Rejection sucks. You put a ton of effort into getting noticed for your hard work but in the end, nothing happens. Whether it's romantic rejection from a crush or in this case, work, no one will ever say that rejection feels good.
After I quit my cushy corporate job, I really thought that things would magically align with the universe. All I needed was faith the size of a mustard seed. Kind of, but not exactly. You see, sometimes, things just don't work out. Maybe it's you, maybe it was the wrong opportunity. For whatever reason, sometimes the answer is just no.
Naturally, your emotions may take over and you may start to feel unworthy and frustrated, even. Those negative and limiting thoughts will make you believe you don't deserve what you worked hard for. I'm very familiar with that type of rejection.
Rejection in the startup world isn't any different than the other types of rejection, and most entrepreneurs will agree with this sentiment. That's why it's so important for startup founders to understand that there are silver linings in every rejection we may get from a venture capitalist, for example.
Although rejection can leave us feeling hopeless, knowing that there is a positive side to it can give us hope. If we can agree that rejection sucks and is a part of life, we should also agree that there are ways to make rejection benefit us.
I was not the “right fit” for many companies. Hearing those words would always leave me wanting to knock all of the papers straight off the table, Scandal style. But mature me (and hopefully you), would respectfully thank them for their time and move on. Being rejected hurt me, but it didn't stop me from trying.
Ask successful founders and you'll find it's true: rejection forces us to become a better version of ourselves each and every time.
Is it that you're being rejected or protected? Maybe that role really wasn't the right fit for you. Maybe you really dodged a bullet. On the one hand, you weren't accepted, but on the other hand, the situation can possibly be a blessing in disguise. It's all in how you choose to view it.
While the no's pile up, so are the bills and daily responsibilities in life. You have to keep it moving but also be still. Wait, what? Yes. Keep pushing forward with the knowledge that what you truly desire is waiting for you at the right time. Many of the greats were not overnight success stories. Walt Disney, JK Rowling, Steve Jobs, and Oprah – are all notable and successful celebrities who experienced many rejections. So keep working hard. Your time will come. Stop working yourself into a worry wart. Patience brings peace.
Imagine putting your all into an application process. You were thorough and detailed. You studied the history of the company. You were energetic and succinct in the interview. Ideally, you were the perfect candidate but you still weren't chosen. That sucks. BUT, you learned. You learned how to be a better researcher and interviewer. These are skills that you can use moving forward.
One door closing does not mean doors will never open again. As the saying goes, “One door closes, another door opens.” There is always another opportunity just waiting for you.
And perhaps something else to consider is if something doesn't pan out the way you think it will happen, what if those investors were more risk than reward? Sometimes rejection is a blessing in disguise, and keeping and positive mental attitude is key when dealing with all the things a founding team has to deal with.
It's not just about making money, it's about the future of the startup and creating the success we all long for. Rejection is just another way of saying "Thank you, NEXT" and the sooner we acknowledge the sense of rejection creating another opportunity, the better we are in the long run.
You can't let the rejections from life weigh you down. You have to keep trying, keep believing, and keep growing. It ultimately gives us the strength to continue on the journey of life and reminds us that there is still more work to do. Rejection is a positive thing and once we learn to embrace it wholeheartedly, we will find that there are no limits to what we can accomplish.
Also shared on Our Notebook.
Hi, my name is Lucy. I’m a freelance writer and visual storyteller. When I'm not writing, I'm most likely exploring new restaurants around town, traveling, taking pictures or reading blogs dedicated to self-awareness, development/discovery and expression.