Rejection SUCKS. Here we are going about our lives happy as a clam when all of a sudden rejection comes along to throw us off our game. AND IT SUCKS. I write this from a raw emotion of feeling recently rejected. Someone reached out to me asking me to participate in a summit that she was hosting on Millennials and their career, which is my area of expertise. The conversation ran smoothly and she continuously told me how much of a great fit I would be for the expert panel in the summit. We talked for close to a half hour and even finalized a date that we would connect again to do the formal interview. I was feeling great, so excited to connect and share my knowledge and expertise when all of a sudden she asked “By the way, I can only have you as an expert if you have 5000 subscribers”.
This last statement ended our conversation and sent me into a shame spiral. I immediately started with the inner critic statements “I’m not good enough” and “God, I’m failing at my business, maybe I’m in the wrong path”. It’s amazing how all it took was rejection to invoke a feeling of worthlessness. I was sad, disappointed and basically feeling every emotion that rejection elicits in us. IT SUCKED.
My initial response to rejection was to make a cocktail (or two) or eat an entire ice cream cake just to numb the pain. Instead of those options, I decided to give my best friend a call. Immediately she helped calm me down and settle into my emotions versus trying to numb the discomforting feeling of rejection away. One of the biggest takeaways from our conversation was a point that she had about judging our worth by someone else’s standards. She went as far as to bring up the minimum GPA requirements that a company uses to weed out applicants, which is a very common rejection point for many people who happened to not get the stellar GPA for a variety of reasons.
As I’m coming out on the other side of this rejection I realize this. We don’t have to feel rejected. We get to choose how we respond. We get to choose if the metric that by which we define our own value, and we don’t have to apply anothers metric to judge our own worthiness. Does not having 5000 subscribers take away my ability to connect and reach with people? Does it make me less of an expert? Does it mean I’m failing as a coach? NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT. However, if I apply the same metric they did then it would.
The point to this story is that we all face rejection. However, my question to you is how do you want to feel about the rejection? Are you letting someone or an external metric determine your self-worth and value? If the answer is YES to either of these questions then my challenge to you is to start writing your own personal guidebook and expectations to follow. Give yourself permission to be you and be imperfect (by someone else’s standards), and trusting that you’re exactly where you need to be. Rejection comes from so many places in our lives from relationships to not getting the job. Instead of letting that rejection limit or deter you from your passion and goals, step into it, get to know yourself and empower yourself to blaze your own trail by your terms.
Sending love to all of those that have felt those feelings of rejection. You will get through it and come out better on the other side.
Tips for handling rejection:
Don’t take rejection personally. There can be a multitude of reasons why we don’t get the job or get asked on a date. Let go of the self-judgement and trust that what’s meant for you won’t pass you by.
Create your own definition of success. Sometimes we can feel pain from being rejected by something we don’t even want. Be clear about what you want and let go of the rejection if it’s unrelated to something that you didn’t want in the first place.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Keep yourself open to multiple opportunities and experiences. It can reduce the sadness that comes from rejection and also help you see all of the other amazing experiences that are at your disposal!