Recently, I applied to be a part of the Marriott Voyager Program; fun fact, they rejected me last semester. And even more fun, they rejected me this semester, this time, without even giving me a chance to interview. Rejection is like a punch to the gut. It takes the wind out of you for a good amount of time. And naturally, it’s hard not to think of it as a personal attack on your qualifications, capabilities, and your confidence. The human ego is probably the biggest enemy to rejection. We naturally lose a lot of pride in ourselves when we feel like others do not value us as much as we do. Our default to rejection is assuming that we are not good enough or that the interviewers felt that way about us. But that is not always the case. In fact, never take rejection that way. It will only hurt you more, even if that is really the case.
How I started to see rejection is more of a forked road opportunity. On one side, we have a chance to reflect on why we were rejected and how we can aspire to gaining the qualities we lacked. I could reflect on how I did not get a managerial position and what I can do to become better fit for that role. I know I am not emotionally mature enough to be a manager, because of how young I am, and that the only way for me to become a better manager is to deal with very intense situations so that I can be better suited in the face of pressure.By reflecting on myself and trying to find areas for improvement, I know that when the next opportunity comes around for a managerial position, I will be ready. But it does leave the question of, do I want to just settle for the thing I was originally rejected for? And do I want to strive for something else?
The other side of the fork is moving forward. Closing the door and going past it. While I was rejected for being a manager, I could always focus on being something completely different. Rather than staying in hotels for the hospitality industry, I could always branch back into my roots in restaurants, or even go into a completely different industry like banking or finance. By no means am I stuck in one place. Just because I have created a norm with this sort of lifestyle of being in hotels, that does not limit me to a future or entire life in them. By closing one door, you will find that there are hundreds still open. Other opportunities that you can pursue. Other possibles left to be explored.
Never see rejection as you not being good enough. Think about the ending in Cinderella, where the step-sisters tried to force on the glass shoe. The shoe just did not fit. But you will find that moment when it does and you will have your Cinderella moment. That moment when everything works out and all of the pieces fall into the places that they need to. Opportunities will come around, and rejection just pushes us closer to them. But the most important thing of all is to never let rejection get you down. Never think of it as you not being a quality person. You have the potential to become whatever you want to be. And with time and hard work, you will find that there will be many options for your future. Never feel weighed down and never feel trapped. Just because one door, even a hundred doors close does not mean that all of them do. Rejection happens, but so long as you know that there is still something out there waiting for you, then you easily live a feather-light life.