Part of the experience in a job search, building a business, sales, and applying to college is rejection. As much as we all wish that we would get a “Yes” with every request, it just doesn’t happen.
When you really wanted a job, a joint venture business deal, acceptance into a certain college, and you were declined, it can be tough to dust off your feet and keep moving.
What I have taught myself to do is, to re-frame the way I look at rejection. Rejection often feels very personal. Our hope and excitement was in this opportunity. The rejection on their end is standard business procedure. To us, it hurt. So this is what I do. I acknowledge that the rejection hurt. I did not like it. I’m disappointed. I don’t deny my feelings- but I do deny them having control over me. It’s one thing to acknowledge and feel what you are feeling for a moment. Another thing to give them control and ruin your day.
What I also do, is learn from the rejection. I don’t always look at the rejection as a permanent NO. In fact, I look at it as a teacher. I examine my approach, and try to go at it from a different angle. Just because what you originally tried didn’t work, doesn’t mean that trying a different way won’t either.
In addition to trying a different approach to pursue what your really want, I also keep going. I make sure not to put my hope in only one outcome. I try to have many opportunities to look forward to. You may have one job your heart is set on but don’t only apply to that one job. Make sure you are pursuing different options. Again, it just may not be the time, or, you have to learn what it takes to get the job.
You won’t get your way all of the time. You may not get what you worked really hard for and wanted really bad. In this case, if you see that you honestly gave it everything you had and did everything in your power to reach your goal, coming to terms that it did not happen will be easier. It’s so much easier to bury something you know you worked really hard for. You will walk away with no regrets and a great feeling of perseverance if you refuse to have a victim mentality.
When I was applying to colleges, there was one school that I really wanted to get accepted into. My two closest friends and a family member were going to this school. I got wait listed with my application and called the school to specifically ask them what I needed to do to be considered for definite acceptance. They were concerned about my math grade and wanted a slightly better ACT score.
I took the ACT three times, and got the same score every time. I worked with my math teach every week before class AND worked with TWO math tutors to get my math grade up. I COULD NOT understand the math. I could not get a grade higher than a C in math. The school wanted a B math grade. After months of very diligent work and study, I get a final rejection. It hurt, I grieved, then I moved on.
I was accepted into at least 5 good colleges. I celebrated that. I had choices and those schools were happy to have me. The university I attended wasn’t going define who I was or my level of success.