What I learned from rejection

Written by Adriana Watson, Staff Writer

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I recently volunteered at Christmas Crossroads, a craft show hosted by the Lockport Women’s Club, collecting donations for United Service Organizations and Tender Loving Care, an animal shelter in Homer Glen. Although I didn’t expect to gain a life lesson from standing behind a booth and asking people to donate money to children of military families and homeless dogs, the lesson came to me nonetheless. This lesson being: rejection can be healthy.

Let me explain myself. Although there were hundreds of people very willing to donate, their were plenty more who were not. I certainly can’t blame those people, and this is not the message I want to portray. I’m sure they all had their own reasons for choosing not to donate. Besides, without these people, I wouldn’t have been able to discover a valuable lesson.

Rejection happens. No one likes it, but it’s impossible to escape. Although in the moment it may feel like a failure, rejection is not failure. It becomes a failure only when you are incapable of reacting to it properly. By reacting to rejection with grace and politeness, rather than disappointment or anger, you have not failed but succeeded. This is because you have managed to take a negative situation and respond in a positive manner. I truly believe if everyone could master this etiquette, we would be living in a much more polite society.

So whether you’re getting rejected repeatedly by people you’ve never met before or once by someone you truly care about, remember that rejection is not the end of the road. By being rejected, we not only learn valuable lessons about ourselves but also improve our self confidence.

Once you’ve been rejected many times, you learn that it isn’t your fault. There’s usually another, completely unrelated issue behind that rejection. After all, for every million “no’s” you might receive a “yes” someday.  Only then will you truly be able to see that every “no” along the way meant nothing in the long run.

Rejection is difficult for us all, but if we are able to see rejection in a better light, it becomes manageable. By seeing rejection for what it is‒ simply a part of life‒ you’ll find that the world was never out to get you. We all need to stop beating ourselves up about things we have no control over. Taking this path will inevitably lead to sadness and disappointment.  Instead, stay positive, dear reader, for positivity (and Newton’s first law) are the only things that keep this planet spinning.

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