Rejection itself can be in different forms of life, whether it’s about jobs, academic, romance, business and many other things in life. Most of people are afraid of rejection, rejection itself is part of the life, therefor, we can’t really stay away from it. Rejection is not always that bad if we try to look at it from different perspective. I believe that some (if not many) have experienced rejection including myself and it’s been part of our life, some of the rejections I have ever experienced in my life have driven me to do something else that I think has made my life better so far.
Since I am not alone, just to name a few let’s look at some great profiles of today’s great people such as Jack ma the founder of Alibaba who was rejected by Hardvard university 10 times and he was the only one who did not get KFC job in his city in china, the founder of WhatsApp who was rejected by twitter and Facebook for an engineering job, instead of complaining, he tried to cheer himself by saying “ looking forward to another great opportunities ahead” and many others, if we read biography of great people, all of them have been in pain of rejection and so do we as human being living our life surely we also experience the rejections in our own life, however, what makes it different between most of the average people and the great people in the history is the reaction, what to react after the rejection, that’s what matters.
The average people mostly look at rejection as a villain that has taken their hopes and dreams away while great people look at the rejection from different perspective that has forced them to seek other opportunities and find some different possibilities, it will also drive them to do something else which is creative and out of the box.
Take a good look at any time of rejection that you endured during your life. Surely if you look closely enough, you will realize that many lessons could be learned. Either way rejection is sometimes (if not most times) the greatest opportunity that we can face because it allows us to examine what we did wrong and collect how we can resolve to do better for the next time. No matter what, a next time is coming if we stay steadfast in our goals and don’t give up.
The yes is just in the next door
When we experience rejection, when it comes our way, we tend to think only negative thoughts in our head. When we don’t get something we want, it’s natural to start believing that maybe we aren’t good enough for it, for that job for that person whom we like. Instead of reminiscing on why everything isn’t going in the direction we want it to go, maybe we should start thinking thoughts of what else is out there for us. Put this thought in your head: Every time we are told “no” it’s because we are one step closer to “yes.” If you knew that you had to go through 101 doors in order to win a prize, would door 99 stop you? Door 100? I don’t think so because you know in advance that your prize is waiting for you. The question is, how long are you willing to wait? Not only willing to wait, but how long are you willing to keep going ?
Therefore, it’s imperative to remember that a state of rejection is essentially just a step that you have to conquer to get to that “yes.” Acceptance is out there, but are you willing to put in the time and effort to work for it and keep going ?
Personally I have been rejected in many different forms of life, whenever I am lying down on my bed before I start sleeping, I will always have some spare time to think, to ponder, to evaluate my life and time, from the past that’s been years to the days I have just been through.
When I got rejected in academic
I used to be a scholarship hunter and I used to have a dream to study at prestigious university either in my country or abroad. I had applied to different universities in Indonesia and abroad. When I applied to UGM, one of prestigious universities in Indonesia, I got rejected, when I applied for a scholarship to New York University in Abu Dhabi, I got rejected, when I submitted my application to Brunei Darussalam government scholarship, I got rejected, when I applied to Turkish government scholarship and once got interviewed at Turkish embassy in Jakarta, I got rejected, when I was applying for student visa to Australia, this time was a bit different story, I got accepted at an Australian college and got the offer letter from the college but my visa application was rejected, this is different story which someday I will write in different post when I have time.
Back at that time, I was so frustrated and felt so lost, I did not know what to do, I was dropped out from my first university UPN Yogyakarta and risked it to learn English intensively to pursue my dream which is to get international scholarship and to be able to study abroad. However, with the negative thoughts still going around in my head, I was trying to fight back and trying to respond this bad situation to do something else which drove me to different opportunities and possibilities, in short, I met a digital nomad guy who works online anywhere he wants in the world with his laptop, he gave me some inspiration which has lead me to take some actions as the reaction to solve my frustration and try to build my hopes and dreams again with new goals and plans, so I decided to take 4 different majors of studies, I studied a vocational diploma in Graphic and multimedia design, I studied 2 year diploma in computer science / IT, it’s like 2 years of associate degree in the US ( but I finished it in 3 years since I was super busy 😀 ), on the day I am currently writing this article, I am still doing my thesis for my 4 year degree in communication science and last year of 4 year degree in English Literature. I imagine myself, if without these rejections, I wouldn’t strive to improve my English, I wouldn’t study 4 different majors, I wouldn’t even know if there’s possibility of such career that enables you to work while traveling the world, I wouldn’t even have that dream lifestyle I am currently living in.
