- the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.
- the spurning of a person’s affections.
The feeling of being rejected is not a feeling that you really ever forget. The lump in your throat. A knot in the pit of your stomach. A throbbing pain behind the temples and tears burning to make it to the surface. Yea, I can confidently say rejection is in my top five least favourite things.
They say it happens to the best of us. It makes our skin thicker. It makes us value the joy of acceptance all that more. Blah, blah, blah. Rejection absolutely sucks.
I fondly remember the early days of my professional life. An ambitious college student who happily took on four internships all during the same semester. I believed this would be my competitive advantage. “I’ll land my first gig in no time! I’ll be beating prospective employers off me!” Oh, sweetie.
27 job interviews later and I landed my first corporate job. 26 “we’ll be in touch”. 26 “we think you’re great but”. 26 “we have decided to move forward with another candidate”. 26 hard cold rejections. It was awful… but worth it. My first corporate job turned out to be my (at the time) “dream job”. The work was challenging, I had a great boss and I was learning every single day. I remember receiving the job offer and literally falling to my knees crying and telling myself: “Lauren, remember this moment. It all worked out.”
A few years ago, my husband and I had our hearts set on a townhouse. From the minute we saw it, we were both smitten. Imagining how our furniture would fit into our new humble abode. The idea of having a backyard for our dog to play in and to entertain our family and friends. We were sold on it. We started packing our things. We’re moving on up, baby!
Not so fast. At the last minute, we were rejected and — boy, were we devastated. “It was our dream home! How could this happen?! We’re never going to find anything better!” So many tears and so many glasses of wine.
We called our realtor and decided we were going to take a break from home hunting. A few months later, by chance, we went to see another place. Our expectations were very low but as soon as we walked in, we knew we were home. And by the following morning it was officially ours.
Looking back at that “dream” townhouse, it’s so easy to see that we dodged a bullet. The layout was not accommodating to our furniture at all. We would have had to throw out our brand-new sofa that is literally our favourite piece of furniture. The location wasn’t anywhere close to the subway and our commutes to work would have tripled in duration. And from word of mouth, we eventually learned that the townhouse complex is apparently a nightmare. The walls are paper thin, so you hear everything and you spend a ton on heating the place. As I said, we dodged a bullet, but when we were in the thick of it, it felt awful. We were losing something. Oh, rejection, you are truly the worst!
When we want something so badly, it’s easy to get locked in. And sometimes when we’re locked in on one thing, we get tunnel vision. We don’t see anything else and we certainly don’t see the red flags. We focus on all the reasons why we want it; we downplay or simply ignore its flaws. And when it doesn’t work out the way we envisioned, it’s normal to feel like we’re the loser, the failure.
My point is, sometimes rejection is a good thing. A lot of the times it’s making room for something better to come your way. I know that in the moment it does not feel like it, but take it from my experiences – most likely it will truly work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but experience tells me that eventually it will all work out.
Have you ever felt rejection? Or lost out on something that turned out to be a blessing in disguise? Let me know in the comments!