failing forward

How to handle rejection and move on fast

Do you feel like you’ve messed up?

Didn’t get the job you so desperately wanted?

Asked someone on a date and got rejected? 

Do you wish you could turn back time and just do things differently? 

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Ahhhh…. failure. The word itself makes me cringe. I wish it didn’t even exist.

For a while now I have been trying to just not see things as a failure or a mistake.

No matter how painful or seemingly idiotic something in my past seems, I try not regret anything I have done or that I allowed to happen and you’ve heard me say this a dozen times:

Everything happens for a reason.

Nevertheless, I know how hard it is when you really want something and you don’t get it. Because ‘you don’t deserve it’, ‘you’re not qualified enough’ or ‘not good enough’ to have it.

I know how much it hurts to take the leap and tell someone you like them and they reply ‘Okay’ or say nothing at all.

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Rejection can be one of the most paralyzing and sabotaging experiences in life and when we’re not aware of it, it has the power to destroy our self-esteem and feeling of self-worth for a long, long time.

I know people whose parent abandoned them as a child or just cut ties with them completely and fear of rejection and abandonment is something they still struggle with as adults.

Let’s take a quick look at the definition of rejection and failure:

rejection (noun)

  • the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.
  • the action of spurning a person’s affections.
    “some people are reluctant to try it, because they fear rejection”

(source: google dictionary)

failure (noun)

  • an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success
  • non-performance of something due, required, or expected:
  • a failure to do what one has promised; a failure to appear.
  • a subnormal quantity or quality; an insufficiency
  • deterioration or decay, especially of vigor, strength, etc.
  • a person or thing that proves unsuccessful 

(source: dictionary.com)

 

Sounds harsh, right ?

Now I invite you to redefine those to words with me. 

Both rejection and failure have been some of the best things that could have happened to me in my life. They have unleashed a strength and willpower I never thought I had, they opened doors to future opportunities and led people into my life that I would have never met if I had ‘succeeded’.

In those cases the failure itself has been a form of success for me. 

Here’s a few examples:

Back in high school in year 9 I failed so much that I had to go back and do the year all over again. Doing so allowed me to move from a class I felt uncomfortable in and bullied by to a class of awesome and fun people who became my friends in no time.

I failed to live up to my Dad’s expectations (he wanted me to stay at home, not graduate, not travel, work for him and his business…) and rebelling against that allowed me to travel the world and become an independent, reasonable and creative young woman with big dreams and aspirations.

I was rejected and told I wasn’t gonna make it by teachers, employers and even family more times than I can count. Having experienced that has only made me more resilient and stronger in the end.

Not long ago I thought I found the love of my life and was left and rejected at a time when I was ready to take the next step together and thought everything was perfectly fine. Going through this break up and the heartache allowed me to spend valuable time on my own, take care of myself, question my relationship with myself and others.

It allowed me to realize it was never meant to be and that I am really better off the way I am now.

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Recently, I auditioned for a drama course at one of the top London drama schools and this experience was what inspired me to write this blog post in the first place.

I registered for the audition even though I was scared but I also got really excited.

I had months to prepare a 2 minute monologue and I left everything until last-minute.

My excuses were that I don’t have the privacy to practice, people will hear me, I don’t know what I’m doing, maybe it’s not the right thing for me, who am I to do this anyways…

SELF-SABOTAGING at its finest.

In the end I went in, I even managed to be quite prepared and not too nervous, the audition took less than 5 minutes (not a good sign) and I got an email a couple of days later saying they haven’t made an offer.

I was not surprised. 

2 years ago I would have been fuming at myself. I would have hated myself so much and thought I was such a lazy, unaccomplished piece of crap.

Now I know that it’s all part of the process. It had to happen exactly as it did. It was just another step on the staircase of life. Going into this audition was something that scared the hell out of me and I did it anyways.

Regardless of the outcome, let the challenge itself be an achievement. 

I know myself and I know that if I really want something and if it really sets my soul on fire I will do everything in my power to get it and I will not stop until I have accomplished it.

But this time I didn’t do my best, I didn’t prepare for it to the best of my abilities and I was almost relived when I got the email that said ‘NO’.

There is no point in me beating myself up about it.

I came, I saw, I failed

So what?

 

Realize it’s not about you.

 

Every failure in life, every time you get rejected, the most important thing to do is not to make it about yourself completely.

The moment we define ourselves through our failures or we take rejection personally it goes downhill. 

 

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Maybe the employer really just had a bad day and couldn’t be bothered to get to know you properly. Maybe the director had an image in his head and the position was just not right for you.

Maybe you are better off single for now.

Maybe the friend who always bails on you and blames everything on you really is a waste of time and energy.

Maybe you do need more time to finish your degree.

Whatever it is, try to see it as a chance to reevaluate. Take it as a hint to maybe change directions. To question if it’s really what you want.

Find the missing piece.

Or maybe just let it go and allow the universe/god/whatever higher entity to help you find your way.

It doesn’t have to be hard, you don’t have to push or stress yourself out because something feels to hard to reach and stuff keeps going wrong.

Try releasing it and see what happens.

And just a quick thought:

What if there is something way, waaaaay better out there waiting for you to open yourself and let it in ?! 

 

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Love,

 

Eva x

2 thoughts on “failing forward

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