Well, it is hard I can vouch for that. The reason for that perhaps is we tend to associate self-worth with it. The line of thoughts apparently goes something like this - What did I lack? --> Should I have said or done something differently? --> What did I do wrong? --> I wish there was another chance!
Okay, sit down and realize that there is going to be another chance, just not with the same entity. In fact, there is not only "one" other chance; there is going be a lot more, endless opportunities that will come your way; and I can assure you that they only get better!
Right then, I am a writer, and people tell me I am a good storyteller and narrator, so let me indulge you in one.
I was 21 and right out of college. The first job, I felt empowered and financially independent although the package was not that great. Six months in and there was a small recognition program where each employee nominated someone for being a fantastic team player. Naturally, the most deserving people, we figured, through grapevine communication channels and informal talks over a fag were the ones who had spent decades in the firm and contributed to the growth and took up various projects.
The Reward for the winner was a one-night stay at Leela Palace; a kick-ass, Lord knows how many stars hotel in the city!
The result of the nomination came via email, and the winner happened to be 'Nidhin.' I had been there only six months, so I figured there was another Nidhin I did not know. Then, people started coming over to my desk and extending their hands. Well, you can imagine my utter bewilderment at the turn of events. All I could manage was some incoherent mumblings, a pathetic excuse for a 'Thank you so much, I am Delighted!!"
I wanted to travel the world and visit exotic places, but that could wait. For now, Leela Palace would do. My petty mind had started plotting all the pics I would click and the status update that would go on Facebook. Oh! Moreover, the best part was - it was Winner +1, meaning I could take whomever I wanted to the palace! Pity I did not have a girlfriend. Nonetheless, I phoned my bud and asked him how he fancied a night a Leela.
The thing is, I never got that one night at Leela-unreachable-palace. I followed up once, but with no response, I chose to abandon the topic for not wanting to lose self-respect. Walking into the office every day after that was bad enough, imagine having to explain to everyone you told about this small victory the reason why it never happened. Although, it would have been easier, had I known the reason in the first place. However, I was left with nothing, no voucher, no reason as to why it was denied, in fact, no mention of it ever.
The second Job, I knew what mistakes to avoid and what mistakes to make. Every day is new learning, and you can never learn enough. There was no lack of recognition this time, and I enjoyed every moment I worked there.
This time, however, it had to do with a role change. I was passionate about writing, and so, when a role for a content writer opened up, I applied internally. I realized that I lacked the experience, but made it clear that I had the passion and the drive. Knowledge can always be gained, passion and drive, now that needs to be born. I applied, cleared a couple of rounds and then came an interview with the hiring manager who was offshore.
I was rejected. Reason - I did not have the required experience and was too young for the role.
When it comes to rejection in your relationships, it can be a lot tougher to define or analyze. However, in essence, much of the parameters remain the same.
I was once rejected over a phone call because the person on the other end felt there was no chemistry (and this was before we even met). Good heavens! Fairly tales and movies have ruined it for the faint of heart. Chemistry does not come in-built and definitely can't be evaluated over a phone call; chemistry is created, and that is a fact.
Everyone has a tale of his or her own, and unlike professional rejections, this can be tougher to deal with and understand. Perhaps, but it is not rocket science and it not necessary that you should understand why it happened the way it happened.
First off, sometimes we need to accept that "it is, what it is". Rejections are part of life, we just can't get accepted everywhere. You are not everyone's cup of tea, the very fact you had been rejected hold testament to the truth that you are 'unique'. If you were accepted everywhere and by everyone, it would mean that you can fit in anywhere and therefore there is nothing unique about you.
"You are an individual with character and persona, not a sponge! "
The Leela palace deal was unpleasant. However, I did not let that define me. I continued being a team-player and continued doing justice to my abilities that got me there in the first place. What did I gain out of it? If you are asking material benefits, then 'nothing.' But hey, life is not only about gains is it?
It was not in vain I can assure you that. When I left the place, I had the respect and admiration of many people I valued and respected. The farewell gifts and letters I got spoke more and meant more than what a fleeting night at a 5-star hotel could have provided.
The Job application that got rejected turned out to be a stepping stone. I got an offer to be a FinTech journalist with a startup company. New learning, growth far greater than I could have imagined. That resignation from my comfort zone to unchartered territories is perhaps the best decision I made so far. FinTech in India is still a nascent concept and I was writing on it.
Turns out what I wrote was being noticed and I have got multiple invitations to speak at various events on FinTech and the impact it is having on the Indian economy. I often wonder what would have happened had I got that role and stayed back? It is pretty self-explanatory - I would have stuck to my comfort zone and missed out on all the growth.
The personal rejection that came after a phone call was silly by all means. But when I think about it, I was saved the trouble of ever having to interact with such a shallow mind right? It might have turned out that in a couple of months I would have felt suffocated with that person and asked for an out myself. Possible? I am just saying.
Personal rejections are hard because the person doing the rejection feels they have nothing to lose and you feel like you have lost the only chance you had. But that is not true - The equation works both ways. If they have nothing to lose, then neither do you. If the person who rejected you did so because they felt there was someone better, then that holds true for you too! Sometimes, you need to remove people from your life so you can make room for more deserving ones - #AbsoluteTruth
If someone missed out on an opportunity to appreciate you, recognize you, offer you something you deserve or failed to give you a chance, it is their loss! You know what you are worth and that will not change based on external perception or opinions, so rest easy champ!
So, where was I going with all of this? Ah, yes! Rejection - consider it your best buddy and stepping stone to greater, more lasting achievement or more deserving companionship worth keeping :)