Rejection is not pretty. I don’t like it, and I don’t imagine that anyone else does either. To me, rejection feels a lot like failure. And I don’t like failing. I think my whole life, whether it is personal or academic, revolves around me doing things that minimise my chance of failure. I do not fail. Well, that’s untrue. I will not fail. I don’t want to fail. And I often put so much pressure on myself, telling myself that failure is simply not an option. Rejection is simply not an option.

I’ve never been in a situation where I haven’t gotten a job I wanted or attended the school I wanted to get into. I have always gotten what I want. And I’m afraid that it’s because I aim too low. I don’t give myself the chance to fail. I don’t give myself the leeway to be rejected. I only seriously pursue things that I know I can put consistent efforts into and have the capability for.

But I realise that life doesn’t always work that way – and I’ve known this for a while. As I grow older – rather, as I grow up, I realise that if I want to move forward in life, I have to risk failure. I have to risk rejection. It’s the only way I will improve. It’s the only way I will learn from my shortcomings,, and it’s the only way I will be able to address things that terrify me.

And I’ve just faced rejection, my first rejection in what feels like a long time – and it doesn’t feel great. I’m trying not to allow myself to feel it too much because I don’t have the time to wallow at the moment, but these thoughts need my attention. I need to help myself understand that rejection is part of the process, and it is not something that diminishes any work I have put in – whether it is for university, in my personal life, or in my career. It simply means that perhaps I need to see things from a different angle, perhaps I, or my work, need to change in some ways.

Rejection is a lesson for me to learn. It’s motivation for me to keep trying harder, learning, and addressing my shortcomings.

Rejection is upsetting, I know that. Heck, I feel it right now. But it’s not an end-all and be-all. There are options. There are things to learn.


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