Rejection in romance
Who doesn’t want to find and be with someone whom like / love him/her back ? who does not feel pain when that person you like broke your heart or even rejects you in the first place before starting a relationship ? when I was in love with someone after being in relationship with her for more than 2 years, she broke up with me for another guy, but without her making me in pain, I wouldn’t have motivation to seek scholarship abroad, I wouldn’t learn English to make my life better after the break-up and drop out of university. Without her I wouldn’t have an international network ( Since my English gets better ) or even I wouldn’t be able to write in English like now, without her, I wouldn’t be traveling abroad now.
Since I can speak English, I wanted to date different person who comes from different country. But the story is not always beautiful, some of those whom I was trying to approach rejected me in the first place, some of them might think that I wanted to date them because I want to go to their country to get a better job, some of them might think that I am not at the same level as them because of my background or my nationality. Some of them might find me less attractive, to me now, I get used to getting rejection, instead of chasing them back or feeling bad about myself and seeing myself as a person who has less value compared to others, I try to look inside myself for what I can improve to be a better version of me and I still hope that I will find the better person with a better version of her for whoever she is and for wherever she comes from or what passport and nationality she holds, I believe that person will show up in the right time at the right moment, meanwhile, I want to focus and keep busy with the things I want to pursue and the goals I want to achieve and to improve myself to be a better version of me without the need to depend on someone else to reach my goals nor to find my own happiness.
Rejection in Job
Once upon a time, I saw an advertisement of internship opportunity at a Japanese company in my own hometown Bali. I sent an application letter to that company, after going through test and interview, he said to me that I am not eligible as an intern for this internship opportunity. Then I said to myself and to him like “ Thank you for the opportunity of having me even just to give it a try to apply for internship and to interview me, someday I will run my own agency and launch my own app”. Without that rejection, I would not be his competitor today at the same field in digital agency and soon I and my co-founder will launch an app that we are working on for almost a year. And apart of those things I mentioned, I have experienced to get a job in a startup company without an interview and a test at all till I resigned just recently and at the moment I am still being a self-employed.
Rejection in business
I have been as self-employed since 2013 on and off, I have been rejected by different companies when I applied as an intern and employee, I once had a regular job and was employed remotely by a startup company without an interview and test yet after almost a year, I eventually resigned for some reasons, the story of being a self-employed is not always as beautiful or promising as the successful entrepreneurial stories that we usually heard or watch on many motivational videos that motivate us to be entrepreneur. So many obstacles and failures we need to overcome in the process before being the successful ones, so many rejections and failures that come in our way when we want to follow the footsteps of some successful entrepreneur profiles that we always dream to be, but just never give up and keep going to pursue your dreams no matter what other people say or what difficult situations will be there in front of you.
It’s too early to say that I am a successful person, but before being the one, I need to have the mindset of successful people, it’s too early at the stage of my life now to say that I can be an inspiration for many people out there but it’s not too early to start documenting my real life journey and the process of reaching my goals and dreams that I enjoy and make it as an online journal. By writing this online journal, I let myself to evaluate the version of me in the future by looking at the track record of the version of me in the past and I let the world becomes the witness of my changes and the good things that I let myself to believe in those good and positive things that will come in my life for my future years ahead.
The very important thing all of us should have is patience and persistence. However, we also need to have gratitude, be grateful for what we have and what we have achieved today, be grateful for our life, health and family that we still have, be grateful for small good things that come in our way. Because happiness is not always found by getting things we want, but happiness can be found when we start to be grateful and appreciate small things we have in life. Since sometimes ( if not most of the times ) instead of being grateful, we tend to ignore and forget to appreciate small things that we have which other people might not have and those things are actually enough to make us happy when we truly realize it.
I want to end this article by writing some quotes from public figures and lyrics of a song.
“Today is hard, tomorrow is worse, the day after tomorrow will be sunshine”. Jack Ma
“Perhaps this trial won’t end until you learn the lesson it was sent to you”. Yasmin Mogahed
“ He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. Muhammad Ali
I have favorite lyrics on the song which is sung by Sami Yusuf called “Shine” as the tribute to a scientist, the father of modern optics, the writer of “ Book of Optics (Kitab al-Manazir) / De Aspectibus “ Ibnu Al- Haytam” that really hits me every time I listen to it. Here’s the following lyrics of Shine :
They filled my path full of doubt
And wouldn’t hear me out
But still I chased my dreams
They told me to quit
But my heart could not resist
And from the darkness came a light
I will shine on tomorrow
Light the way for all to follow
From the darkness I will shine
Learning from the past I tried
To stare the world in the eyes
Find strength to pull me through
I saw through my tests and trials
A road that ran a thousand miles
At the end was only truth
I will shine on tomorrow
Light the way for all to follow
In the darkness I will shine
I will shine on forever
Take my chance now or never
In the darkness I will shine
I know I can if I believe
And I will choose my destiny
We’ll make the change we want to see
I know we can if we believe
And we will choose our destiny
I know I can if I believe