4 Remarkable Ways Humility Helps You Welcome Rejections by Showing Your True Strengths
Rejection strips our ego when it matters most.
You need the courage to say, “They rejected me”, “They dumped me”, or “They think I am not good enough.”
Rejection has so many levels depending on the source and our egotistical nature. When it hurts, we take it to heart, irrespective of what we learnt from all the motivational speakers in our life.
Whenever I send a new draft to a Medium publication, there are equal chances they will reject or accept my story.
I’ve faced rejections so many times that occasionally, it has even blown me into an existential crisis. After recovering in a few days, I’ve learned many lessons about not letting rejection trigger our ego-driven toxicity.
Humility is not the exact opposite of ego, but it stabilises the negativity ego spawns on us. Here are four ways humility helps you manage rejections healthily by showing you the truth the hard way:
#1. Rejection strips your ego when it matters most.
You’ve put all your energy into an interview. The HR ghosts you after the first interception.
You’ve invested your thoughts in the blog you sent to a Medium publication. They leave a polite private note saying, “….we are passing this on.”
The problem here is assuming our approval by default. This feeling gives us a fake badge of honour. It is ego-driven to put our value of self higher than we measure up to be.
When you stop craving unrealistic demands about how the second person perceives you, you put in the best effort and leave for the entire world to judge. It is scary and liberating, both.
The right people will find you if you keep pouring your soul in your work and keep sharing until you win everyone’s heart.
You’ll know you’ve found ( or created ) your tribe when they support you like crazy; with the help of positive feedback and honest appreciation — those moments are legendary because they bring you happy tears.
#2. One rejection does not define your personality.
I live in Bengaluru, one of the worst-hit cities in the second wave of the coronavirus in India.
Whenever I say I am working at my [ online ] job away from my hometown, the first question everyone projects is, “If it is online, why don’t you just work from your hometown.”
My response is, “Work is not everything. It is a part of life, not the only anchor.”
Similarly, one rejection does not nullify all your achievements. It is a part of the rectification process.
The person on the other side has preferred someone in their internal network to you. Sometimes they are not in a good mood, maybe even on a rejecting spree, and you just happened to be the victim.
#3. You’re continuously improving. Rejection accelerates the process.
The best takeaway rejection teaches you is that perfectionism doesn’t exist.
Lifelong learners embrace rejection because it helps us know more about what we shouldn’t do.
Rejections add more certainty to your process by warning you not to repeat the same mistakes by punching directly at your nose.
With time, practice and grit, you understand the game in your arena. Once you establish yourself in your aspiring domain, the rejection rate gradually goes down. But before that, you need to remove the dirt to see the concrete road.
#4. You can’t have it all. It is a virtue.
Our mental power is limited. We can only focus on so many things concurrently.
If I let one rejection downplay me, I would not have even finished my 100 days of writing streak, let alone sit here sharing my 207th blog.
If a rejection is thoughtful, it helps us articulate which skills we need to enhance and how.
Don’t be nervous about asking someone for help who has overcome what you’re going through. People love to guide from their experience because it is the easiest way of showing gratitude — humanity’s elixir.
I am sending out one application every week to a new Medium publication for adding me as a writer.
In my first streak of 100 blogs, I was so reactive about the feedback that I turned to Netflix sitcoms to cheer me up instead of digging the cause of my failure whenever I faced rejection.
But this time, I am conforming to my duty by giving the best effort. I leave the editors to judge my article, and if they like it, voila! If they don’t, I try another time.
When the rejection feedback is clear, it helps you improve. When it is vague, don’t give too much attention because it’ll just make you anxious for no reason.
Many factors are disproportionately affecting your approval and if the second person clarifies the cause, be grateful. But if they don’t, give them the benefit of the doubt because they are busier than you know, and, likely, you didn’t excite any spark in them.
So what? Why be/work with someone anyway who doesn’t like you for who you are?
Instead, look from a growth POV to filter out what mistakes to not repeat in the future.
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Sanjeev is a writer, mentor and recovering shopaholic. He writes about emotional intelligence, productivity, relationship and practical psychology for everyday life. When he is not busy with his muse, he is sweating in a workout or playing badminton. He is active on Instagram.