Whenever people think about rejection they think about not being good enough. They think about how they messed up. They think about how they were wrong to hope to be accepted to begin with.
But what we often don’t think about is WHY we actually hate rejection. I think we hate rejection because we can’t be rejected without being vulnerable and we can’t be vulnerable without being confident. It’s a sticky situation because we go to all this trouble to put ourselves out there, to have the confidence to say, “Yes! I am qualified! Yes! I am a decent person! Yes! I want what you have to offer!” and then we get rejected and start wondering, “Who am I…? What is my purpose…? Why do I have confidence at all?”
And that’s why rejection sucks. It sucks because we build up this confidence to apply for something, then we get rejected and feel like we never should have had that confidence to begin with.
But here’s where I’ve gotta make something clear. You can’t lose that confidence. You can’t lose your sense of self worth, you can’t forget that you’re beautiful, hilarious, smart, witty, talented, creative, thoughtful, loving, and inspiring. You can’t forget that someone out there loves you exactly how you are. You can’t forget that every door closes so that another one will open.
Rejection makes me think about Dr. Seuss. Did you know he submitted his first book to be published 34 times before a publisher agreed to publish him? 34 times!
I was rejected. In fact, I’ve been rejected a lot since coming to Duke. But I have more confidence than ever now, because I know that I am still me. I know that through the hard times if I can still be me, then I can endure anything. If rejection can’t phase me, that what can?
I think we’re scared that rejection will change us. It will expose our weaknesses. It will show the world that we’re not as amazing as we try to seem. Well, hey. I just got rejected! I’m scared people won’t like me anymore! Now it’s obvious that I’m not perfect and what if no one will be my friend anymore?! I’m scared to show my face!
Guess what, folks? I’m sitting in the library with tea and a cupcake that two friends bought me because they love me and still think I’m me, and as far as I know, I’m still me. And no one is giving me any weirder looks than they usually do. And I’m still functioning.
So why are you scared of rejection? And why do you lose confidence? You’re still The Amazing You and you’re loved more than you could ever imagine. Don’t forget it.