You would think that it would be devastating when you are rejected for the very things that you perceive are your biggest flaws. It wasn’t.
The blessing is that, once we get through the disappointment, anger, and pain, if we are willing to look at the truth of the situation, we will find the door that has been left unlocked, leading us to freedom and our self-worth.
And it is not the “He was a jerk anyway; it’s his loss” kind of freedom. It’s the “I am worthy of love, and I’ll be darned if I leave my sense of worth in someone else’s hands again” kind.
It’s about making a commitment to value ourselves, and living as if we do. This affects our choices, from what we eat, what we wear, and how we behave to how fast we get up after we fall.
“The world is a mirror, forever reflecting what you are doing, within yourself.” ~Neville Goddard
This is just a small excerpt from an article I found by Banu Sekendur titled, Dealing with Rejection: It Doesn’t Mean That You’re Not Good Enough.
Although this blog was more so focused on rejection stemming from an intimate relationship, I feel that the overall experience of rejection is applicable to a multitude of different situations. We can experience rejection from other types of relationships, such as with our friends, family, colleagues etc.; rejection from career opportunities; schools; clubs/networking branches; and so on and so forth. Rejection is an inevitable part of life. And although the overall connotation of the word is negative, there is definitely some good that can come from it- but only if you allow it to.
There is (at the very least) a little part of each of us that fears rejection. It would be silly to say that it doesn’t hurt in some way or another to feel like you are not good enough. To feel like you are not good enough for a job, a program, a relationship, what have you… But that’s exactly the problem with our thinking… it usually boils down to this idea that “I’m not good enough”. But what about all the other alternatives? We need to stop thinking that everything is so black and white! Because, in life, there are so many different shades of gray.
For example, my best friend just graduated from college. She is feeling extremely bummed out that the job positions she currently holds have 1.) nothing to do with her degree and 2.) don’t really call or even encourage her to utilize the skills she paid so much for and put in so much of her time and energy to learn.
She is an aspiring journalist, who is working part time as a nanny and part time as a retail specialist.
Recently, she took great initiative and put together a column and sent it out to a magazine that she aspires to be a part of one day. Although I’m sure there is to some degree a level of bias in this statement, I truly do believe that her work was great. She has a natural talent for collecting her ideas and thoughts and organizing them in a way that her work just flows. She picked an engaging and controversial topic, and eliminated much of the fluff that I probably would have felt compelled to toss in there. But, upon not hearing back from the company by the deadline, she instantly felt defeated- rejected.
“I really thought I nailed it, ya know? I put my heart into that piece. I wonder if this just really isn’t for me… maybe my goals are too far-fetched.”
This hurt to hear, of course… She was being so hard on herself because of one measly rejection. But that’s when it dawned on me, to her, it wasn’t just one measly rejection… it was a very premature death sentence to her occupational goals.
We were able to talk things over, and she she agreed. This wasn’t the end of her time in the industry, but merely just the beginning.
Just because one single section, of one single magazine didn’t print her column on her first try did not define her ability as a writer. We discussed all of the different reasons why this may be. Maybe her column was about something that they didn’t necessarily fit the topic of the month for that magazine; maybe they already had a column that touched on similar things, and felt it nonsensical to distribute both; maybe her style of writing just didn’t match theirs; maybe since they didn’t know her name, they didn’t feel as if she was “big” enough yet to contribute to their magazine; and the list goes on. Whatever the reason was, although it hurt, she felt better knowing that it didn’t just point blank mean that her work was no good.
After having this conversation she decided that she would start a little lower on the totem pole (so to speak). She also decided that she would write more columns within a broader range of topics that she was passionate about, instead of just one.
Just as it was true for Banu in her blog, and my friend with her experience, rejection is not necessarily a reflection of something that you did wrong– but, it can always be taken as a learning experience. To expect to never fail or be rejected is to expect perfection of yourself, and inadvertently of others, and that IS something that truly is unachievable. Rejection isn’t a death sentence, but rather an invitation to try new things in life; or to try the same things differently.
Here are three major lessons that Banu mentioned taking away from her personal experience with rejection:
1. Everyone experiences rejection.
Even the hottest, most intelligent, most successful people on the planet get cheated on or broken up with. If you think that your size 10 body, your negative bank balance, or your dead end job are the reasons why you might be rejected, think again.
If physical perfection or success could guarantee that we never get broken up with or experience heartache, no fashion model or mogul would know what rejection feels like. That’s not the case, is it? It’s a common human experience, and though it can be painful, what hurts more is the belief that rejection says something about our worth.
2. Trying to be something we’re not just to please someone else is essentially rejecting ourselves.
Because then we don’t get to discover who we are and be that person. We get stuck in the role we know they want us to be. We cheat ourselves of an authentic existence.
What people like or need is strictly personal to them and dependent on where they are in their lives. If someone rejects you because they want something else, that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It just means they’re not the right match for you.
3. Once you experience rejection and work through it, the fear loses its sting.
If someone chooses to not be with you anymore, and you use the experience as an opportunity not to reject yourself, you are getting to a place where you will know that you will be okay no matter what.
You get to a place where you think, “Too bad it didn’t work out. I can see what I need to heal and change more clearly now. It hurts, but I am okay.” You can only go up from there. Unfortunately, we can’t get there without going through it.
“The best way out is always through.” ~Robert Frost
Rejection is a part of life. If you have experienced it, consider yourself lucky. You now know that you can survive it. If you have not, believe me when I say this: You will be okay. And perhaps, as it did for me, rejection can lead you to a deeper sense of self-love and self-acceptance.
Like what you’ve read so far? Check out Banu Sekendur’s full article on TinyBuddha.com
Are you struggling with accepting rejection, seeing the whole picture or would like some guidance with self-love, or are you just interested in talking to someone about things going on in your life because you simply feel that you do not as you should? Sometimes having a partner in your journey can help. Give us a call to set up a free phone consultation at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378, and one of our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Life Coaches, Orlando Teen Counselors, and Orlando Child counselors would be more than happy to help you, a family member, or a friend work on changing your life.