This is a feature called Good Thoughts from Good Folks (GTGF) where I ask a few good folks for their good thoughts on a question I’m thinking about.
This week’s good folks: John Pollack, Amanda Efthimiou, Kathryn Moos, Kathryn Williams
This week’s question: What’s the upside to rejection?
The upside to rejection is that it offers us the opportunity to develop one of life’s most valuable skills: resiliency. Everybody gets rejected, but not everybody is resilient. Resiliency is a choice, and those who make a practice of it will do much better than those who don’t.
Rejection sucks. None of us enjoy the feeling, and we take it personally despite being told otherwise. But, as people we’d be pretty boring if we didn’t have rejection in our lives. Rejection invites us to take the alternative route, the one we thought we would only grudgingly go down as our second choice or our last resort. Some of the best things in my life happened to me because of the many rejections I was faced with. I was forced to pause, breathe, and create new paths for myself, ones that led me to so much more success and fulfillment than I could have ever dreamed of. So, the upside is that rejection pushes you beyond your comfort zone to explore the unknown. I know that for myself, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thicker skin and new perspectives. Rejection forces you to think outside the box you live in. Often times, people are so consumed with their daily ongoings that people often forget to take a step back and analyze their business from the outside world.
This question couldn’t be more appropriately timed. I just lost out on a job, the second position within the same organization in less than a year. It’s an organization I already work with and really believe in, and the position felt like the perfect fit. There’s no way around it that rejection sucks. As a writer, I open myself to it in a host of ways, from readers, from editors, from critics, even from my own agent. But here’s the upside, the silver lining to the dark storm cloud of failure (because that’s what rejection feels like, even if it isn’t): Every time I get rejected, there’s a brief period of licking my wounds followed by a burning desire to prove them wrong, to put my head down and get to work. The more I experience rejection, the more I know this is my creative cycle, and I trust.