Most people think of rejection in only one way: that it’s awful and should be avoided at all costs. And I don’t disagree. After all, I have the distinction of once being rejected twice in one day: first by a colleague who thought I was the worst department coordinator in the history of our or any college and then by my boyfriend who, after listening to my sad tale over the phone, said, “Well, I guess I’m about to make your day worse” and broke up with me.
No, no one likes being rejected, but rejection has many good lessons to teach if we will only stop crying and learn them. I once read an interview with an author whose short story had been rejected by the New Yorker. When asked what he did then, he said that he went about learning to write a story good enough for that magazine and did so.
Rejection usually feels personal, but if we can rise above the hurt, we can often see a way to proceed that will make us better in the long run. Maybe I didn’t get the job because I was the only candidate without a Master’s Degree. I then have a decision to make: Do I want this type of job bad enough to return to college? If not, what other options do I have?
Another reason we should welcome rejection is that it is, believe it or not, a sign of progress. When you’ve been rejected, it means that you’ve been out there attempting something new. You’ve tried to get your story published or your song recorded. You’ve tried a new relationship. You tried to get a new job or a promotion.
Sure, rejection means you didn’t make it (this time), but you’re not sitting in the corner letting life pass you by. You’re going for it. And as anyone who has accomplished goals knows, rejection (in fact, multiple rejections) comes with the territory.
So, this week, court rejection. He is not the most pleasant companion on the road to success, but he is a necessary one.