Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Dealing with Rejection

Thank you for your application. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you that…” To be honest, I usually stop reading after this point. I’m sure that everyone has felt the disappointment of receiving a rejection email like this. After spending days on an application and getting through a gruelling interview, you get rejected from the job that you really wanted, and it sucks.

Rejection is one of the inevitable truths of life that we all must face, yet so many of us spend our lives fearing it. Whilst rejection is never a pleasant experience, the fear of rejection can prevent us from attempting new things or aiming high.

Rejection can rock our self-confidence and lead to comparing ourselves with our peers who we think are successful

As a result, we play it safe. We never tell our crush how we feel, we don’t apply for the Goldman Sachs internship, all because we don’t want to be rejected. But what exactly are we scared of? The worst thing that will happen is we’ll hear “no”. To paraphrase Charles Swindoll, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. The sooner we learn to embrace rejection, the sooner we will be able to move on from being rejected.

Whether it’s an internship, a grad job, or a relationship, a lot of us assume that we were rejected because there is something wrong with us. We question our worth, our abilities, whether we are “good enough”. Rejection can rock our self-confidence and lead to comparing ourselves with our peers who we think are successful. Critically, what we seem to forget is that those same successful people have had their own share of rejection. They simply did not let that rejection keep them down.

When Walt Disney was fired from his job for “a lack of imagination” and having “no good ideas”, he could have let that stop him from achieving his dreams. Instead, he persevered and became a household name.

Getting rejected from one place can open the door to a host of new opportunities and experiences

The best way to deal with rejection is to change your perspective. Equating rejection with failure stops us from growing and from reaching our full potential. Rejection helps to develop a tough skin and prepares you for future rejections. It is also an opportunity to try new things. New companies or a new career path – getting rejected from one place can open the door to a host of new opportunities and experiences.

When it comes to jobs, I try not to get too invested in the position I am applying for. Obviously, you need to be interested in the job and show the company that you are passionate about working for them, but it is important to remember that this is just one job of many. If you’re unsuccessful, use this as an opportunity to learn what you could have done better instead of wallowing in self-pity.

Getting rejected is not a reflection on your talent or ability

When it comes to relationships, this approach doesn’t really work. If you are going through a break-up or the object of your affections does not reciprocate your feelings, you will need some time to get over it. This is completely normal and is part of the healing process. But instead of criticising yourself or wondering why you weren’t enough for that person, realise that it was not meant to be, learn from the experience and remember that there is someone better out there for you.

To summarise, the top three things I hope you can take from this article are: accepting that rejection is a part of life that everyone will face, realising that getting rejected is not a reflection on your talent or ability, and finally that rejection is not failure. Using rejection as a learning experience will only serve to make you into a better version of yourself.

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