By Indre Bagdonaite
It's no secret that us humans are not the biggest fans of rejection. But a hard truth to learn is that rejection is inevitable. And the earlier we try to understand this, the easier life becomes. It's important for us to learn how to accept rejection, learn from it and grow in preparation for that upcoming ‘YES’. Working hard and waiting patiently for our moment is key, even if it takes a long time. As when it does come, we can know it was well deserved and that we are better people for the journey we have been on.
The system of rejection is an interesting one… Every ‘NO’ makes your attitude stronger - albeit it after feeling a little deflated initially. Through accepting and overcoming rejection and negativity, you grow and learn. Without this, we may find ourselves drowning in these negative comments and letting it define who we are. But if you look at negativity and rejections as a way to suggest that you are becoming more resilient and getting closer to a ‘YES’ and success, it will be easier to accept it.
An example of this? At the start of Jay Z’s music career, he sold CD’s out of his car and Pharrell’s first album didn’t have much success; in fact it took him 8 years to make a second album. Despite 'failures' or having to start small, their rejections and negativity inspired them to get back up and try again, after some time to process and heal. It built their confidence, perseverance, determination and 'can do' attitude.
So, the next time you apply for a job position and get rejected, or the next time you apply to a university and don’t get an offer, think if maybe there is a different purpose for you in store? Maybe instead of the University of Birmingham, you are meant to be in the London School of Economics and Political Science. Maybe instead of a social worker’s position, your purpose is to provide early intervention services for the youth. Your purpose may be different to what you have planned for yourself. The reality is that often, the path we plan for ourselves is not the one that we end up taking in the long run.
A wise individual once told me: ‘Don’t look for a purpose in this life, it will only distract you from your real purpose and make your life much harder’. I remember thinking how silly that was. How can you not think about your purpose? How are you meant to plan your life? How will you be happy if you have no purpose? But sometimes we overcomplicate things for ourselves and come up with the most difficult tasks. By looking for a purpose we actually prevent ourself from finding our purpose. Yes, we can have an idea on the type of future we want and all the aspects shaping that; employment, relationships, hobbies etc. However, you cannot let it consume you. Let it come to you freely, without any force. This will enable you to deal with rejection and negativity in a manner that protects your attitude.
And like most things in life, it’s a process and a journey. You can’t learn how to maintain a positive attitude and confidence overnight; but you can do it step-by-step. Take it easy, be kind to yourself. Everyone’s story is different. Everyone is unique. Someone else’s attitude towards you or their beliefs about you do not define you. You will manage to find your purpose, but let it come to you in its own time.