Rejection hurts (new Beyonce track)
Ahhh rejection, my old friend, it’s so nice you have come up again! If there’s one thing I love, it’s talking about all the times I’ve been quite plainly rejected.. No, not from relationships you sad guy! Although that could be an entirely different blog in itself.. Damnit, why do I set myself up like that?!
Rejection, to be rejected, you are a reject.. It doesn’t have many nice connotations does it..? If onomatopoeia related to feelings, the word ‘reject’ would definitely work. ‘Re’ = that pining feeling, when you are all loved up and ‘omigosh-reeee this is fun and I am full of hope and anything is possible’.. Then, the ‘je’ part whips your reality in to shape as it drops heavily on to your shoulders, your brain not yet caught up to the fact. And that’s where the ‘ct’ sound comes in, maliciously flicking you with decisive shame and embarrassment, the ‘t’ sound lingering as if lavishing in your hurt..
Ok, that got way too deep way too fast.. Do you think my feelings toward that word are normal? I’m not sure either.. I had better consult my nearest DSM-IV.
It’s a notion so familiar to me, that I might as well name my first child ‘rejection’. Cute… But seriously, after MTV came a whole string of opportunities, 95% of which I was rejected from. All of these opportunities I could see myself owning.. I could see myself being successful.. I was so sure each one was ‘it’, so sure that each one would define my future. Can anyone remember that What Now presenter role I went for, where the winner was supposedly based around a public vote? Well, that one didn’t come through either. I was completely rejected. And to make it even better, everybody knew about it.
But, there are ways to overcome rejection and to feel empowered by it. What is the secret you ask? Well, I can’t tell you what THE secret is (someone already owns the rights to that book), but I can tell you what I have come up with through my own experiences of rejection.
Now, what we first have to remember is that there’s no way around the fact that rejection hurts. It can be physically debilitating. When I’ve been rejected from opportunities, it has taken me weeks, months, even mojitos to get over it. In the past, I’ve adopted several alter-egos to try and offset my hurt – Lucy Lawless as Xena, Lucy Liu in Kill Bill, Beyonce as her dayum self..
But no matter how I try to cover it up, underneath it all I’m upset. I’m hurt. I’m guttered. And sometimes, the worst part is just having to tell the people I love, the people who have supported me all that way that I didn’t make the cut, because I know they’ll feel sadness at my expense.. And this can create feelings of guilt, embarrassment and dread on top of everything. It sure is a doozy.
But the only way to move forward as efficiently as possible so you can come out the other side as a better person? Face that emotional beast head on.
Feel your emotions clearly and fully, and honour that feeling of loss and disappointment. Allow yourself to think what-if? Ask yourself what that opportunity had that you so badly wanted? Articulate what it is you think you are missing out on. Acknowledge these feelings. Let your emotions breathe. When you suppress and pretend those feelings don’t exist they linger for longer than they should. So cry those tears, yell in to that pillow, eat that ice-cream and get through it. Because after that comes the fun stuff..
Every time we are rejected, we can create a learning experience. We can learn more about ourselves and how we tick.. We can develop resilience, and build self-esteem.. And best of all, we have the opportunity to glean information that will equip us with more wisdom for the next opportunity. So request some feedback, make enquiries as to where you can improve, ask in what areas you fell short, ponder what you can do differently next time.. And take on board this powerful insight to use again at your earliest convenience.
When you get rejected, see all the positives laid out before you; you have a fresh start. The page is still yours to fill in as you please. You have the freedom to try other things, to do what you need to do. There will be more opportunities to come. Start to talk to yourself in terms of a plan, in terms of that next step, in terms of fresh ideas and options. Get excited. You now have the time and space to think about your next move, to plan your next attack (here comes alter-ego Lucy Liu..). And, if you decide that in fact that opportunity was exactly what you want to be doing, lucky you – you can now focus fully in the areas you need to in order to prove yourself next time round.
Don’t let the fear of rejection cripple you. It is always going to be harder to live in regret than to never have tried. So be brave. Be bold. Because you never know what could happen.
And, if you’re still in doubt, remember that not everything you think you want in life actually deserves you. Empower yourself through all the set backs. They are never a waste of your time because one day, when you make it, you’ll understand why you had to go through all the tough stuff to get there. Team rejected, unite!