Right from being rejected by cab drivers 20 times a row to drive me to my destination to being rejected in the most coveted job interviews and having my affection smashed into a million pieces by the ones I love and adore – you name it, and I have been through it all. Rejection sucks. Point blank. Real bad. It makes us feel unworthy by the object of our extreme desire and when that happens, trust me – it feels terrible and depressing. When we hear cliches like “You’re such a good friend to me, but I’m seeing some one else” or “They wanted someone more experienced for the job” or “Well, that’s a fantastic idea, but…”; all the hopes you held from the future of your dreams, instantly crash down like the stock market crashing after the dot com bubble.
From our early childhood, we are instilled with the notion that rejections are bad – because it must be “our” fault – hence we got rejected. When we’re 3 and the play mates we wish to play with, do not welcome us, we are taught to be nice to them – because it must’ve been our fault somewhere that they didn’t want to get along with us.
Instead, a lot of times it is about the ‘right fit’. We may be the best or perfect in our own ways, but not in theirs. Every person comes with a mental map and they accept or reject – people, things and ideas into their lives if it is a fit with their mental map of requirements. If this weren’t true, why would so many great entrepreneurs have been rejected from their dream jobs and later went on to establish billion dollar enterprises if their rejection was due to something ‘wrong’ or ‘lacking’ with them ? May be they didn’t seem to be the right fit by the recruiter or the interviewers they interviewed with !
So, the first and foremost thing to remember when rejected is that it may not always be about YOU ! We can’t control the way people are wired to think and their mental checklist 🙂 You may be a great individual – athletic, smart and ambitious, but what if their mental check list includes an inclination for “a blue eyed”, “tall”, “family oriented” and “at least 2 years older than me” criteria in their dating check-list ? You can’t help it, right ?
One of the habits I’ve cultivated of late is listening to a Ted talk during lunch time. I heard this Ted talk on Rejection by Jia Jiang a few months back and I was amazed. He talks about Rejection therapy & 100 days of Rejection experiment. If you aren’t getting rejected enough and often enough – it MEANS that YOU ARE LAZING AROUND IN YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Instead of trying to avoid rejection, we ought to seek it – OFTEN. Fearlessly.
When we trying moving beyond our comfort zone and take bold moves, life thrives. I know rejections hurt a lot, but regrets last longer and hurt till the very last breath. At least a rejection is something we can get over with the passage of time !
Well, if I may confess; I’ve always found it better to confess my feelings and get rejected by the boy, who in my day dreams plays as my future husband and apply for that dream B-School, although I can clearly see my chances very slim and get a mail saying “Your application has been carefully reviewed and whilst your background is impressive they have decided to pursue other candidates at this time…” than living with the constant question of “What if” and the possibility of “May be” – What if I had the courage to act – May be, life would’ve been different.
On a spiritual note, more often than not, rejections lead us to our destiny. They lead us to bigger and better things in life. Rejections are “God’s will and wish” to our path in life chosen by God. When I was badly heart broken, my friend sent me a song coincidentally “He never sleeps” by Don Moen and somehow, I felt it was God’s way of reminding me to trust in his will and that he has better paths chosen for me. As Steve Jobs has rightly said:
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
~ Steve Jobs
The above mentioned perks of rejection, are matters of heart. Some people might argue – in Hindi – ‘मन मनाने की बातें ‘ or translating t English “Consolations for the heart – Grapes are sour type consolations”
Now, let me tell you a secret. I have experienced all types of rejections in life – from the ones I can get over with an embarrassing laugh with a friend to the ones that have left me lay curled up crying myself to sleep for a time so long that I’ve lost track of it. Every rejection has been and I trust that it will be a blessing in disguise to me. With each rejection, I’ve been a stronger and smarter and a better person than I was yesterday. After every rejection, I’ve learnt to go back on working upon improving myself and become the person who I would be proud of.
The pain of being rejected has allowed me to concentrate and channel my energies into my betterment. I started my blog on a lonely Christmas eve, and so far, it has been one of the best decisions of my life. I found a creative outlet for my energies and emotions. I studied harder in University and graduated being in the top 5% of the graduating batch. I found hobbies that I was passionate about into which I could engross my self to such an extent that I barely had time to feel sad. I learnt to better take care of myself and nourish my soul.
Rejections have liberated me of the fear of failure and made me fearless to
follow chase my dreams and speak my heart. What is the max that can happen ? I ask to myself. At the max, they will say no, right ? At least I don’t live with regret or a ‘what if’ 🙂
With matters of the heart such as unrequited love, I have come to believe that it is truly THEIR LOSS, NOT MINE. They lost someone who loved them truly and who would’ve moved mountains for them. Clearly their loss.
You deserve so much better – someone who gives you their heart and soul and who sees you as special – NOT SOMEONE WHO LOOKS AT YOU AS ORDINARY or ONE AMONGST THEIR MANY OPTIONS
Being rejected and heart broken has shown me who are the ones who truly care about me and would not leave my side even in the face of adversity. It has reignited that flame within me to be someone I would be proud of. It has made me trust God’s will that he has better things planned in life for me and that I ought to trust his ways. It has made me stronger. I’ve learnt to accept that it’s not always about us, sometimes it’s about them. It has taught me to forgive myself for being rejected and to forgive them for rejecting me. I’ve learnt kindness to both self and others by practice.
A big thanks to every person who has rejected me in life in some way -little or big, you have inspired me, to be the person I am today.