It’s not as though rejection is ever an experience you want, yet it will almost be certainly one that every one will have gone through in their life. I think Rudyard Kipling put it very well, it’s the Bear Necessity of life that If you treat triumph and disaster the same then yours is the Earth my son.
Nobody likes to be told that they are not good enough, we don’t go out intentionally to do a bad job or interview so when you get told that you best wasn’t good enough then you start to doubt yourself. You don’t consider that you may have been in the 100 metre sprint with Usain Bolt it’s the natural reaction to try to analyse what you did wrong.
I’ve had my own rejection that was pretty hard. It came at a pretty low point of life when my manager pulled me into his office and told me I wasn’t very good at my job. The doubt crept in, it festered in my mind and made me second guess everything. At one point I quite clearly told a director that I just couldn’t be certain of any work I produce being correct or meaningful.
The rejection gripped me in a vice like hold, I was being strangled by it. Nothing I could think of could get me to change my mind that I was useless.
Then I thought, I’m not rubbish. I’m actually very good at what I do. I’d built for my manager the equivalent of a five thousand pound system in Excel. I’d built a segmentation model analysing thousands of customers. I wasn’t useless at all. I just needed someone to remind me of the good I could do.
I decided to show them, I’d been given four weeks to shape up and I worked my hardest to change back into the excellent employee I was before. I became the old person I used to be even while struggling with my own demons. How could they reject me? I had done everything they asked of me.
What I hadn’t counted on was that when someone decides to throw you on the Raggy Doll pile there is very little you can do to change their mind.
I was put at notice of redundancy, the cowardly way to fire some one, and give a week. For a week I had to sit to wait for them to tell me I was no longer needed, actually that’s not the case. I was told that although my job was still needed I was in direct competition with someone who couldn’t do my job.
The inevitable rejection came, at 4.30 on a Friday, this time I was prepared for it. I welcomed it because I knew that I was good for me. If I wasn’t wanted by them then I did want them either.
I feel this is the best way to deal with rejection. If you feel angered by it you take that rage and use it. You take it and transfer the energy into moving on rather than festering. I no longer hold a grudge against the company that treated me so poorly. I wanted to tell them how wrong they were, to take legal action against them, to hope the business failed or some other calamity.
In the end I realised the only failure would have been my own inability to get on with life. We all have setbacks and there is nothing wrong with feeling sad and angry at the beginning. Then move on, those who rejected you already have so don’t let it hold you back.