Applying for jobs was once a humbling ordeal given all the rejection I’ve faced in the process. Now, I see rejection as par for the course in all that I do. Me being a fake philosopher and always trying to draw analogies, I see how rejection or failure is pervasive and necessary throughout life. I believe that failure, rejection, and hard times are necessary steps in order for me, and others, to: 1) actually know what success is; and 2) appreciate the success when it comes. These feelings arise with Romantic relationships, sports, a professional or working career, business ventures, blogging, making and keeping friends etc. Some are on a different plane of thinking and have a Zen like view. Not every win is a win, not every loss is a loss. And we all aren’t the same. I can only speak for myself. But, I no longer treat my shortcomings as weight on my shoulders.
It may be obvious, but I just got another rejection letter. Strangely enough, I’m not feeling any sour or bitterness from it. All I know is I must keep on pushing. I know there are people who hate rejection and use it as a tool or motivation to work harder and prove their doubters wrong. I guess I feel the same way, I just don’t take it as a personal affront because “[they] know not what [they] do.” Alternatively, I think I see that I just need to work a bit harder and smarter while taking more risks.
Rejection, losing, and failure is not a new phenomenon for me. As a youngster, I ran track, and I didn’t finish in first place all the time or in every event I competed in; and I missed out on qualifying for the higher levels of competition. But, it was informative. I had to learn how to cope then learn from my mistakes. The losing told me I wasn’t good enough and I needed to work harder during the off season to improve. It was fun too. I relished the opportunity to compete again. I wasn’t the best basketball player everywhere I played and definitely not the best at every level. I thought I was a beast, but not enough others felt the same. The teams I played for would lose games. A lot of games. There was a time when colleges coaches were not interested int recruiting me. At every chance,I had to keep proving my worth.
After college, agents didn’t want to sign me, and teams cut me, or just ignored me. Next thing you know, I took the LSAT and didn’t score very well. Thus, I had to attend a law school that wasn’t my dream school. Rejection letters came like clock work. Then, I had to compete in law school for A’s which never came. I had to take the bar more than once. Opening that email to find I failed was the most egregious pain that no one could prep me for. I feel like there was no greater failure in my life, to date. I have never been given the “ok” to relax, or given the feeling of accomplishment that says you don’t have to keep working harder and harder.
I’ve seen failure and rejection far too much. But, I am not worried about the next instance. I’ve been confronted with the feelings associated with losing frequently. But, here I am. And, all I can do is keep going. I have learned that continuing to push is far easier when you don’t harbor ill will or resentment or bitterness. I feel like I have a better understanding to the saying “roll with the punches.” The difference I will have to make is in the execution. And, I can’t just prepare. I have to prepare perfectly in order to have that perfect performance or outcome, so that when it is time to execute perfectly I will. Perfect Practice makes Perfect.