How Rejections Made Me A Better Person
No, I’m sorry, Try again the next time — what do all of these three terms have in common? Well simply put, they are rejections, and as much as I hate to admit this astounding fact — they are sexy.
Rejection — a feeling of helplessness, anger, and rage that kicks in when you become invalidated. When what you give with sheer admiration is accepted with only disdain. You lose control of yourself, as the thought of not being able to gain for what you asked for getting played over and over again in your brain.
Has it ever happened to you? Of course, it happens to everyone. But with the time you learn to manage your emotions. But some of us have never even tried, as they wait for that right moment which never comes. Time runs out perhaps for these people waiting for the right time to set — all their ducks in a row so they can take them by storm only to find that hunting season was ages ago.
Rejections are perhaps somewhat like failures but this phenomenon tends to enrage people much more than failures, I concur. The kinds of rejections I am talking about are but far and diverse as the feelings that are hurt are more of the same. There is perhaps a lot of prejudice that is put towards rejections and the feelings that are associated with one who experiences them.
It is just like any other experience, whether its joy or love. Why is that we do not see rejections in a newer light when they happen? Why do we give up after somebody rejects our proposal? Even though the other guy/gal might have said — try again next time. We stop trying and quit altogether.
I would love to share three excerpts that reason towards the argument of why you shouldn’t quit just yet when you have been rejected, or are bound to experience rejection in the future — practice these three things when you do.
Keep your confidence intact, it will help you become resilient.
By that I mean do not let the feelings of doubt, and loss cripples your composure. Most of the time, when we do get rejected we tend to lose ourselves in the aftermath. Feelings of fear, rage, and our damaged pride are mixed together to form a spell that is not favorable for us at all.
The first thing to always do is to practice joy in times of strife. If someone e.g. your interviewer tells you that you have been rejected. Instead, of showing a grim look — show a look of confidence by wearing a smile when they say so. You have to be civil in times such as these, as they test whether you can handle pressure or not.
What more pressure can it be, when you can’t simply handle a no from an employer! The best-case scenario in such cases is to thank your employer for their time and interest. Remember you’re not losing anything when you are rejected, but if you let anger get the best of you — you won’t be just losing your respect, but also your reliability to handle stress.
Thus practice gratitude in times of strife, and practice wearing a confident smile every day. This helps you keep a fresh perspective and outlook towards any bump that might arise in your daily life. Instead, of your self-loathing — you will practice saving your time, and focusing on what else can be done to improve your circumstances the next time.
Rejections create opportunities — If you are careful while receiving them.
6 years ago, I had participated in a startup competition. I managed to get past the preliminaries and made my way to the top round. Our number came up, and we entered the meeting room. As soon as we introduced ourselves, the key investor spoke up,
“Congratulations, you’re rejected.”
Now anyone in my place, after working so hard would probably lose his cool or worse be really demotivated as the feelings of doubt would start to cripple you on the spot. I managed to laugh as soon as I heard that sentence. I took a deep breath, though my teammates had already soiled themselves after hearing such a phrase.
The key investor said to us,
“Now what do you have to offer, that isn’t as mundane as the rest who were here before you.”
I kept my composure and said to the guy — “well we’re still here, though so it would be a waste if you don’t hear us out.”
He continued, to ask about the financial projections I had submitted in my business plan, about our product offerings, and the equity. As soon as I heard that, I explained briefly why I had added those numbers with data that I had previously collected through a slide that I played.
In that split second, I had turned his attention around — when I talked about the system that his team had previously deployed and the major flaw our system could improve. This smart and critical thinking helped me stand my ground and furthermore allow us to stay in the game.
Afterward, he had a short discussion with his peers and gave me an offering, that I initially refused — though everyone, even my mentor told me was a bad idea. He offered me pay, to market, test, and deploy their system but in doing so I had to leave all the hard work I had done behind. I asked whether I could be given some time to consider this offering.
Afterward, he did — invest in our startup but that was a gamble that I lost as well. I believe everyone has always pushed me on that rejection I did towards that offer. As an entrepreneur, I have mixed feelings about the rejection that I made.
One thing to note, it was not to one-up the investor — I could not forfeit all my work, for somebody else’s system. Though my teammates left shortly after this debacle, I still kept working until I was the only one there.
Their system fell shortly after deployment, and they lost all their money invested as no one could run it efficiently. Who lost? I intend to believe we both did. But I learned a lesson, and advised my peers if ever they are offered such a role — take it. It is better than nothing.
At the moment, I did what anyone would do. When you’re just starting out, you have to take risks. My peers still sometimes tell me what if? I had taken that offer.
But living in the past is never good for anyone. If you don’t fail, you won’t learn. I learned my lesson the hard way. But you don’t need to take that big of a risk if you ever come across such an offer take it — you don’t know if you can make an impact unless you try so and that is the opportunity you should strive to exploit at any chance possible.
Rejections build grit, which serves you well throughout your life.
One of the greatest gifts that rejections & failures have built in my life is perhaps the grit to see it all through to the end. When I joined my engineering college almost a decade ago — my goals were not defined. In short, I was drawing straws — I had already experienced a tragic teenagehood, full of hardships that finally ended when I finished high school.
All those hard moments, where I just wanted to live. My goal was to live every day and come back home to my peers. The war I waged, was my self and the people who aimed to disrupt my life. It was hard, but I have to admit — how grim it might have become, it was exciting as hell.
The goals I strived were always daily — I intended to make the most of my days. I tried to get back on books and started to focus on where I left off initially. I had a lot of track to cover, I had no guidance but of my own accord. You are your guide, and it is failure and rejections that help you get to your goals or moreover the finish line of that goal.
We all think that time should be preserved, but if I am honest if you truly want to make an impact in your life — make sure that you put all your time’s worth into what you are doing. It demands a lot of time, patience from you. The journey regardless of what you aim to embark on — only needs three key elements for you to survive i.e. the grit, mettle, and perspective to see it through.
Time is relative, you won’t know until you reach your goal. It’ll become ironic for you to laugh at yourself and perhaps what you’ve accomplished — it is significant, and you’ll be surprised at what you can do if you aim to invest it all.
Though there will be times, where you will find yourself lost, alone, aching to find peace within and outside. Grit is going to be that one charm, that is going to carry you through it all — regardless of what comes may.
In the end, rejections made me into the best version of myself. As long as I kept on pushing to receive them. They garnered opportunities for me when I used them to my advantage.
They built my character and gave me the joy to celebrate my hardships. It is the one thing that I truly am proud of and that’s my ability to accept my rejections.
You should aim for them, and learn from them. They are the one thing that will never lie, and that is the truth we’re all searching for. There will come a time when it will all make sense, and that road of rejections will take you there where it’s waiting for you — the peace, and warmth that you desire within yourself.
Peace, Thank you so much for reading.