by LaPora Lindsey
I am composing this article from the mindset of someone who has had several forms of rejection in less than three days. Fortunately, I’ve been down this road before.
Even with the preparation to do things right, the ever so clever rejection pinpoints me and implements itself. But as I have said, this isn’t the first time I have faced rejection, and it won’t be last. And while I don’t sign up for scavenger hunts to discover all of the ways that I can be dismissed or overlooked, I do welcome the experience. I have followed the strategic advice of experts through books, training, and mentorship, yet I have still met the “no’s.” Does that mean the strategy wasn’t worth it? No. Does that mean I missed a step in following their advice? No to that too.
Sometimes, you can listen to some great advice and then follow all the steps to accomplish a goal, only to fall short. You follow the guidance as you apply for that dream job. You do the research it takes to make that sale. You make proper plans to buy that house. You practice and build up your confidence to get that date. And yet, through it all, you may still find yourself facing rejection in all of its blaze, but it doesn’t have to be negative. Don’t attempt to avoid it, but rather embrace it because it builds your story and adds force to the impact you can make.
So, allow me the honor to share with you why rejection is such a powerful benefit.
Rejection is the essence of trying.
It is a sign that you are making strides to achieve something motivating. Anything that you try will result in acceptance or rejection. A job, a promotion, a relationship, a college application, a loan. You can call success versus failure what you like, denied versus approved. Not getting the job, the chance, the house is not rejection unless you tried for it. If you don’t try for something, guess what? You 100% will not get rejected.
I have received things that I did not aim to get. What I received came by chance. There was no effort on my part, so not getting those awards would not have been a rejection because I didn’t try for it. However, there were also times when I tried to get something. Times when I asked for opportunities, and I was answered, “No.” There are multiple areas in your life for you to try; if you do, you may face some form of denial, but you tried. Rejection is proof of that.
Rejection can help us grow our patience.
I used to joke, “I will never pray for patience. I pray only for wisdom so that I know when to avoid situations that require patience.” The joke is on me now because I have faced many denials that required patience to overcome. But, it was only when I opened my mind to consider those rejections as a life lesson that every instance inherently taught me patience. Think of it this way, if you have goals set, you try to reach those goals. But what if you don’t attain your goals the first time? Or the second time? Perhaps a detour — finding another way to approach it. Either way, you will need to recollect and try again, and that takes time, which can delay or extend the process. It takes patience to discover an effective way to make things work. But, if you are motivated and keep trying, things will eventually work out.
My experience has been to aim for self-improvement. I believed that doing so would result in immediate completion of the task or acceptance — but instead, I got rejection. When I tried to work out, my body didn’t take too kindly to the idea. When I initially tried to eat healthily, my stomach overruled it! However, after grieving the refusals and the inability to make an immediate drastic change, I learned to have patience and then attempted to move forward (again). You can’t rush the process; not having things go our way is the perfect time to learn patience.
Rejection, if you let it, can provide wisdom.
In many circumstances’ after trying, rejection has been my welcoming committee — but it has also introduced me to wisdom. Through denial of my attempts, I have learned how to step back and reevaluate how I approach every situation to look for a different approach. Rejection changes the process and slows it down, but if you’re driven, you will continue to try, and eventually, you will discover other ways to approach it.
Once upon a time, I wanted a job, very bad. I volunteered my time at the company. I knew the staff. They knew me. I was not afraid to share my accolades so that they knew how accomplished I was and ready to take on the job. When the job opportunity came around, they prohibited me from applying. It stung for months. I was angry and bitter. I quit volunteering for them. But eventually, I took that rejection and was motivated to find a solution. I could not change my negative experience. The job was gone. But, I could and did educate myself on the overall process. I studied the process inside and out. I learned every referring instruction. I became a Certified Professional Resume Writer. I gained wisdom. And then, I shared that knowledge with others. And this all came from learning from the no.
I don’t seek dismissal, but if it happens, I embrace it and accept it because it can benefit me, and it can benefit you! Acceptance doesn’t mean that you give up, and it doesn’t mean you don’t try. It’s the opposite. Acceptance allows you to grow as you make an attempt, after attempt. But the growth can only occur if you are willing to learn from it.
The next time someone turns you down or turns you away, I hope you remember that sometimes denial is for our benefit, so use it to build you up, one rejection at a time.