“Sorry, we’ve decided to go in a different direction.”
“I think we’d be better off as friends.”
“You are not quite right for this position.”
“No. Just no.”
In the moment, rejection sucks.
It causes you to question everything. Your value. Your skills. Who you are. What you’ve done. Your dreams. Where you are going and how you are going to get there.
Our first instinct is to blame ourselves. I’m not enough. I could’ve handled this better. I didn’t prepare. What more could I have done? I’m never going to get an opportunity like this again.
It can be devastating.
It’s also false.
I’ve come to look at rejection as a process. A year ago, I applied to be a speaker at a Teacher Self-Care Conference. Makes sense. I’m a teacher. I write, pretty much daily, about self-care. I even put together a self-care course that I was going to direct toward teachers.
I sat by the computer and waited for the effusive invitation to come and speak at this conference.
It never came.
I was really bummed out. I began to doubt what I was doing and whether or not I should continue on the path I was on. I felt a little pissed because, honestly, I’m a pretty decent speaker. What was it about me that they rejected? Was it That they didn’t think was good enough for their conference?
Honestly, I’ll never know. That’s a fact. And, honestly, it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t about me. The organizers of the conference don’t even know me.
I thought long and hard about it and realized that this was an opportunity to revisit Happy Fix and what I wanted to do with it. I still love teachers and want to be involved in promoting self-care. But I also love military families, nurses and caregivers. I love moms and dads who also put everyone before themselves.
The rejection helped me to realize that there are things I can do to help people, all kinds of people who may need a little morning inspiration.
The rejection was a redirection.
I’m a firm believer that every “No” brings you closer to a “Yes.” The key is to not stop just because of the “No.” Know who you are and keep moving forward in what you want to do. If you get rejected, it’s more about the fact that the opportunity would not have served you in the long run.
Give yourself the grace and space to look at all of the other opportunities out there and know that you are deserving of only the best. Pursue that.
And I would love to hear your stories of rejection that turned into redirection. Share them. In doing so, you will inspire and support others. You know, give them a Happy Fix!