by Sarah Webster
It’s almost a fact of life that at some point or another, you will face rejection. You apply to the graduate school of your dreams. You finally get the interview for that position you’ve always wanted. You ask the girl or guy you’ve been crushing on for weeks to get coffee with you.
The response? NO. We regret to inform you your application has been rejected. We’re sorry, but there are no openings at this time. Um, I think of you as more of a friend.
No matter what the situation, being rejected is hard. It makes you feel inadequate. It makes you feel small. It makes you kick yourself for even trying. What’s even harder is figuring out how to cope with that rejection. What do I do now?
The best immediate thing to do in the face of rejection is just to let yourself feel it. It’s okay to be disappointed and take minute to process. No one should you expect you to just let it roll off like it was nothing. It will sting–and if it doesn’t, then you probably didn’t care all that much about it to begin with.
Rejection is also the perfect opportunity to self-evaluate. That doesn’t mean to beat yourself up and tell yourself how unworthy you are. It just means being honest with yourself. What went wrong here? It may take rejection for you to realize that there are things you could improve–not only to help you reach your goals but also to make you a better student, employee or even a better person overall.
Okay so that’s easy enough. This next part…not as fun. In the face of rejection, it might be beneficial to have someone you trust give you feedback as well. They may be able to shed light on something that you are missing. As hard as it is to be self-aware and see where it you went wrong, it’s even harder to let someone else weigh in. I’ll emphasize again, this should be someone you trust–someone with your best interests at heart.
Another thing to consider is why you went for that position or school (or person). What was your motivation? Often times if we can’t answer this question, it becomes abundantly clear why things didn’t work out. Another tough question: was this goal realistic? Does it match up with the long-term goals you have for yourself? Make sure you’re shooting for things that align with your level of experience and abilities, but also things that are going to push and fulfill you.
Finally, you have everything you need at that point to turn rejection into redirection. Clever, right? This is your chance to make moves. Maybe there are things about yourself that could use improvement. Maybe you need to change up how you use your time. (Maybe its time to try dating nicer girls/guys haha). Make the changes, set your sights on new attainable goals and let your confidence bounce back.
“…turn rejection into redirection”
Take ownership of your rejection. Sure, they said no, but look at what it taught you. Look at the improvements you’ve made. Look at how much you’ve grown. Success is sure to follow. After all, the only person in charge of you achieving your dreams is you.