Embracing Rejections

I haven’t met anyone who isn’t afraid of rejection. All of us has this fear of being rejected at one point. There are times that we opt to just not try so we can save ourselves from being hopeful and brokenhearted.

My personal email is the sanctuary of my life’s rejections lately. Here is where I receive messages that I did not qualify for the opportunities I want to pursue. Here is where I see a cloud of the words, ‘sorry’, ‘we apologize’,’next time’, and ‘thank you’.

It is frustrating that when I look back to my University life, everything seems to be smooth-sailing. I get the opportunities that I want, I grow through those learning experiences, I meet a lot of people, and there is smaller room for rejection. Everything just falls perfectly like how I wanted it to be.

For a millennial like me, I am passionate about exploring new things and learning new perspectives and strategies to improve my performance in the workplace and in further empowering myself. Yet lately, those opportunities that I want seemed to be leaping out of my hands.

As I reflect on those rejections, I thought that maybe I had my shortcomings in the application. Probably I lacked substance with the essays I wrote, or my proposed action plan is too elementary, or I submitted my application half-baked and didn’t really invested too much to perfect it.

With those recent rejections, I realized three important things:

1. Reaching our dreams requires investment

We all want everything to be instant nowadays. We easily lose our patience on the things we cannot control. Admit it or not, at times want others to adjust for our own convenience. However, it’s not the same way with reaching our dreams. It requires investment. Investment not only in terms of money but more importantly, experience and time. I am 21 and at one point I know I want to be a leader in the workplace someday. Yet looking at it, it would also mean that I have to upgrade myself as a professional – take my Masters Degree, undergo executive trainings, and of course, master myself better and uphold my values better as a person. We cannot achieve our dreams overnight.
2. Exert human efforts as hard as how we pray for it

I will forever remember the person who told me, “If you want something, pray for it.” I believe in God and I know He can overcome seemingly impossible things. In as much as God can work in our lives, we also have to exert human efforts to make things happen.

It can’t be like praying hard to God to give you the opportunity, yet you didn’t even submit an application. We have to exert personal efforts and dedicate our time to carefully accomplish each requirement.

I have learned that one reason why I probably failed on my applications is procrastination. I became overconfident on how I accomplish it. I will complete the essays hours before the deadline and gives me very little time to think things through and give more substantial and relevant inputs.
3. Trying has no limitation

If I got accepted today in one of my applications, I might be in Korea now participating in a youth leadership workshop. Yet here I am reflecting on my rejection. If there’s a nugget of wisdom I got from this heartbreak, I think it is the beauty of not having any limits when it comes to trying. Even if today I received a bad news, I know this does not ban me from trying again. There is always something new to gain from rejections.

Try as long as you are young and able.

As I jump at the hurdles of my career, I realized better that life is not a walk in the park. How I see myself is just a tiny particle of a vast universe. What I might be doing now is very basic compared to what others are doing, probably a reason also why I get rejected. As I grow up, I am starting to calm myself and be patient with the delays of my blessings.

What I want to happen might not be happening today but I believe its right timing is more perfect than how I imagined it to be.


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