Rejection. As you take in this word on your screen, memories will doubtless rush through your mind. These recollections may be of trivial occurrences or of major life-changing concerns that have evoked feelings that shook you to your core.
Rejection is a phenomenon that we all encounter in diverse forms, shades and intensity levels and at different times. Some days you feel its full impact only comparable to a gun-shot or any other pain that’s bound to accelerate your death. On other days, you don’t even realize you are experiencing it. Any, which way it goes, each of us have come across a reasonable dose of rejection.
Most of us think it’s only when we get a big NO to our faces by someone we respect, or by an institution we aspire to, or suffer a public embarrassment that we are rejected. But do you recall the call-back you never received, the silence or hesitation from your friends and family, being passed over for that promotion after you’d worked yourself to the bone, not getting that loan you desperately needed? Those are subtle shades of rejection.
Many of us have been through the no-one-seeks-you-no-one-wants-you-no-one knows-you feeling at some point(s) in our lifetimes. It’s an ache the best of us know too well, no matter our station in life. Ask the biggest businessmen and politicians, the intensity of the put-downs, and hatred they feel from their various publics is almost proportional to their levels of influence. So, you see, you must have experienced more than your fair share of rebuffs whether you agree or not.
And if this issue is a common problem, shouldn’t we figure out a way to tackle it?
My submission is this, therefore. You can apply the rejections you have suffered in your life, as raw material, fodder for your personal growth, fulfillment and prosperity. Here are the ways to do this.
- Take the feedback. Nigeria’s Premier Life Coach once said to me, Failure is feedback. It means you need to change your approach when things don’t go right, in order to get the results you seek.It may not even be that you are doing something wrong, it could mean that you are doing the right things for the wrong person or in the wrong place. It also could be that what you are vying for the wrong role at work or you are investing in businesses for which you lack true passion, or that the guys you keep falling for, are taking you for granted. It could also mean, you are not ready. The situation needs to be ‘diagnosed’ rightly. Ask yourself the ‘’why’’ very carefully Think about rationally.
- Channel your frustrations: Sometimes, you feel extreme pain, loneliness, rage and possibly, a drive for revenge from getting nothing out of the people you have served for so long. Channel those emotions into what you actually have. If you look inward, you may find that you still have a job while others are looking, or that you still have a decent home while others are struggling, or that you still have some money, while others are searching. Identify what you have and put it to work. The best revenge is making something out of the nothing others gave you. History has proven that, with time, they will turn around and seek your favour. Results don’t lie. Take it all and use it for something good.
- Document the pain: Depression, frustration, anguish and all the mess that come from being rejected are great material for a life-changing book, whether fiction or true life accounts. Just ask Toke Makinwa! Harness the judgment, pain and regret, take those hurtful, imaginary conversations in your head and write some poetry, an article or accept speaking engagements as outlets to express and purge yourself while helping others. The greatest sorrows make for the most compelling (and hopefully inspiring) stories.
- Enjoy your freedom. Chances are, the people who do not want you are letting you off on some form of obligation or responsibility. Bank loans come with arduous periodical repayments, marriages come with expectations and responsibilities, that new role would take you out of town more often than desired and so on. Enjoy the fact that you’re exempted from the burdens that will, doubtless, come with that desired thing for now. If you’re down today, there’s nowhere to go but up, so enjoy today!
- Acquire your results and enjoy them. My guess is, if you put in the hard work, your results will show in time and the people that rejected you will see their error and return to you. Accepting them back is entirely up to you. Give yourself the permission to enjoy your results and count your blessings, they add up.
All that being said, I put it to you, that rejection is a friend that will coach you and take you on a journey towards your best self . Acknowledge it, understand and turn it around.