By Ouk Suntharoth
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash
“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” –Bo Bennett
Being rejected hurts. And I’m sure everyone has gone through this experience at a certain stage in their lives. Whether it comes from family, friends, co-workers or even a workplace, being rejected hits us right in the heart – the emotion controller.
We may ask ourselves, am I really not qualified enough? At that moment, our self-confidence starts to be shattered by our own criticisms. However, if we analyze a bit, rejection has its way of redirecting us and ultimately making our lives better.
As someone who has been rejected before, I totally understand the frustration and depression that many people are facing. Getting a “NO” from other people was not a big deal when I was younger. However, when I grew up, getting rejected began to feel hurtful.
One of my most memorable rejection experiences was right after I graduated and received a bachelor degree in international relations. At that time, I felt so happy having completed the four years of study without failing any subjects. Most importantly, I thought that I was ready to face the real world and get a job. However, my expectation was too high and it hurt so badly when I failed to achieve this goal.
It started around September last year when I decided to apply for my first job. I passed the writing test, but got rejected after the interview session. And do you know what it felt like? Well, I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and worthless all at the same time. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. I later sent my job application to several places but all I got was rejection.
You may wonder, is it possible to get rejected repeatedly like that? Yes, it is. I am the living example. And I’m sure, I’m not the only one. Even though it was a depressing period, I was able to move on and not give up. Do you want to know how I did it? Here are the answers!
1. View rejection as redirection
Getting rejected by other people doesn’t mean you are a failure. Don’t ever take a rejection personal and don’t put the blame on yourself. Sometimes when someone rejects us, it has nothing to do with faults on our part; it simply means we weren’t a good fit for that job, person or opportunity. Instead of wasting your time regretting not getting what you want, why don’t you change that mindset and start focusing on your other potentials that you haven’t discovered yet?
Honestly, I used to view every rejection as a failure, but today I consider it to be a redirection and a life lesson. At first, being rejected by many employers made me feel like a loser who wasn’t capable of doing anything right! However, when I thought more deeply about it, I realized maybe it was a redirection for me; maybe my time to shine has not arrived yet; maybe I should be patient and go with the flow.
2. Surround yourself with supportive people
Another important thing to remember is to isolate yourself from toxic and judgmental people who can bring nothing but harm into your life, especially during the low moments after being rejected.
I am fortunate enough to have a very supportive family and friends who are always on my side and encourage me not to give up. They always comforted me after every rejection I got, put a smile on my face, and made me feel important. Without such people around me, I wouldn’t know what might have happened to me both mentally and physically.
As this quote on the Internet says, “Be surrounded by people who appreciate your goodness and help you work on your flaws, not by people who ignore your goodness and see only your faults.”
3. Don’t lose faith in yourself and don’t compare yourself with others
Comparing yourself with others is very unhealthy for your mentality. Remember that you and other people are living in different stages of life. Oftentimes when they are able to achieve a certain thing, it doesn’t mean that you will be able to do the same on the first try. It may take some time before you succeed, but it does not mean you are incapable; it simply means your moment has not arrived yet.
So take the time to polish yourself rather than compare yourself with others. Most importantly, do not ever lose faith in yourself because you are the master of your own life. If you don’t trust yourself and you give up, no one can help you get back the confidence you once had.
These three methods have helped me through the depressing period in my life. And as I look back, I am glad to be rejected by many people because without their rejection I would not become the person I am today; most importantly, I would not have gotten my dream job.
I hope you can learn something from my blog post this week. This topic is very personal to me and I rarely have shared it with others before. But now I realize it is better to share my experience in the hope that I can somehow help motivate people who are in the situation I was in. I hope you get my message and be motivated to pursue your dream regardless of any obstacles ahead. Do not give up!
Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.