Sunday, May 20, 2007


Back in business school, getting rejected by a firm is endearingly termed as a "ding." I assume the term was inspired by the sound that elevators make just before it is closing and giving you one hell of a ride back to the lobby of the office building. A ding is when financial institutions or prominent business schools don't deem you worthy enough to hobnob with their crowd -- regardless of the fact that you have worked the hardest in your life to get their approval, you're still not good enough.

I've always regarded rejection as the supreme anti-christ -- more than jealousy, more than backstabbing and more than unfair criticism. It's hard not to take rejection personally, no matter how many fortune cookies and proverbs out there dictate the opposite. Sure, we've heard it all, haven't we? We're meant for bigger and better things... we just have to wait a little while longer. It just wasn't meant to be. Truly, it is most probably true. However, it's charm and magic doesn't exactly work at its peak when someone has just felt like he was kicked and battered whilst he was crouching on the floor -- stark naked.

Rejection comes in many forms. The worst one is the personal kind. Yay or nay?

Pick your biggest insecurity in life and imagine the person that you admire the most in the whole wide world pouncing on that repeatedly until it starts bleeding rocks -- and then saying you're not good enough. Funny enough, the words "to hell with you" just couldn't come out of your mouth fast enough.

Getting rejected is only but a natural process of finding one's self. How else will the universe let us filter out those bad decisions from the good ones? And how else will we learn that we can't all get what we want? And most importantly, without rejection, how do we expect to improve ourselves as people?

Rejection, among many other things, are part of life's great teachers. Funny enough, it's when you're given the test first before you learn the lesson. I reckon somewhat that many risks are left not taken because of the very fear of rejection. That and disappointment. Perhaps we fear rejection not because we fear rejection itself, but because we fear the consequences of that rejection. After all, rejection more often that not is followed by an episode of humility.

Though resilience and adversity are important elements to possess when dealing with disappointments and rejections, it is perfectly okay to wallow in self-pity for a bit -- to permit yourself some time to lick your wounds. That extra tub of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream is calling out your name. Go ahead and indulge. Vodka martini? Yes, please! Retail therapy? I'm so there! It's okay to nourish your soul after allowing someone to blow your ego to bits. You will need it all back when you embark on your next endeavor.

Maybe rejection is the universe's way to steer us towards a greater path. Or perhaps, it is a way for us to learn to broaden our horizons, to open our minds further and to up the antes of our risks. Or maybe even serve as eye-openers. Aren't some of us too stubborn to notice what surrounds us until it hits us squarely in the middle of our eyes? Well, that's the universe at work. It hurts when it hits us, but it's all for the greater good.

Didn't Louis Neverson once say: "I think all great innovations are built on rejections?"


Everything happens for a reason -- that's what I believe at least.


Blogger nel said...

... Dong ... yeahhhhh, i am no.1 this time ... quick press that button before some else post first ... hah, haha, hah ... :)

7:29 PM  
Blogger fifi said...

I think rejection makes you appreciate when you are accepted further down the line.
Otherwise the achievement seems too easily won.

HOWever...too many dings is soul destroying. It takes vast strength to face constant rejection, or the acceptance that you may eed to choose another door to knock on.

Interesting post as usual.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Paige Jennifer said...

Well you hit that nail on the head. Awesome post!

10:40 PM  
Blogger Aditi said...

ohhh finally someone else who knows the merits of phish food.. that can definitely evaporate a lot of troubles
and yes rejection in any form is hard...personal rejections are the hardest and when someone stomps all over you with words that feel like shoes with spikes..particularly harsher

10:53 PM  
Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...

"Everything happens for a reason -- that's what I believe at least."

While I agree with that statement I just have to be my smart-a$$ed self and say this:

"Every dark cloud has a silver lining, but lightning kills hundreds of people each year who are trying to find it."

3:27 AM  
Blogger shnaggy said...

no worries princess...the harry potter book got rejected many many times...

8:35 AM  
Blogger Sling said...

Maybe it's a guy thing,but rejection gets to be pretty much standard.
It's all about the odds princess.Sooner or later,the answer is "Yes".

10:49 AM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

I've always had a tough time with rejection...maybe because I was always taught that if you work hard, you'll get what you want. And about 99% of the time, that's been true.
But that 1% sucks ass.

11:01 AM  
Blogger `NEFTY said...

I always say that... "Everything always happens for a reason." But anyways, rejection sucks, I'm glad I ain't got any recently.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Anu said...

hmmm guess u have been through a tough day!!!
cheer up,the bottom line is "This happens to al of us" thats the way of the universe.

rejection and crticism are very much a part of our daily lives...but for them we wouldn't be able to appreciate the happiness that success brings!!

