“Rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success” – Bo Bennett
Rejection undeniably leaves us with a heavy heart especially if we have experienced it countless times. When our hopes get dashed after a proposal is turned down, ideas are disapproved, or love is unreciprocated, we often ask ourselves if we can ever be good enough or if we can ever amount to something. Sometimes, these thoughts become overpowering, leading us to retreat in self-defeat and fear rejection for the rest of our lives.
Although rejection elicits feelings of pain, fear, helplessness, or anxiety, we need to face it and acknowledge the pain it causes. This is supported by a 2015 joint study conducted by researchers of George Mason University and Northeastern University stating that we should embrace and feel the negative emotions instead of ignoring them. So, instead of putting up a strong front or shrugging off the pain, we allow ourselves to feel what we’re feeling until such time that we are ready to process rejection and take a healthy course of action in overcoming it.
I’ve been a successful digital marketer for more than 6 years now, but I’ve certainly not been immune from the pain of rejection. (To know more about my work, please visit my website, a digital marketing agency, or check out my Instagram.) From time to time, I still get overly critical of myself whenever my proposals or ideas at work are denied or disregarded. But I came to realize that rejection is an inevitable part of the process that I should embrace despite the discomfort it brings. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Rejection is a redirection
When we get rejected for something we have invested in emotionally, like a dream job, a long-awaited promotion, or a new love interest, we tend to think we are a failure in all aspects of our life. But come to think of it, hardly anything works out well the first or even the second time around, so why not try again?
Rejection redirects us to our true path. If our heart’s desire is meant for us, even the Universe will direct us into that path no matter how long it takes for us to reach it. All we need to do is to re-examine ourselves, see where we lack and start working on our self-improvement. What matters is that we tried again; otherwise, we might regret not having tried when we had the chance to do so.
If the path we want is not meant for us, then probably something else (or better) is in store. If we are receptive to the changes, we can learn to appreciate the good things that come after rejection.
2. Rejection is a blessing in disguise
Ever wondered how successful people dealt with rejection in their lives? They considered it a blessing, an opportunity, or a stepping stone towards success. For instance, Margaret Mitchell’s beloved novel “Gone with the Wind” was rejected 38 times by publishers before it was approved and later adapted into the 1939 film. Beethoven, who was declared “a hopeless case” by his music teacher, became one of the world’s most famous and influential composers. In his early career, Walt Disney’s failure to revive his Laugh-O-Gram Studio after 304 bankers refused to lend him money motivated him to launch his highly successful career in animation in Hollywood.
We can consider a hopeless situation, condition, or event as a blessing in disguise to lead us to the path that was truly meant for us. Rejection opens new doors of opportunity for us to celebrate, not to dread, which gives us more chances of becoming successful in life.
3. Rejection builds our resilience
The struggle, as the saying goes, can make us stronger. But before it does, it can first make us feel weak, helpless, and completely distraught. Emotionally strong people bounce back from rejection by letting out their emotions instead of bottling them up inside. Once they feel better after an intense emotional release, they begin processing and evaluating their pain points with more clarity.
We become resilient the moment we acknowledge our flaws and inadequacies and choose to deal with them with a firm resolve of becoming better, stronger, and wiser the next time we face new opportunities.
4. Rejection is essential for our self-growth
None of us grow without experiencing failures and rejection in life. Bear in mind that they are part of the process that can help build up our character and strength, rather than tear us down.
How we choose to respond to rejection could determine the entire course of our future. If we see it as an opportunity rather than a roadblock, we will see its real value in achieving our ultimate goal. Once we accept rejection gracefully, it becomes the key to our personal growth and success.