Wisdom Weekly: Rejection Sucks

Rejection is a part of life, we can't escape it.

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Everyone has experienced rejection, and we can all agree that it sucks. Rejection makes us feel inadequate or less than. Be it being rejected from a job opportunity, or boy or girl that you like, or an idea that you thought will skyrocket, and everyone just keeps saying no to it, can make you sink low.

In today’s article, I am going to share on how we can begin to view rejection as a blessing, rather than a disappointment. I remember graduating college, and applying for countless jobs, and endlessly getting those emails that read—“We are sorry, but we decided to move forward with a more qualified candidate.” I dreaded those emails; I had received so much, that when I applied for jobs, I expected to get rejected than accepted. There was one incident that hurt really bad; I had interviewed with this company, and it looked so promising.

The recruiter told me that they just needed the management to approve my employment, and that would be it. She asked that I give her two weeks to get everything in place. I was so excited! I had just graduated, and within weeks, I got the opportunity to interview with the profitable company. I emailed her, after the interview to say—thanks for the opportunity, (you know the email they always advice young job seekers to send, after a meeting or interview with a prospective employer). Anyway, at the two weeks mark, I blew up the recruiter’s phone.

I called her many times, sent her an email, and then got the dreaded response—we are sorry, we couldn’t get management to approve you; I wish you good luck in all your endeavors. My hopes and dreams of being a young engineer at that moment were shattered completely. I was heartbroken, I had dreamt of the smile I would finally put on my father’s face, the number of people I would tell that I had made it, the kind of apartment I would move in to, the countless trips I would take around the world and so on.

But that was the first of many, not just job-wise, but relationship-wise, idea-wise, friendship wise and so on. I tied my self-worth to all these things that I was devastated each time rejection occurred. Then I had to learn to love myself, I discovered that my self-esteem shouldn’t be tied to people or achievements, but should be found in God.

I believed in the gifts I had and thought that if companies or organizations didn’t want me, it might be because there is something better and bigger out there for me. I have come to a resolution that my life wouldn’t look like anyone else’s, and that is fine. The boy I seem to want at that moment, the job opportunity that looks so great right now, and the people I want to be friends with, may not be the best for me. Man’s rejection most times, is God’s protection.

The greats who have been rejected

J.K Rowling’s manuscript for Harry Potter was rejected from 12 publishing houses. Then a year later, one person said yes to her idea, and Harry Potter is to this date, one of the fastest selling books in history. And it has made the author, the first person to become a billionaire, off writing.

Lesson: You don’t need everyone to believe in you or your dream. All you need is one yes, and if no one gives you that yes, then create the yes for yourself, and the right opportunities will come.

Oprah Winfrey was told she wasn’t fit for T.V; but she went ahead to have one of the most successful television shows in history, that ran consecutively for 25 years. And she now has her television network. How’s that for being not fit for T.V.

Lesson: Don’t let a human tell you who you are. You have to know who you are, so no one would be able to redefine you.

If anyone has the right to talk about rejection, is the former CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma. He was rejected from Harvard ten times, and was also rejected from KFC—he shares this story in an interview. He revealed that there were 25 applicants for job opportunities within the fast-food chain; he was one of the 25, and the only one to be rejected.

He was dismissed from at least 30 different jobs opportunities before Harvard rejected him ten times. I don’t know about Jack Ma, I would have given up on life, If I was still in the same headspace, I was in the past. But he went ahead to create Alibaba, with his partners, and it is one of the most prominent E-commerce organizations in the world and can be likened to Amazon.

Lesson: When life throws you lemons, squeeze the life out of those suckers, and make you a sweet tall glass of Lemonade. Rejection is only a stepping stone, to the life you were created to live.

Joseph, who can be found in the book of Genesis in the bible, was ridiculed for his dreams. In fact, his family rejected and sold him into slavery. Because the kind of dreams he had, where unheard of at the time. Joseph sure had his own fair share of hardships and rejection, until he became second in command in all of Egypt. The most powerful nation in the known world at the time.

Lesson: People will reject what they don’t understand and what they haven’t seen before. Don’t sweat it, they are only limited by their imaginations.

All of this wisdom I shared with you today is just to encourage you, not to give up on life, when it gives up on you. Keep going, you have greatness on the inside of you. You can learn from every failure and rejection. For you to have real success, failure and rejection is an inevitable part of the process. Don’t sweat the small stuff, trust that everything is working for you and not against you, and believe in your dreams again.

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