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Rejection is a hideous experience and we can build up a catalogue of wounds - emotional or physical - as different parts of us are under lifes spotlight. It might not get any easier to handle but there are things we can learn. Self confessed Geography Geek and cat loving Yorkshire girl, Heather has shared her story of life's knocks and what they showed her so far...
From not being allowed to do your singing exam to missing an invite to the latest party; rejection is unfortunately a part of life and it simply makes you feel like you’re not good enough. But somehow as we grow older, this feeling can seem to have more of an impact on our lives.
At 19, I finished art college and applied to 5 universities, 2 choices were at my boyfriend’s uni so I was feeling pretty excited; I was just doing what I thought every 19 year old had to do. I had 5 interviews, 5 trips to new cities and 5 rounds of preparation and nerves. However despite my best efforts, I was soon left with 5 lines of ‘unsuccessful’ staring back at me and the feeling of not being good enough engulfed me for months. Not only this, but my boyfriend too rejected me for his ‘super fun’ university life; I was utterly heartbroken. Heartbroken and rejected by the life I thought I was meant to be leading. I was the lowest I had every felt, my confidence was knocked massively and all I could do was sit and compare myself to everyone having ‘the time of their lives’. Or so it seemed.
A year later after a lot of hard work, I had 5 unconditional offers to study Geography and I ended up at my perfect university, I could not have been happier – it was finally my turn to have an amazing university experience, I mean it looked perfect on my friends Facebook pages! However, 3 years, 1 bout of anxiety and 1 emotionally abusive relationship later I graduated and was back in the same place I found myself at 19 – this time I’d gone through so much at university that the pressure was on to get that well-paid graduate job. After all that’s what every 22 year old was doing right?!
After what seemed like ages, I was head hunted by a recruitment agency for a ‘fantastic opportunity’ at a start-up company with brilliant pay and a ‘friendly’ close knit team. I couldn’t say no, the emails that were exchanged were filled with positive words and I truly felt they were excited to have me on board. It was all going so well, or so I thought, then I was sacked. Exactly a month after starting with no warning or notice, I was gone and all they could really say was they were ‘saving me’ from office life. I look back now at all the small things I did wondering if that was wrong, or I wasn’t smart enough to understand that, or if they were silently mocking me and I was totally oblivious. I cried for days; not because of losing the job (I knew it wasn’t for me anyway) but because I was humiliated, embarrassed that I wasn’t liked. That massive knock to my confidence, the hot feeling in your tummy when you get rejected was the biggest I had ever had, this was serious, this was my income and my chance at a career completely torn away.
I am a huge believer of everything happens for a reason. I think, 99% of the time, we get rejected because it simply is not the best thing for us. The night before I got sacked I received a job offer for my dream Geography graduate job, and now I look back and realise it could not have worked out any better. I do sometimes worry that anyone could turn around and reject me; but I just remind myself every day that it has nothing to do with who I am as a person. Going through what I have has given me chance to take a step back from hectic emotional situations and work out what I really wanted; it may have been horrible at the time but I am finally thankful.
Rejection hurts more when you think you’re meant to be following the same path as everyone else and your life doesnt match up. But everyone is unique and everyone leads a completely different life, that’s what’s so exciting. Respect your uniqueness and it will help you battle those negative emotions brought up by rejection, self-approval is what truly matters.