Stop hating rejections

This exercise makes you immune to the pain of rejection

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Have you ever felt the pain of rejection before? Are you plagued by the fear of rejection? There is a way to conquer that fear. Rejection is a heartbreaking thing but it can be molded into something productive. One of the secrets of success is knowing how to handle rejections. The moment you become emotionally attached to your decisions and your expectation is sky high; you become liable to the horrific strike of rejection. Rejection is almost unavoidable in today’s world but you can be immune to its pain.

The goal is not for you to avoid rejection or minimize rejection but to make you love rejections, get comfortable with it and make you launch out more tenaciously without any fear

How can one possibly love rejections? It is very possible. You can get to the point where you even look forward to rejections. When you become comfortable with rejections, it becomes easier for you to succeed. People who are comfortable with rejections achieve more than those who are shattered by it because they have no reason to hold back on putting themselves out there again and again and again. Are you tired of applying? What you need to do to turn the tide is to change your approach.

Why do people get heartbroken when they apply for something and they are rejected? It is because they believe they are qualified for what they applied for and hence build expectation and anticipation to be accepted. This is because we have been taught by the merit system of school that if you are qualified then you should expect to be accepted. But life is nothing like that. The law of real life says that you will most likely be rejected for what you are qualified for. Why? This is because you are going to base your application on your qualification and that will not give you the edge you need to be accepted. In many cases, those accepted are not accepted because they are qualified (even though often times the qualification has to be there) but because they sold themselves better. So, should you go to learn how to sell yourself better in writing applications? Personally, I am not a fan of those mechanical hacks. Instead, I believe in embracing the process and just let the growth be a flow.

So then, what do you do? Apply only for things you are not qualified for!

And then try to sell yourself hard for it without trying to cover up for the qualification you don’t have. When you see what they want that you don’t have, look for what you have that seems comparable in a sense and sell it hard in your application. Do not apply for what you are overqualified for, rather apply for what you are under-qualified for. Then, make your application so much fun such that you look forward to what they’ll say if they reject you. Write applications that have a high probability of rejection (to build your resilience) but make it so compelling and juicy.

A dear friend shared his story of how he got a job fresh out of school. From the information released by the company, he was not qualified for the job. Apart from the fact that he was fresh out of school, the company has not had an African doctor in their history and the director was scared to break that tradition because he was afraid based on what he has heard from other people. But my friend applied and really desired the position. Even though the director could not tell him outright that he has been rejected, he insinuated it severally. But my friend kept coming back and standing in his face. Eventually, the director gave my friend a chance just to try him and the rest is history. He became the first of several African doctors the company now has.

For this to work effectively, you must not be under any pressure. If you are under pressure, then let them know you in person not just by paper. This is the more reason why you should start early, writing applications unafraid of rejections. The exercise teaches a very valuable lesson in marketing too. Apply for a job that you’re not qualified for and write the application is such a way that it will really be considered. You know you most likely will be rejected, but try to sell yourself despite the odds and the obvious qualification that you don’t have. If you get rejected, you still achieved something. But if it was something you qualified for, the rejection will weigh you down mentally.

But you could get accepted and that could make a whole lot of difference in your life!!!

If you are invited to an interview based on your application, remember that it is something you are not qualified for. So, just go there and have fun! Don’t pressure yourself for the job. If you think you will surely get the job, you probably should not apply for it (for this exercise). But if it is quite above your level, dare yourself and apply for it.

Does this mean I should apply for the post of senior developer when I have not written a line of code in my life? Yeah, you can try it! Sounds fun! But basically this is about applying for posts in your field, not outside your field. For example, they are looking for someone with 7+ years experience and you have 2+; apply! Don’t try to lie, instead build a persuasive case around a project you implemented and how 8+ years experience in something else you are involved in will benefit their purpose. Turn rejections to something you look forward to excitedly. And even when they don’t respond, the thought of what you did will make you smile constantly.

**You should really give this a shot. Would love to hear your experience if you have done this before

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