Why we need rejection & rejection
Each of us has dreams, passions and interests. What were your dreams when you were a child? Do you remember what you wanted to be back then?
Not good enough
I've wanted to be an actress for as long as I can remember. During my school years, I repeatedly took part in theater and acting courses and also appeared on stage one or two times. But the older I got, the more I lost sight of this dream. The fear of failure was great.
“That’s not a real job…” “How are you going to make money with it?” I heard these and similar statements regularly from all sorts of quarters. For a long time I was afraid to even apply for castings just because I didn't want to get rejected. And when I did, that's exactly what happened: rejections. A few small projects arose, but nothing major. I started to feel like I wasn't good enough. Not pretty enough, not confident enough, not interesting enough. At some point I was convinced that I just wasn't good enough and dropped the whole acting thing. Because if I didn't even try, I couldn't be rejected, right?
Unfortunately, this equation didn't work. You have to hide alone in a cave so that you don't have to experience rejection for the rest of your life. Giving up on a dream doesn't protect you from ever being rejected again... Life keeps saying "no" in many different ways. A business idea that is rejected; a date where no one shows up; friendships that fall apart; a desire to have children that remains unfulfilled; a project that goes wrong; and, and, and… Even successful people like Walt Disney or JK Rowling were rejected a few times before they achieved success with their ideas.
What is the alternative?
It happens to each of us. We search, love, open ourselves. We ask, tell, and let others get to us. We do all of this knowing that we will face rejection. To be hurt. And sometimes that's exactly what happens. So why do we keep trying? Why do we risk being offended, laughed at or hurt? Why do we keep putting ourselves in situations where we know we might get a “no” answer?
Well, what would be the alternative? The alternative would be that absolutely nothing happens.
Every idea, every ambition, every wish and every goal we have would wither away.
We would drift along like that, with no real orientation or direction. Fear would come first. Would that really be living or would it rather exist ?
This idea - living a life in fear but without the risk of being hurt and rejected - is much more frightening than the idea of living in love and trust and occasionally accepting rejection, right?
The beauty of rejection and rejection is that it shows us that we tried.
Rejection brings growth
Now, whenever I experience rejection - be it emotional, social, romantic or business - I try to remind myself that at least I tried. I took a risk. I dared to do something. I broke out of my comfort zone. Tried something new. I went one step further and exceeded my personal boundaries.
I could have avoided a lot of the times I got a “no” answer. As well as a whole lot of pain that came with that rejection.
But would I want to trade that pain for the experiences, lessons, and growth that came from those rejections? Definitely no. At the end of my life, I don't want to look back on a time when I tiptoed around just to avoid touching anything wrong. I'd rather bump into life's challenges here and there and fall over, but overall get much, much further.
However, I don’t want to “romanticize” rejections and rejections because they are still serious matters. It just hurts to experience rejection, and there isn't always something nice about it. Repeatedly experiencing rejection can cause negative beliefs to creep in (e.g. “I’m not good enough”), which can have serious effects on the body and mind.
It's simply about learning and accepting that not everything in life works out. That not everything is meant for you and that some things just don't suit you.
Imagine if we lived in a world where everyone fits in with everyone else, everyone enjoys everything and has the same talents? Can you imagine a world where we didn’t have to search and find, where we didn’t have to dare, and where the answer would always be “yes”? Where everything we would dream of would instantly become a reality? How cool would that really be? In the end, it's the search, the uncertainty, the unknown that makes everything really interesting, right?
Not everything we desire is made for us. Just like not everything that is made for us is what we really want.
We are not suitable for some friendships, jobs, partnerships and hobbies. But how would we know what suits us if we didn't try it out? Every rejection, every “no” helps us get on the path that is right for us personally. To find more and more ourselves. To get to know each other better and better. To really find out what it is that fulfills us.
I'm trying more and more to trust that everything is right as it comes. That every rejection I experience is right. Rejection forces us to stop and reflect. And that’s where learning and growth happens.
I try to be grateful for rejection
Of course, sometimes you ask yourself: What if? I sometimes wonder where I would be now if I hadn't gotten any rejections back then. If only I had kept trying without fear of rejection. But I also know now that these experiences were necessary for me to grow. Through her I learned that “no’s” are part of it. That I can be grateful for every experience I have - no matter what the outcome is. That the attempts are worth it and that every rejection shows me that I tried - even if it sometimes hurts.
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