What’s your relationship like with rejection?
Rejection is a feeling that carries heavier weight than a juiced up gym bro. It can present (or resurface) feelings of disappointment, frustration, and self-doubt. Rejection is like a slippery slope that makes it so easy to spiral into a space of questioning our own self-worth.
I roll my eyes when people respond to my L's with, “it’s a blessing in disguise”, or “their loss”, or “rejection is your protection”. These statements sound so corny to me, and are annoying when all you want to do is blame the world and feel sorry for yourself. The most important question is; once you climb out of your feelings, are you going to tuck your tail like a little bitch-baby* or are you going to keep it pushing? Because the fact of the matter is, rejection can change your motherfucking life.
Since I’ve been back in Toronto, I have pounded the pavement, reaching out to several businesses whose style and audience align with mine. None of these businesses do what I do and they are not my direct competition. With a collaboration, we’d simply complement one another and increase impact. But nOboDy WaNtS tO bE mY fRiEnD, lol. NOBODY! And for a minute, I was feeling really down about it, like “am I the problem?” I’ve done a ton of self work (which doesn’t absolve me of having blind spots, sure), but I’m checking in and listening to who/what/where reciprocates my energy.
Allow me to make this infinitely clear; God is not done working on me. Do I keep a hit list? Yes, I maintain a record of people and companies who have rejected/crossed me. Maybe this will change in the future, but for now, these rejections purely add fuel to my fire. I understand how petty this is, but I simply cannot resist. Please accept my flaws and all.
Okay, back to growth:
After questioning our abilities, our worth, and our dreams, let’s shift perspective. What else can rejection provide us with, other than a shattered ego and diminished sense of dignity?
Resilience and Determination
Rejection tests us, through and through. It pushes us to dig deep within ourselves to find the strength to carry on, even if we’re losing. Have you ever seen those boxing matches where the losing opponent stands their ground; stumbly, bloody and all?** There’s something about that imagery, and sense of pride in the face of getting your ass kicked that just sticks with me. When we show up for ourselves, refuse to be defined by others, and demonstrate a never-give-up attitude, we become more determined than ever.
Self-Reflection and Improvement
Being rejected forces us to reflect on our actions, our approach, our goals and our gifts. It urges us to evaluate what went wrong and think about how we can improve. When we take the time to analyze our rejections, we gain valuable insights into our strengths and weaknesses. We can then use this knowledge to refine skills, enhance strategies, and become better.
Stepping Outside Our Comfort Zone
Rejection often occurs when we step outside our comfort zone and pursue something unfamiliar or challenging. Embrace the discomfort and recognize it as an opportunity for growth. Be willing to take risks, try new things, and explore uncharted territories. Get comfortable with being told, “no” and keep going until you get that “yes”.
Building Authentic Connections
Be on the lookout for people who genuinely believe in/connect with us. This sifts out superficial relationships and helps us build authentic connections with like-minded individuals who have shared visions and values. Why not surround ourselves with a support system that uplifts us and propels us forward, huh?
Fueling Creativity, Innovation, and Inspiration
Rejection can be a powerful source. But where are you placing that power? Think outside the box, come up with new ideas, and find alternative solutions. Tony Robbins said something that always sticks with me, “we don’t need to have resources, we need to be resourceful” - take what sticks, leave what doesn’t, apply this statement to your life in a way that makes sense for you.
After all of those “no’s”, a “yes” can feel so damn good! Appreciate success when it comes. Bask in your hard work, perseverance, and courage. Success becomes more meaningful because we know the challenges we've undergone along the way.
Rejection may sting, but it doesn't have to break us. A “no” is not the end of the road. Embrace it, learn from it, and let it move you towards greater heights. Dance with that shit.
Journal Prompts (feel free to answer in the comments below):
How often do you experience rejection?
How does rejection make you feel, and how do you recover from it?
Are you comfortable putting yourself in positions to be rejected (and what are the subsequent ramifications of those actions/inactions)?
What would you do differently if you knew the answer would be “yes”?
* My girl, Olivia Pope coined this term in our fave show, Scandal, and it’s stuck ever since
** I’m not saying to sit still when getting your ass kicked or not know when to tap out, but keep your friggin head held high until the very end