A week or two ago I shared a conversation I had with my life coach Karen. I said that I was concerned about selling my business wares, unsure if it was ethical to be implying that I (ie. ‘lil ol me’) was the BEST person for someone’s writing/blogging/social media needs. It wasn’t that I didn’t / don’t think I can actually do (whatever it may be I’m offering), rather I struggle with the ‘why’ they should accept my offer.
I also mentioned the concepts of rejection and perfectionism and the fact that I (and many others) put far too much credence in others’ opinions or perceptions.
But… one thing I didn’t mention in the earlier post was something else I shared with Karen, in terms of how I’ve (lately) been dealing with rejection. At the time I was embarrassed. Ashamed. But only now am I realising (and being reminded) that we human beings are so so predictable. Most of the time.
When Karen and I talked about how I’d dealt with rejections in the past I struggled to come up with some examples. It’s not that I haven’t suffered losses or defeats, but few were memorable enough to dredge up easily. Well that, plus I rarely take chances and put myself out there… and when one doesn’t ‘try’, rejections are kinda minimal.
But I’d been feeling bad you see, because after a couple of recent rejections – not winning anything in a local writing competition; and missing out on a job which SHOULD have been mine! 😉 – I was pissed-off.
I was worried I’d become this arrogant, self-important person who was fooling themselves with delusions of their own infallibility.
“Those motherfuckers,” I was thinking – about those that ‘wronged me’. “I’ll show them…” I’d think.
Of course the usual Deborah was there, nipping at the heels of the cussing angry defiant Deborah, reminding
me her that my her writing is probably crappy and my her CV / job applications are pathetic.
But the fact that I so quickly jumped to blame someone else was strange. Rather than be devastated the “Oh my god, it’s true; I’m crap. At everything” thought only popped very briefly into my mind before being tossed aside by really rational and mature thoughts about how – if I quit writing forever – those writing judges would feel really guilty and bad for not valuing my offerings.
I can’t really believe I’m admitting (publicly) to such insane thoughts. But… I was again visited by the you-bastards-don’t-know-what-you’re-missing demon yesterday.
I discovered I didn’t get shortlisted for a job I thought was tailor-made for me.
It had two major components (both of which were exactly what I’ve done for the past 10 years). Plus it was local-ish and I figured there couldn’t be a lot of competition in the region. Well, hmph! Bastards.
But, as I started to wonder what kind of depraved human being I’d become, some of my old undergraduate psych studies sparked somewhere in the recesses of my mind. Stages of grief. Stages of rejection. And so forth.
I seem to have skipped over the usual first stage – denial – and gone straight to ‘anger’.
So… I’ve been a bit comforted knowing, ‘it’s not just me’. Others experience this as well. I haven’t suddenly become some arrogant beast; assuming I’m fabulous and everyone should agree. No, rather it seems it’s natural to be angry at the rejectors. <Insert sigh of relief here.>
Sadly of course, the next phases are likely to involve some wallowing before acknowledging (what could be improved or changed) and bouncing back from the disappointment. Ahhh…. resilience. My old friend.
How do you deal with rejection or disappointment? Do you often blame others or become angry? Or do you wallow endlessly?