In high school, you tried out for cheerleading; you didn’t make the squad. You made good grades and dreamed of going to Columbia and majoring in journalism but, you received an insensitive, generic, rejection letter not even a month after sending in your application. When it was time for you to find a job and work towards a career, you got an interview with a reputable publication; but, the day after your interview you found out that you didn’t get the editor position because “there were an overwhelming number of great candidates this year.” You thought to yourself, why even bother? Maybe you thought you were simply meant to be average. Unfortunately, these feelings are not only normal, they are the common result of repeated rejection.
Throughout our lives, we are repeatedly rejected and we repeatedly hear the word “no.” Sometimes, it’s hard to not get discouraged. We start expecting to be rejected, and we lose drive and motivation because we feel like failures. We compare ourselves with others, and we wonder why we seem to be the only one receiving “no” after “no.” But, the truth is, it takes a mountain of “no’s” to get to “yes.” Life’s failures prepare and teach us how to be tough and resilient. And, despite what you think, everyone faces failure and rejection. The difference between the person who allows failure and rejection to defeat her and the person who ends up successful and thick-skinned, is that the latter did not give up or quit when faced with rejection but rather, used what she learned from being told “no” to her advantage.
Rather than allowing yourself to crumble when you’re told “no,” ask yourself what you can learn from the experience and use that going forward. Be vigilant, and stand on the mountain of “no’s” and the lessons you learned from them to get yourself to that “yes.”