I had the perfect plan all laid out...
I was going to get the job I would need to be able to move back to Kansas City (where I’m from). I was deep in the selection process and then the email came.
“Dear Ms. Frederick, thanks for your time last week for our interview. It was great getting to know you! Unfortunately, we’ve moved forward with another candidate.”
Has something like that happened to you? It feels like if you get rejected that means you failed, and because you failed, it means that YOU’RE a failure?
Mkay. Let’s be real here. I know this has happened to all of us at some point or another, but damn, it sure can feel like you’re the only one it’s happening to, right? Whether it’s a rejection from a job interview, a breakup, or a biz goal falling flat, you’ve felt the sting of rejection.
That’s why I wanted to devote this week’s episode of Imperfection with Intention to what happens when we fail, why failing is actually a good thing, and how to not let it define who you are.
listen to the podcast episode here
So you’ve just got rejected. it doesn’t mean you failed
Let’s say you just went through a breakup (that you did not want). Does the other person leaving you makes you a failure because you weren’t what they wanted in a partner?
No. It sure doesn’t.
What about if you’re like me and you got multiple job rejections? Does that make you a failure?
No. It sure doesn’t.
The only way you fail is if you give up on going after what you want. No matter how many times you get rejected.
Ok, before you think, “I can find motivational quotes on Pinterest” hear me out!
Who you should actually compare yourself to
We spend our time looking at other people who are more “successful” than us and compare ourselves to them. We think, “Well, they got married and had their first kid by 27 and I’m 32 and just got dumped“. Or, “She’s younger than me and already has published 2 books and I just got my book proposal shot down.”
But here’s the thing. There’s no comparison between the two of you.
As two people who have lived two completely different lives, comparing you to her isn’t something that will work. You’ll always be on the short end. You’ll always come out looking like you haven’t done enough, not talented enough, or insert the [whatever] enough.
You’re only able to see parts of their life.
Highlight reels on Instagram. Overhearing a success they’re talking about at work, etc.
But you can’t see the day-to-day grind, the behind-the-scenes. You can’t see the thoughts running through their minds.
So, if you’re thinking you’re a failure after your rejection because that puts you farther behind someone else, I’ve got some tough love for you. You were already behind. You can’t compete with a highlight reel. Hell, even THEY can’t compete with their own highlight reel!
So how do you guide where you are on your path? Comparison is the answer. But not to another person.
Compare yourself ONLY to the best version of you.
Did you just go through a breakup? Don’t waste your time telling yourself that you’re a failure just because Becky is already married with kids. That’ll only keep you feeling bad!
Ask yourself, “What would the BEST version of myself do during this breakup?“
Did you just get another rejection letter for a job you really want? What would the best version of you do? She wouldn’t waste time (and energy) wishing she was like Rachel who’s the same age as you in the job you want for two years. She’d get up and go apply for that same job at another company, right?
So yeah, “The only way you fail is if you give up” may be a quote you can find on Pinterest, but it can be more than that. If you truly believe it, you won’t feel like a failure no matter how many times you get rejected.
Too early to dust yourself off? Set a strict time for your pity party
I’m the hostess-with-the-mostess when it comes to pity parties. When I get a rejection or a goal of mine falls through, I can get to a point where the depression affects every aspect of my life.
Remember that rejection from the job I really wanted? It felt earth-shattering.
I truly believed that was my only way to be able to move back to Kansas City. I fell down the rabbit hole of, “If I can’t find a job, I won’t have enough money to rent a moving truck. I’ll be trapped in Cincinnati forever.”
If this were two years ago, I would have stayed in this dark rabbit hole with no way out. I would have stayed in this depression for weeks, totally convinced that my whole life was thrown off course because of this rejection.
But it’s not two years ago. At the time of this episode, I got that rejection yesterday. Thankfully, in my time coaching other women and talking about things like limiting beliefs, setting goals and motivation, I’ve learned a thing or two on how to bounce back.
With every rejection I get, I set an allotted time I can feel sorry for myself.
With this most recent job rejection, I got the email around 10 am. So, I told myself I had until the next day to feel bad about it. During this time, I didn’t try to find inspiring and motivational things to force myself in a better mood. I also didn’t chastise myself for needing to feel that way.
I simply let myself feel the emotions of rejection.
I let myself cry without thinking “I shouldn’t cry about this“. I let myself feel bad because an employer didn’t think I was better than someone else.
But when the time was up, I went back to principle number one. What would the BEST version of myself do?
The best version of me wouldn’t be wasting time wondering if I’ll ever find a job in the city I want to move to. She’d get up, work on a new episode of the podcast and find another way to get to Kansas City.
Here’s what to do the next time you get rejected
If you need time to let yourself feel your emotions from this new rejection. Then do so! Set a time limit where you won’t judge how you feel, you won’t try and rationalize what you feel, but you simply just feel.
Then after that time is up, start asking yourself, “How would the best version of myself show up right now?” or “What would the best version of me DO right now?”
Here’s the kicker with this question though: you have to keep trying in order to make this work.
If you just ask yourself this once, decide it doesn’t work, and give up, then you won’t make a mindset shift that will help you anytime you get rejected. Your mindset is like a muscle, it only grows stronger if you work it out!
I challenge you to keep asking yourself, “How would the best version of myself show up?” as many times as you need until you can answer.
Because when you do, you’ll be able to bounce back from any rejection!
pin for later
Now I wanna hear from you!
Have you ever let the sting of rejection keep you from getting up and trying again? How would the best version of you act after a rejection? Let me know in the comments below or send me a DM over on Instagram! I’m @MonicaChats.
If you liked these tips and want more juiciness like this to help overcome the fear of failure, grow a thick skin, set goals that get you excited and take action then make sure to sign up for email updates!
If you want more, make sure to download my brand-spanking-new overcoming negative beliefs guide.
This guide will help you go from “Dang, I wish I could go after my goals” to feeling empowered to get after it. Click the pic below to download your copy.