Rejection, A Setback Or A Favour?

Rejection is surely hard to take. It sucks and it hurts big time!

We all face rejection at different stages of life. No one is immune to it. As much as we don’t want to accept it or deal with it, rejection is a fact of life. There’s no shortage of it. It’s here to stay and won’t go away anytime soon.

The ability to handle rejection is an essential part of building life skills. The earlier we learn, the better we’re equipped. In my case, if the school curriculum had included rejection back when I was a student, I would’ve been in a better position to cope with rejection and saved myself many years of unnecessary headaches and heartaches. But wait! As young, rebellious Ted, I doubt I would’ve had the same capability, maturity and wisdom to take it all in, like I do now. Well into my adult years, I learned it the hard way. I have no regrets. That’s life’s way of teaching me a lesson and how I got my fair share of tough love. In a post-mortem, it’s about reflection and improvement going forward, there’s no point of beating myself up or sabotaging myself. The truth is I simply didn’t know any better at that time for whatever reason. It’s OK… Let me repeat, it’s OK…

How do you describe your experience of rejection? For me, rejection is very much in your face. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth for a long time, no question about it. But, behind its ugly veil, can it possibly hide a true beauty we’re yet to see? Like any other important lessons in life, it’s only in hindsight we’re able to grasp the idea fully and realise oh things aren’t always what they seem. Rejection may have a negative connotation attached to it, but if we give it some time and some space, it’ll give back us that aha moment of wow! It’s really a blessing in disguise.

My growing pain… I used to be that person who thought rejection was more a setback, a personal failure. Now older and wiser, I’ve started to see rejection in a completely different light. Believe or not, getting rejection can mean a whole new world out there waiting for you. Think about it, it may not be your loss after all.

In love, getting rejected is common. How many times have you been rejected by people you thought could be your potential partners?

In career, getting rejected is common. How many times have you been rejected by companies you thought could be your potential employers?

Just when you thought you were the best suited man or woman, then, things start to turn ugly. They break the news: Sorry you’re just not my type. It’s me, not you. Sorry, you’re not a right fit for our company. Sounds too familiar?

Even rejection is done carefully with a hint of political correctness or diplomacy, it still sucks! It’s easy for others to say don’t take it too personally. How can you not to?! Well, unless you’re willing to look at it from another angle.

When you get rejected by someone, take a step back, look at a bigger picture, don’t rush to judge it too quickly. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Would I rather get rejected on the spot than spend months or years of my life on a strained relationship then get told sorry it’s not working out?
  • Would I rather get rejected straight away than go through a three to six month probation period in an ill-suited career path then get told sorry I’m not wanted anymore?

It’s a trial and error thing I get it but if an early sign suggests there’re no long-term prospects. Save your tears, save your time, there’s a lot of fish in the sea!

We don’t have to like rejection, we can even hate it if we wish. But we need to learn to live with it. If right now your life is in a better place, it’s because you’ve overcome a series of rejection and moved on to greener pastures. Rejection doesn’t keep you in a limbo. It’s not a bad thing.

Finally, remember rejection is a two-way street.

Someday somewhere, sooner or later it’ll be your turn to call the shots. By then, don’t be afraid that you’ll hurt their feelings or offend them in any way. Your conscience is clear. That’s enough. When you decide to close the door on them. Remember, you might be doing them a big favour…

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