Photography Challenge Day 20:
“Thank you for your application. We have decided to move on with other applicants.”
“On this occasion I will not be participating.”
“We do not accept new collaborations at the moment.”
We get rejected in all sorts of situations in our lives: everybody’s probably received a ”thank you but no thank you” e-mail for a job they applied for, perhaps were even interviewed for. Some of us, who have had the guts to go and hit on a guy or a girl, have probably been rejected once or twice.
And as bloggers we put ourselves out there and feel rejected when that post, that we’re most proud of, doesn’t resonate the wanted response from our readers, or when a brand turns down our collaboration request.
Rejection is a nasty feeling and it’s strengthened by our own inner insecurities, which we all have regardless of the impenetrable facade that we can portray outwards. Just the word ”No”, even when said in the most politest of manners, makes us feel inadequate and even ashamed. ”Oh dear, I’m so sorry I even suggested that, it was a stupid idea to begin with, I’m sorry for wasting your time.” Ouch.
There are a lot of times when we just feel like giving up would be the easiest thing to do, and sometimes we even convince ourselves that it’s the smart thing to do. But at those brief moments we should always remember that nobody made it to the top by giving up, not even Kim Kardashian.
But what are we to do when we get turned down again, left cold by the side of the road by a Tinder date, or left feeling inadequate when another hope of a brand collaboration turns into dust?
Well, I’ve gathered some behavioral models along the way that have worked well for me, so I thought I’d share them here with you guys as well. Hopefully you will find these helpful on those times of uncertainty. The main things to remember are:
Allow yourself to feel vulnerable
… but only briefly! There’s no point wallowing when there are things to be done and time to move on.
Before you can move on, though, you should acknowledge that what happened has hurt your feelings, and that it’s totally okay. Disappointment is one of the core aspects of being a human being and a feeling that nobody on this planet can get away from.
It can be a destructive feeling if you allow it to take over and that’s why it is crucial that we’re able to move forwards. So, after acknowledging your feelings, you need to remind yourself to:
Move the focus outside of yourself
Was it actually the fact that you really, utterly suck? Or could the reason for this rejection lie in something completely else? Like the fact that that guy in fact didn’t have the balls to show up on the date because they felt the pressure of not being good enough for someone as nice and pretty as you.
Or that the brand you approached was a bit too ambitious a goal since you’ve only been running your blog for a year. More often than not the fault is in a lot of things outside of our person.
Okay, we can’t ignore the reality that we human beings are egocentric creatures, but I think that if we could broaden our minds a bit, our lives would be so much better because there wouldn’t be so much self-blaming going on.
Take a leaf out of my mum’s book; she always used to tell me that “The world doesn’t revolve around you!” and it took me over 20 years to actually take that in and accept it. But damn she’s right! And we would all do very well to remember that because it applies to every single one of us.
Don’t beat yourself up about it
Being kinder to yourself is the message of the moment and it applies to handling rejections as well. Instead of cursing yourself for being so stupid for thinking that something could work, think about it from the ’friend perspective’:
If it was your friend who had just been rejected, would you speak to them like you’re down-talking yourself? Of course not! So,
- adopt a kinder way of speaking to yourself about the situation,
- remind yourself that this just wasn’t meant to be right now (but the time will come)
- and concentrate on moving on.
Turn the rejections into learning experiences
The fact that you didn’t get that job doesn’t mean you’re incompetent, and the fact that the date never happened doesn’t mean that you’re the ugliest duckling in the pond. Instead try to see the big picture, maybe take the situation apart in your head and analyze what hints were provided in this particular rejection, that could aid you to move on:
If a guy didn’t turn up on a date or didn’t get back to you after one, fact is you’re too good for such twats anyway. No need for analyzing there whatsoever.
But if you missed out on your dream job or got a ”No” for your collaboration request you’re always entitled to know ’why’! Asking for feedback after a rejection is the easiest way to go about it on the professional front. Take the info and use it to do better next time.
Let’s not kid a kiddo, there’s no denying that sometimes you need to fail a lot and often before you get the gist. It can be frustrating, believe me, I definitely know! But just keep going and keep faith because the day will come when you hit that bulls eye. :) xx