So why does it hurt so much? When we try for something and don’t get it, it’s not like we lost something we had. A dream was crushed for sure, but our lives will continue on just as they had without that thing we wanted.
My daughter is feeling that type of rejection right now. Something she really wanted at school for next year didn’t happen for her. That protective mother part of me wants to scream, “What’s wrong with you people?!” But the logical part of me is ready with the duct tape to keep that other part quiet. 😀
I recently felt the same type of rejection at work. I won’t mention work by name in this post because they’re watching via Google Alerts for anything containing the company names. 😛 I’ve been there 3.5 years and though I’ve switched job titles within three different departments, I’ve remained on the same pay scale the entire time. It’s possible that I’ve shot myself in the foot by switching around, despite assurances that is not the case. So I tried to bypass that by applying for an opening at a higher level. I was a strong contender (or so I was told), but the position went to someone who had been there almost two years longer than I have. The entire process took about a month, so I had time to get over the initial excitement of the very possibility and resign myself to the fact that it probably wouldn’t happen. That’s a good thing, or that feeling of rejection would have been much greater.
How we look at the situation can make a world of difference. What can we learn from it? Is it possible that it’s better we weren’t chosen? Are there other things we can do because we didn’t have to take on the responsibilities and time zappers associated with that position or opportunity?
For my situation, I know that I could have handled the added responsibilities and wildly varied tasks and daily schedules because that’s how I’m wired. On the other hand, I know that I will be able to remain highly productive right where I am. Maybe I am meant to be just a worker bee forever. By now, I’m very good at that role. I just don’t want to be pigeon-holed. Flattery and praise are nice, but putting it in the paycheck would be more helpful. 😉
For my daughter’s situation, perhaps the time required for what she had wanted so badly but was passed over for will be better used to her advantage elsewhere. I know it’s hard to see it that way immediately after the rejection but, in time, it gets easier to see it in a different light.
We have to be strong in the face of rejection. Keep pushing forward, or it can lead to depression or extreme pessimism. While you don’t have to completely hide your disappointment, remaining positive and keeping a good attitude will show professionalism and may even gain a little extra admiration for such qualities. Of course, a brief period of mourning is certainly in order! 😀