For many of us, the pain of being rejected often leaves us feeling hurt and crippled with self-doubt. Whether it’s personal or professional, getting up and trying again takes up a lot of energy (energy that you don’t always have following hearing that no).
Trite as it may be, sometimes not getting the job or not having your idea approved for a project you want to work on could be a stepping stone to something better.
It’s not easy to see a path to success in that moment, but if you’re in need of a little encouragement, you should check out a trending hashtag called #ShareYourRejections.
According to Buzzfeed.com, folk from various different industries – but particularly the creative sector – have started a hashtag in which they literally share painful moments from their lives in which they were told to either quit before they got started or that they wouldn’t amount to anything.
The incredible stories that have come out of it show how important it is not only not to allow rejection to define you but that it's possible to become hugely successful in ways you might never previously anticipated.
We round up some of our favourite responses:
READ MORE: I met some of my best friends on the internet
This theatre geek who was told she’d never make it
Celebrities aren’t immune either
Case in point: Kim Cattrall who was rejected for a role because she was told she had no sex appeal. She, of course, went on to star in the hit series-turned-movie Sex and the City.
Got replaced in a TV pilot by a major TV network boss because he said I had no Sex Appeal.— Kim Cattrall (@KimCattrall) August 16, 2018
Even writers like JK Rowling face a number of rejections before making it bigAward-winning author Malorie Blackman shares how she got at least 82 rejection letters before being signed with a major publisher and that one of her books was actually rejected for a literary award because it would have apparently been better if her book was written by a white author.
#ShareYourRejections 82 rejection letters before a publisher finally said yes. Rejected 5 or 6 times by the Arts Council for one of their writing bursaries. Noughts & Crosses rejected for a literary award cos 'it would've shown more insight if a white author had written it.'!— Malorie Blackman (@malorieblackman) August 16, 2018
It took almost two years to sell an Untamed State, and two different agents. It took seven years to sell Difficult Women.— roxane gay (@rgay) August 16, 2018
But it’s not just professional rejection – some users shared moments of how they’ve overcome obstacles and have now come full circle.
I didn’t get into my first choice for j-school. They were very blunt about why I was rejected. I was told reapplying would be a waste of time. 5 years later, I was at the school telling their students how to stay in the journalism field. #ShareYourRejections— Evan F Moore (@evanFmoore) August 16, 2018
When I worked at @Tesco my line manager told me I wasn’t good enough to do the store announcements. ??.— James Barr ????? (@imjamesbarr) August 19, 2018
Now I’m a TV/Radio presenter/comedian, co-host the UK’s largest, award winning LGBTQ+ podcast @gaynongay... and I shop at @AldiUK ?? #ShareYourRejections
The next time you’ve been rejected, think of it this way (as one reader puts it): the fact that you’re out there applying for jobs or pursuing your dream already means you’re winning. Remember that old adage - one door closes and another one opens...
So the point is that rejection is pretty much part of life. What you might really want but don’t get may simply just mean there’s something better out there for you. It’s not easy to see it in that moment but reading the various stories on social media speaks to us on such a universal level.
WATCH: What I learned from 100 days of rejections
In my world, "serial reject" is a synonym for "hero" because it takes monumental courage NOT to dismiss yourself after being dismissed even once. So, #ShareYourRejections yes, but remember if you pursue something meaningful to you in spite of rejection and failure, you've won.— Lauren O'Connor (@thelocolauren) August 20, 2018
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