"If winter comes, can spring be far behind?" -Percy Bysshe Shelley

1:25 PM  
Blogger nel said...

Ok, here is more a serious comment ...

I think everyone does have their fair share of failure than success in a lifetime, other than that I wouldn't be having so many bruises mark at my knee for leaning how to walk to cycling.

Basically, to know joy, we need to understand pain; and to know sweetness, we need understand bitterness. That how knowledge and wisdom exists. It is just the risk that we can afford to have to go through them in life from time to time.

There is a saying that goes ...

"Whatever does not kill you, only makes you stronger"

... so, chin up and move on ... ;)

2:06 PM  
Blogger avaran said...

hey these days yr coming up with really provocative thoughts.....
i think rejection is the Universe's way of telling you the facts... that youre not good enough. The only thing is how do you react to it... are you gonna keep on claiming you are indeed good, or do what it takes to improve... (this is in the context of achievements or something of that sort... like applying for a job, or not being considered for th church choir or something)

when it comes to personal relationships, i think rejection sucks.... its th most difficult thing to get over. but, well, move on is all you can do, and move on you must..
one thing Iv learnt in life... that no experience is permanent. as in, if u are willing to move on , and be optimistic, life WILL reward you with better things

3:13 PM  
Blogger alpine path said...

Great post! I would add that rejection and the response it elicits from us depends on our maturity level and how close the matter is to our heart. Btw, I tagged you! Looking forward to see it filled soon :)

6:22 PM  
Blogger Confessions of a Born Procrastinator said...


I guess that in the end, it all comes down to attitude... When you look back at the rejection, well, you will notice a lot of things you probably could have done better and hence forces the smart thinker to bring out the best in one-self.

Good point about the "Fear of rejection makes you not try often"... I guess all of us have come across this at some point of time

8:50 PM  
Blogger Princess Extraordinaire said...

Rejection is especially difficult as it's taken as a persoanl assault on who we are..and sometimes this.

12:42 AM  
Blogger foam said...

i, at times can take rejection personally. although i try not to. it just depends on what or who has rejected me. but it can sting. it's hard to grow out of not being effected by rejection. i hope that many acceptances do come your way.

10:09 AM  
Blogger The Stormin Mormon said...

I personally like rejection that comes back to bite the other party in the ass.

I once had interviewed for a position in my company, and was told that I was an ideal candidate, and they did not promote based upon seniority, but there was someone who had been in line for the job a lot longer than I.

Six weeks later he couldn't hack it and quite. They came back to me and asked if I would like the position. I took the job for six grand more than they initially offered...

11:58 AM  
Blogger Keshi said...

Rejection is a must in everyone's life..or else it will be free of challenges hence too boring.


1:35 PM  
Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

My "Great Job Search" begins today -- I imagine I'll have quite a few dings before I get an anti-ding.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Lisa Francisco aka AVIANA said...


how are you? I always so "everything happens for a reason.." :)

We're similar in that since. Yeah dings in whatever avenue burns. But just gotta get up and move on. it attacks your self-worth but you thought you worth something before that ding well you nothing has changed after.

it helps you appreciate the acceptance much better in the future.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Well said... extraordinarily well said.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Shamash said...

my first rejection was during my college applications.. i remeber i had applied to around 30 US colleges and April 1st i think the decisions started coming in nearly half a dozen rejections.. i guess after that day i have taken rejectons in mah stride

8:41 PM  
Blogger Dushti said...

Rejections are okay I guess as long as we don't get into the why-only-me syndrome !

12:02 AM  
Blogger Cuckoo said...

Yes, everything happens for a reason & rejection teaches us the most.

Good post.

1:33 AM  
Blogger The Exception said...

It is often difficult to see that a window is open (or have the patience to wait for it to open) when you hear that door close. And yet, there is always a window. The hardest part is often having the courage to find it.

Very thoughtful post.

3:16 AM  
Blogger Maverick said...

right post at right time. it worked like medicine to me. I guess iam in almost d same state as u r

9:01 AM  
Blogger Lucid Darkness said...

Ah! Rejection. Something that hurts you where it hurts you most ... your ego, and your self-confidence.

But I have to agree with you when you say that rejection helps people improve and sort out the good decisions from the bad. I've personally learnt loads from setbacks. Granted, at those times all I could say was, "Why me?" but looking back, I've realised that those very setbacks have made me stronger.

You've expressed yourself in a logical, lucid and laudable manner. Loved your writing!

11:05 PM  
Blogger alex said...



Rejection affects only when one feels rejected.

10:32 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home