The Rejection Scene
We’ve all been there. You get your hopes up for something-a new role, job, or opportunity. You gear yourself up, go through the interview process, walk out feeling like you aced it and the job is sure to be yours. This is the opportunity of a lifetime-the one that you’ve been waiting for and you’ve done everything right. Now you just have to wait for them to give you the offer. You wait and wait and then finally you hear back-only it’s not what you thought. The response is merely to let you know that you didn’t get the job or make the cut. You’ve been rejected.
The Rejection Stages of Grief
Rejection often feels like you’ve been stabbed and your whole world is falling apart. How do you handle rejection? You probably grieve in one or more of the following ways:
- throw things
- binge eat
- trash talk the person who got the job as well as the company that didn’t hire you
- sit on the couch depressed
- doubt yourself
- overanalyze every possible reason you didn’t get the job
- wonder, “now what?”
Rejection hurts. There’s just no way around it. I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t be upset when you don’t get the job or make the cut. Rejection always seems like a reminder that you don’t have what it takes. You find yourself re-assessing and wondering if your skills are up to par. You wonder if it was it something you did or if there was something that you could have done differently to get a different outcome.
Although rejection is tough, it’s unfortunately part of the business-a big part in fact. That being said, it’s important to find a healthy way to deal with rejection that doesn’t involve completely crumbling and our lives falling to pieces.
Dealing with Rejection
A few months back I wrote a post called “How to Set Yourself Free From Competition and Comparison.” You might as well add rejection to that title as well. In the post I explained the importance of finding your personal niche-the place where your God given plan and purpose collide. Your niche is a space that only you can fill and the place where you will be truly happy. Finding your niche is kind of like your own personal quest.
If your goal in life is to find your personal niche then rejection becomes re-direction. Think about the mazes that you would do when you were a kid. You The goal was to get from one end of the maze to the other. There was only one way out but there were a lot of dead ends. When you hit a dead end then you had to back up and continue on a different path. You could say that the dead ends helped set you on the right path.
If you’ve ever seen the movie The Sound of Music, you may recall Maria saying:
“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.”
Maria has aspired to be a nun but wasn’t quite making the cut. She is sent away from the abbey on a different path to be the governess of seven children. Unbeknownst to her, this is where her destiny truly lies. She says that quote after she’s been rejected and is on her way to this new opportunity that’s presented itself. A perfect example of rejection being redirection. You can view the scene here.
I realize that this may sound a little too simple. Believe me I know that rejection hurts and by all means take your time to process, grieve and acknowledge that hurt. There are different degrees of rejection that can leave different scars. When you don’t know how the rejection will re-direct you it can feel like your life is over but it isn’t over. I can think of several occasions where it took the closed doors of rejection to get me to find my window and when I went through that open window-things were better than I thought they’d be. Sometimes it takes time for things to get better or for you to realize the reason behind the rejection but don’t give up.
Don’t lose hope! Keep searching for your window!
Can you think of a time where a closed door forced you to go down a different path that was better than the one you were originally on? Would you have gone down that path if it wasn’t for rejection?
This topic is heavy and sometimes the best way to lighten the mood is with a little humor. If you are in need of a good laugh about the joys, struggles, and challenges we face as artists, subscribe below and receive the quiz “You Know You’re An Artist When…”