What I Learned from 3 Rejections this December
Rejection #1: I applied for a new job.
I toyed with the idea for several weeks about applying for a job at the company I would absolutely love to work for. I scanned their application process, I looked at their criteria. It would be a great fit for me and a great fit for them. So I applied. I reworked my CV and resume and crafted a kickass cover letter. And I hit send and told my husband and no one else. And that was in May, and December 13th, I got the email that said, “Thank you for applying but we are going in another direction with this position…”. I knew it was a long shot. 6 months of waiting. Thanks but no thanks.
What I learned from this experience: One rejection does not mean there won’t be other opportunities. And I love this company and what they bring to the world. I am going to keep my eyes open for new opportunities and look for ways to connect with someone there and find my way in!
I learned that I would never have known if I had not taken the chance.
Rejection #2: I applied to be considered for a TedxTalk.
Creating and delivering a TedTalk is on my bucket list as I believe that my journey has afforded me some incredible ideas and insights that I would love to share with others on a larger platform. So when I saw the ad for applications to be considered in November, I had 1 week to decide if I was going to do this or not. Did I feel ready? No. Did I think it all the way through? No way. But I decided that I would never know unless I did it. And I spent two days furiously working on the ideas, creating outlines and drafts, filled out their application and intake forms and then taking a deep breath, made a 1 minute video submission. *exhale*. This was a long shot. And on December 18th I got the email that said, “after all the wonderful submissions…(other nice words)…you did not make the cut.”
What I learned from this experience: I actually do have some great ideas, and I am a really good presenter. And one day I will be up on a TedTalk stage. I am going to refine my ideas and continue to craft my talk because I have something to share with people that might just make them smile and think a little different after they hear me speak.
I learned that I would never have known if I had not taken the chance. (Here is said video...)
Rejection #3: I applied to be a speaker at a local agency.
A local marketing agency put a call out on LinkedIn looking for local entrepreneurs who would like to be part of their speaker’s team. I like their brand and what they are doing to elevate great content and ideas for individuals and organizations locally. So I emailed them with an enthusiastic “Hey, let me introduce myself…” …and.Heard.Nothing. Silence. I’ll be honest. That one was a bit disappointing. No acknowledgement of my email, no “thanks but no thanks”.
What I learned from this experience: What I have to offer has to find the right place to land. Who I am and what I bring to the world is not solely validated by someone else’s criteria of what they are looking for. It is validated by the values I live by, by the work I undertake, by the relationships and connections that I make in this world and by the influence I offer in the places and spaces I inhabit right now.
I also learned that I would never have known if I had not taken the chance.
I could hear Brene Brown’s voice reciting Theodore Roosevelt’s quote about the [wo]man in the arena as I reflected on my December rejections. I am proud of myself for jumping into arenas that scared the crap out of me and took me far into discomfort and vulnerability. With dirt on my face and scrapes on my elbows...
I showed up.
And I am stronger. And resilient. And still pretty awesome for having done it.
What about you? What have you been holding back doing or acting upon for fear of rejection? What is it that you want to jump into but the story you tell yourself about the possibility of failure prevents you from moving ahead?
Enlist a coach (like me), find a mentor or talk to a trusted friend to confide in and help you re-frame the story you are telling yourself about risk and the possibility of failure in order to write a new daring chapter.