Thought Muscle

Rejection, Resilience & Resurrection

There is a certain method to the madness that follows a rejection. Be it from a love interest, a friend or a potential employer- its tough dodging rejection. Now, I have been grappling with it for quite some time now, and have realized that it is much more damaging to women. You see, we’re conditioned to doubt ourselves even when the odds are in our favour. We end up thinking ‘Hmm… why are the odds in my favour? Am I doing something wrong?’ So many of my girl-friends are wary of celebrating any achievements because they’re afraid of jinxing the moment. Self-doubt 101.

When I decided to pen my feelings down about rejection, I was sure of not giving any advice on it. I am not a subject-matter-expert here. But what I am learning to build is resilience- in thought and in action.

A couple of weeks ago, my day began with a rejection email. Feeling like a failure and slouching into my day, I picked up my phone and listened to a very important podcast. It was from NPR’s Hidden Brain and talked about why there is underrepresentation of women in corporate leadership. I am not going to get deep into it, but what it said resonated with me.

Girls are taught to be ‘gentle’ and ‘caring’ while boys are taught to be brave. I can say from my own experience that the number of times I doubt myself is way more than the times the men in my life do. And a rejection adds on to that pile of misery and self-loathing. The truth is that no amount of feel-good articles or songs can fix the deep-rooted feeling of inadequacy that we women so often go through. What really helps me is introspection and an action-oriented thought process. I thrive on making strategies and coping/defence mechanisms and after each rejection, I put in conscious efforts to take myself out of that self-loathing rut.

A very strong message that Netflix’s Queer Eye reiterated was that it’s not about highlighting what’s wrong, but about what your life could be. You will be rejected every day. That is how the world is wired. Take a moment to mope and reflect. Meditate, exercise, watch a movie, listen to a podcast, whatever you do… focus on getting right back up.

And slay!

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