of the hardest things for me. However, I have found it helpful to do a number of things as I build up my resilience over the years. So, if you are thinking, how should you deal with rejection to build up my resilience to the best possible level?
- Remember ‘Nothing is ever the end of the world’
I have found over the years that it helps to remind myself that ‘Nothing ever is the end of the world’. Of course, this is not true and it will not always feel true. But, I remind myself that in the grand scheme of things, it is not the end and I should remain optimistic. Unlike the picture below, it is just an application. I may have been unsuccessful this time but it does not close the numerous doors that will open up in the future. Opportunities will come again, just make sure you are ready to grab them.
- Take a Break- Reflection (0) clock
The second thing which I do is to take a break, perhaps, for a few days to get my mindset back on track and reflect on what I could have done better. It is OK to cry because often times, we apply for things having put blood, tears and TIME in it. Turn your rejection to your Reflection (0) clock. It is imperative that you understand why this has happened and what you will do to prevent its re-occurrence. Taking this time out also helps you to think about why you are doing this. Ask questions like what does this mean to me? You can also set out a plan or a map on how you will get there whilst reflecting.
- A new application requires a fresh mind-set
A new application requires a fresh mindset, one that is not tainted by previous rejections but filled with self-belief. I always try my best to treat every new application like I have never had a rejection. I know, it is extremely hard when my mind is giving me the dose of reality and telling me the chances of getting another rejection. However, your mind is a very powerful tool. Tell yourself you can do it regardless of those rejections and you will be sure to attract what you really want. Look forward and picture your success to maintain motivation. Keep that positive mindset and nothing can stop you.
“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve regardless of how many times you may have failed in the past.” Napoleon Hill
- Dealing with the curvature
Often times, rejection means a change in plans and it can be hard when we think that this job or position is for us…it suits where we are going, what we think we should exactly be doing. But, it is not meant for us, at least not at this point in time, that’s why we got rejected. The very thing I find funny is that the rejections I got some time ago that left me feeling absolutely disheartened do not matter now. I have grown past those job roles or positions and I now smile just looking back. Rejections are meant to help you to become who you are today- see it as a learning curve. Without those life lessons, winning will not taste as good. Remember that!
- It is a ladder of Persistence and Feedback
There is a line between being realistic and giving up. You need to ensure that before you think of giving up, you have exhausted every step possible. You have sought out feedback from those who rejected you and you have implemented a plan on how to improve. It definitely helps to plan ahead. One of my favourite quotes on my wall reminds me every morning that if Plan A does not work, there are 25 other letters of the alphabet. So remember that there will be many more chances and this rejection can be a sense of redirection for something even better.
‘‘You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.’’ Steve Jobs
Lastly, I want to remind you that we all go through this and it will only make you stronger. Rejections are a part of life and make us even better humans. So keep trying and try even harder every single time. It might take some time but I am certain that you will get a Yes!