How I turned rejection into a positive in my life

I don’t take rejection very well, there I said it. But who really does like rejection? I have quite a short fuse, so if something frustrates me I can get very angry very quickly – luckily this doesn’t last long but I hate feeling this way.

One of the worst things you can do after rejection is to harbour resentment because this just makes you bitter and jealous and you end up living in the past. The best thing you can do is to learn from the experience and move on. You may also need to forgive, if it is necessary.  

What I am good at though, is seeing the positives of rejection. This usually comes with time but I strongly believe that everything happens in my life for a reason and I am grateful for all the experiences I have.  

I have broken down three life events in which I have been rejected. I want to show you how I turned this around and didn’t wallow in self pity. I will then show you how you can look at your situation in a more positive light.  

This was the most intense interview I’ve ever had to do… I jumped through so many hoops.

JOB REJECTION

Scenario

I once went to an interview for a job in social media which I really wanted. This was the most intense interview I’ve ever had to do. I was required to do a 10-minute presentation to a panel, send a video, write a blog post for Linked In AND do a formal interview! I jumped through so many hoops.

I passed the first set of hoops to my delight and was in the final two. Out of 60 people that had applied for the job and 12 people that had been interviewed, I was in the remaining two. I had impressed them with my ability to do an engaging presentation. I was thrilled! However the next round of interviews required even more work. I had to produce three videos and present them to two senior people.

I was happy with what I had produced – however I was more nervous for this second interview as I had recently found out that I was being made redundant in my current job.

As I’ve already spoiled the ending, I’ll cut to the chase, I was unsuccessful. I was informed by email a week later.

Initial thoughts

I was FURIOUS! I did so much work for the interviews and I was sent an email with no explanation. I was also really worried as I wasn’t sure I’d be redeployed at my current workplace.

This was a very stressful time and I was left feeling frustrated and angry for weeks.

What I measured as success back then, is not what I measure as a success now.

Overall outcome

I was offered another better job at the company I work for and I met my boyfriend, who I have now been with for almost a year.

I later found out that they had offered the job to an internal candidate (which did spark a bit of anger in me again) but am I happy I didn’t get the job? Absolutely!

What this taught me

What I measured as success back then, is not what I measure as a success now. I thought everything rode on that job, but it didn’t. I wouldn’t have met my boyfriend and had one of the best years of my life and I probably wouldn’t be as happy as I am now.

I also got great interview practise and proved that I can interview well and be confident when I need to be. All of the work in the interview could have been enough to put me back in my comfortable little shell, doing a job which left me no satisfaction, but it didn’t. Overall I saw getting down to the final two candidates as a success instead of a failure.  

EX-BOYFRIEND REJECTION

Break-ups aren’t the end of the world. Yes, they hurt like hell, but you become stronger on the other side.

Scenario

I met my ex-boyfriend when I worked in France for the summer. He lived was from Belfast and I lived in Newcastle. After our summer together we decided to try and make it work, but we had to do long distance for 10 months so I could get my degree and he could study at college. The summer after we returned to France to work in the Alps, and after that summer he moved to Newcastle with me. It didn’t work out, and he ended our relationship on my birthday and moved out the next day. This was on New Years Eve.

Initial thoughts

I was heartbroken and I’d never been so angry and hurt at the same time. I couldn’t believe he could be so selfish and throw away our relationship that we worked so hard to try to be in.

Overall outcome

I overcame the pain and dated a few other boys until I met my current boyfriend, who is better  than anyone I’ve ever dated, I love him to bits and there’s no one I’d rather be with in the world, I’m so uninterested in any other man.  

What this taught me

Break-ups aren’t the end of the world. Yes, they hurt like hell, but you become stronger on the other side. It also taught me that my ex was extremely immature and I’m glad it didn’t work out.The best thing I ever did was writing him a letter to tell him I forgave him, it freed me of so much pain and I was finally able to move on.  

I am in a best relationship now and I wouldn’t change this for the entire world.

MUSICAL REJECTION

Scenario

I auditioned for Grease the musical with the same company I did Hairspray with. I was unsuccessful and didn’t get a part.

Initial thoughts

To say I was gutted would be an understatement, I loved being part of Hairspray and the thought of not doing Grease left me devastated. A lot of my friends had got in as well which only added to my disappointment, because I enjoyed hanging out with them in rehearsals.

When you get knocked back you have to pick yourself back up and try again.

Overall outcome

Me and some of the girls from The Producers.

I joined another musical called The Producers and had the best time. The rehearsals weren’t as intense and I had such a great time. I met new people and made new friends. I also got to perform at the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle which has been there since the 19th century – it was an honour.

What this taught me

That putting yourself out there and the general audition process is tough. BUT don’t give up, I’m so glad I didn’t get into Grease because I had one of the best weeks ever being in The Producers and I wouldn’t ever want to change that experience. When you get knocked back you have to pick yourself back up and try again.

How you can turn rejection around

Ask yourself these questions: Will this matter in a couple of months time?

Can I take any positives from this situation?

Will I be stronger after coming out the other end of this rejection?

Rejection isn’t easy, and there’s no hard and fast rule to overcoming it – but if you look back on your life and the times you’ve been rejected, was it really as bad as you thought it was at the time? Did you learn something from it? If yes, then that’s progress and it’s also self development. Life acts in weird ways and sometimes we have to roll with the punches, as long as we get up eventually we’re winning.

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