R-E, J-E, C-T-E-D rejected. Bleh.
Rejection is rubbish, and knowing that there’s a better alternative to you somewhere out there is more than a bit disheartening. It’s difficult to remember, sometimes, that almost everyone you know will have been rejected for whatever reason at some point in their life. I reckon I’ve had my fair share so far! As the great Troy Bolton once said, “we’re all in this together.” Actually, he said it many times, which just shows that the horrible alone-y feeling of being disheartened isn’t a one-time thing by any means.
So, in light of me having a bit of a pity party for myself this morning, here’s my take on rejection in general, what we can learn from it, and why it’s a blessing in disguise (yes, really!)
- Rejection is a learning experience. I know it’s the sort of thing your mum tells you, but it’s true. The process of being rejected requires you to have applied yourself to something and put yourself out there. Having a job application rejected means you actually went for it in the first place. You tweaked your CV, practiced your interview skills, Googled the correct way to begin and sign off an email to someone you don’t know. (I do this for every single professional email I send. I will never learn.) Having your proposal rejected in a group project means you weren’t afraid to showcase your own ideas, which takes balls if it’s not something you’re used to doing!
- Sometimes, rejection really is the best outcome. Your body’s one aim in life is to keep you ticking over for as long as possible. You’d be in big trouble if your body couldn’t expel foods you were allergic to. If you ever become in need of a blood transfusion, you’ll be given the right type of blood for your body so you can start the repairing and antigen-fighting process. (Is that right? Don’t ask me, I’m not a doctor.) Anyway, your body rejects what’s not right for you. You might not realise it straightaway, but it’s something worth keeping in mind.
- There’s probably something better round the corner, or down the road, or a bus journey away… Great analogy there, if I do say so myself. I’ve experienced this before, looking for a part-time job at the age of 16 and being a bit clueless. I’d developed the awful habit of telling my similarly unemployed friends about jobs I was applying for. In two cases, I lost jobs to them – one at a pharmacy near my sixth form college, the next at a small clothes shop in town. It was the worst feeling ever at the time. But then, a few months later, I was offered a Saturday job at a supermarket. The pay is better, I’ve made a lot of friends and I still work there now, three years later, because they’ve agreed to let me jump straight back into work every time I’m back from uni (how good is that?) So really, that initial bout of rejection was one of the best things to ever happen to me.
- Rejection isn’t ever going to make you feel happy. What I mean by that is it’s alright to have a moping period. I’m sure J K Rowling didn’t immediately smile and carry on with her life every time the Harry Potter series was rejected by publishers (it happened 12 times before Bloomsbury snapped her up, can you believe it?!) and look at her now. It’s okay to feel dejected and throw yourself a stupid pity party involving shitty food and Netflix (which is what I keep telling myself), but as long as you stay positive in the long run rejection can lead to very good things!
Until next time,
Emma ✌ x