Rejections can be really tough. It’s a blow to your self-esteem, self-belief, and makes you question your worth and abilities. I’ve been rejected countless times, whether on a personal (romantic) escapade, or professional scale. I’ve even done a lot of rejecting myself, both on personal and professional levels. In this post, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on how to deal with rejection and use it to propel yourself forward.
Before A Possible Rejection
Rejections happen when you’re taking risks. Whether it’s a small risk like selling someone a product, or whether it’s a big risk like a business pitch for investors, or ASKING SOMEONE TO MARRY YOU. That’s a mighty scary risk right there. When you choose to take a risk, know that there is always a possibility things won’t go your way. No matter what you thought of the signs, no matter how much you calculated your moves, at the end of the day the universe has some pretty wild things going on and things won’t always go the way you want them to go.
So before you take a risk, check in with your expectations and try to manage them accordingly. Always entertain the possibility that the person will say no, that your application will get rejected, that the investor won’t back up your idea. They don’t HAVE to do it (unless you’re holding a gun to their head, and even then they might still refuse!). Once you play around with that possibility in your mind, think about what other options you have. What’s your plan B, C, D? A wise lady told me life is about Plan Bs.
During a Rejection
Rejections can happen via face-to-face, phone calls, email, text, or even ghosting. Some people might not even bother to reply to you, which can hurt a lot also. Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Take some time to cool down, maybe it’s a walk, maybe it’s a nice beer or glass of vodka. Maybe both! I like to jump in the pool and swim.
Surround yourself with supportive people, friends you can trust. However, a good friend is scarce and precious and often is the case where your friends lead you astray when you are vulnerable. So seek your companionship and guidance carefully. I’ll be honest with you, it’s taken me almost 10 years to know which advice to filter and who to go to when I need certain types of advice. One darling that helps is my golden retriever. Yes, I strongly believe companionship does not have to be human companionship.
After a Rejection
When you’re feeling much better, it always helps to reflect and evaluate. What happened so that your initiative failed? Was it targeted towards the wrong person? Were you doing too much, or were you not showing enough of your qualities?
I’m a strong believer in the “keep going, keep pushing” camp. But you don’t have to keep going and keep pushing in the same direction. It’s a big world out there. There are other jobs similar to the one you wanted to get. There are other people with similar backgrounds and profiles that you might be able to connect and hook up with. Other investors might be interested in what your idea has to offer. Or maybe (the eternal universal mystery), it just wasn’t the right time.
When handled well, who knows you might even come to enjoy rejection! It’s a sign that you cared, that you tried, and you failed. And from there, you will learn how to deal with rejection, and grow.