A few days ago I shared on Instagram that I was not chosen to be part of the SephoraSquad. It was sort of a long shot but I felt pretty confident because as part of my application, so many of you had written testimonials on my behalf, hundreds of you in fact. And I was really blown away by that. To think you would take time out of your day to write nice things about someone you’ve never even met in person, all to give them (me) a better shot at a collaboration with a brand like Sephora. Damn. So when I got the email saying I wasn’t chosen it stung a little bit more.
I wanted to share that I wasn’t picked, and that I was kinda bummed about it, because I realized in that moment, we never do that. Not just we (bloggers) but in general, how often do we talk about rejection? When we don’t get that job or promotion or second date. Maybe we share with our closest friends or family, but it’s not something that’s openly discussed. I mean I get it, rejection sucks. I am a pretty optimistic person, I tend to see the bright side of most situations, and I always look for a silver lining. But when I got that email on Friday, it felt a bit like a punch to the gut. I guess because I really believed I had a shot and pictured myself being chosen. I felt good about it, and so the news that I wasn’t picked was, quite frankly, a bummer.
Honestly, I’m fine and truthfully, already over it, but I spent pretty much of this past weekend thinking about rejection, how we deal with it, and why it seems like we never talk about it. It’s a pretty universal experience. I think we can all relate to being rejected at one point or another. If I had a nickel for every “no” I’ve experienced in my life, I could buy that farm with land I daydream about. I got so many messages from you guys after I posted about not being chosen, sharing your own stories of not getting the promotion, not getting that job, not making partner. We all agreed, it sucks, but all of us came out the other side feeling stronger in spite or because of it.
There’s really no road map to getting over rejection, it’s complicated. Sometimes that process is quick and relatively painless, other times it’s like a wound that just won’t heal. As I had some time to sit with my feelings, I thought about some of the things that help me cope with rejection, so here they are, in no particular order:
- Allow yourself to process emotions. There is power in letting yourself feel sad, disappointed, upset. We aren’t robots. We are human beings with complex lives, and feeling emotions is a part of that experience. There’s no need to shove it away or pretend it didn’t happen. In my experience, allowing the feelings to happen actually helps me process those emotions quicker and move on.
- Have perspective. Don’t make rejection all about you. It’s not. There’s always a variety of factors at play, some of which are beyond your control. At the same time, be honest with yourself. Is there room for improvement? Is there something you can do differently? Don’t beat yourself up and second guess yourself but use it as an opportunity for personal growth.
- Don’t be a victim. Sometimes it’s easy to sit with negative, angry thoughts. It’s easy to wallow in self-pity and blame anyone and everything else for our situation. But it’s totally counter-productive. That’s not going to get you anywhere. When you sit around being a victim, you give up your power and control over the situation.
- Use it as motivation. What’s better than turning a negative into a positive? Turning rejection into a better opportunity. I fully admit I love to prove people wrong, especially when it comes to their assumptions about me, or what I can accomplish.
- Focus on the good. Use it as an opportunity to be reminded of all the great things you have in your life already. Gratitude will take you far.