Thursday, April 2, 2015

On Rejection

Rejection is a big part of being alive when you think about it. Looking for a job? You face rejection. Looking for a date? You face rejection. Looking to make it in some kind of creative career? Rejection is the norm, even for the successful.

Odds are you will be rejected in some way today. Maybe your boss will pass you over for a raise or even just a nice or appreciative comment. Maybe someone will ignore your needs in favor of their own. Maybe a lot of things will happen.

The funny thing about rejection is that no matter how you get rejected it always feels personal to the person being rejected, even if it is not for the person doing the rejecting. This is important to remember. Most rejections aren't personal. Most rejections say nothing about you as a person or as a whole, just about the correctness of that one small thing and only in relation to the specific thing you tried it for.

The girl, or guy, who wouldn't dance with you isn't saying you're ugly, or a bad person, or a complete failure at life. Their reason for rejection could be as simple as their legs are tired - or they can't dance - to as complicated as they're secretly a government agent waiting for a clandestine drop to happen. The thing is you don't know, and you can never know. All you know is that in that moment all your hopes and dreams, and all the courage you had to muster up to make the attempt, just got smashed.

Even expected rejection isn't easy to handle. You know it is likely to happen. You even tell yourself to do it because the worst that can happen is they say no and that means nothing changes. Then it happens, you get the no, and you just feel the core of your stomach drop to the floor.

It hurts. And if it hits you at the wrong time it can really drag you down. However, there is an upside.

How we react to rejection tells us who we are and what we want to be. Once you've recovered from the immediate wounding, do you want to jump back in? Does it galvanize your will to succeed? Or do you want to give up and stop? Neither is incorrect, but which you feel will tell you a lot about what you should or should not do.

Like it or not rejection is a part of life. You will be rejected countless times before this month is through. You will reject countless things before this week is through. Try to focus on what is actually being rejected and why. Try to see what it says about who you are right now, and where you should go to be who you want.

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