Rejection is a phenomena ( I use the plural form because of its multiple and continuous occurring nature) that happens to everyone as long as life runs through you. Funny enough, it is also one of the most rejected, pun intended, things in the world. And we all react in different ways, the range is from…permit me to describe it conversationally.
Visceral self to Rejected self: “How dare this rejection thing happen to me, I am the most undeserving of it. Everyone knows my kind must never be rejected. I mean what exactly do I lack not to qualify ”
In- Denial self to Rejected self: “I don’t think this has really happened. Probably just a bad dream that I would wake up from sometime never; either ways, this thing must remain in the dream or subconscious realm, never to be dealt with”.
The first extreme in my opinion is a crowded group mostly filled with men who got rejected after confidently walking up to a woman they felt would be easy to get. While the second group is cramped with women dilly dallying in a relationship that they were aware ended a long time ago because they were no longer wanted. These are women that hang on tight and refuse to give in to the demise of a relationship.
There are other people facing different kinds of rejection in both groups which are not relationship based but like I said, in my opinion, these are the people that I believe populate both extremes.
The middle ground, Acceptance, is the most beautiful spot to be in any case of rejection.
Accepting self says to Rejected self: “We have been rejected, let’s acknowledge that. This hurts to the high heavens because it was not the expected outcome but we’ll take a minute or two to let this pain rightfully pass before examining this thing that has happened.”
And it is at this point, after the pain has passed and associated emotions have subsided to reasonable proportions; then and only then can a person begin to reap the rewards from the rejection.
The main reward of rejection is actually opportunity. But with opportunity comes a myriad of associated rewards.
So therefore, rejection leads to:
- An opportunity for examination: Unless you are the kind of person adverse to thinking, one of the first things that should happen to you after being rejected is to examine the situation. In the zone of acceptance, when starting this process, you automatically get an open invitation to be strictly honest with yourself. Take that invitation; it is best thing you can do on this journey. Honesty helps to be rational and immediately kicks out the victim mentality which loves to creep up in these kind of moments, mainly to stop or stall progress.
The main thing however, is to keep it simple by examining one thing and one thing only; the feedback. Did you get any, or was it just an invisible cold steel door slammed in your face. If it was the latter, take a moment to acknowledge that all shut doors are not meant for you at that time. But, open yourself to the possibility of those type of doors might open at a different time; and then move on.
If you got feedback about the rejection and you do not quite agree with it, then move on to the next step.
2. An opportunity to explore: Make a list of the reasons you do not agree with the feedback and then find ways to explore if you might be right. For example, if it is a rejection for a story that didn’t make the cut in a competition, but you think it is an amazing story, send it to other qualified people and see what the response will be.
After you do this, it is either going to be evident the story is great or you find great tips and ways to make it better. One way or another, it is a win for you.
Exploring your feedback means you do not stew in it and go crazy imagining things that were or weren’t said and what those things might or might not mean. To explore your feedback is a constructive way to move forward and make new discoveries along the way that will be very helpful.
3. An opportunity to change and improve: This is also linked to receiving feedback but does not necessarily depend on it. Rejection can help you change and improve your way of doing things because it did not yield expected results.
There is not much to say about this except quote Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
And I will just add that there are people that have lost their minds due to continuous rejection. Do not be one of them, be willing to change and improve.
This is probably the most important opportunity in my opinion.
4. The opportunity of building an incredible support system: In the zone of acceptance, there is no shame but a beautiful vulnerability which makes you open to sharing the experience of rejection. And if you have already accepted honesty’s invitation; what you end up doing when sharing is encouraging others to be open about their own experiences. Suddenly you are gaining new perspectives, followed by support and encouragement because remember there are no victims in the zone of acceptance.
So let us try this…
What reward(s) have you reaped from rejection? Let’s know so we can learn and be encouraged.