How to Handle No
Nowhere else in the English language can two letters have such an impact. Your parents want you to stay home and not see your friends. That one university you wanted to attend does not feel you are a strong enough candidate. The attractive classmate from across the room does not want a date. Rejection manifests itself in many ways, yet the emotional result is always similar.
From the big to the small, rejections happen to everybody. It is of utmost importance to remember you are not alone. You may not know anyone being told “no” in the same situation, but everyone you know is hearing “no” from somewhere.
Rejection has always been a part of the human experience. In the late 1930s, Ted from Massachusetts struggled to get his first book published. It took rejections from over twenty different publishers before he finally got a yes. That is more than twenty no’s, more than twenty individual instances of a dream being crushed. At the end of the day, that one yes that got the book published was what mattered. After that one acceptance, all the prior rejections became irrelevant. Had he let those stop him, he never would have published And to Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street, along with all the other books he published under his more recognizable name, Dr. Seuss.
The first thing to remember is persistence. We are not all Dr. Seuss, but we all have dreams and goals that we pursue. Those goals are not doomed after one, two, or even twenty rejections. In many cases, there is much to learn from the “no” we hear. The work you submitted can be tweaked using the feedback given. Every application and interview process helps to prepare you for future applications in the field.
Secondly, do not lose your perspective. If you place all your focus on one goal to be accomplished one specific way, then it is no surprise that rejection will lead to devastation. Give yourself multiple goals to reach and multiple avenues to pursue each goal. Writers and artistic creators can find success in television, film, literature, games, and more. Post-secondary education offers many schools offering numerous programs in your field of interest. There is always a path to take.
Finally, maintain your distance from each rejection. It is your work, a potential date, or a job that did not come to fruition. You as a person are not being rejected. Everyone is told “no” at one point or another, and often receive a “yes” for that same application or creative work when going elsewhere.
Persistence, perspective, and distance are vital. There is only one vacancy for that job, only one significant other for that attractive classmate, only a limited quota of books that publisher can publish. You are one of many people pursuing those spots. Rejection is not the end of the world. It is a necessary part of it.
Neuman, Frederic. How to Cope with Rejection. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fighting-fear/201308/how-cope-rejection
Teenshealth. Big or Small, Rejection Affects Us All. http://kidshealth.org/teen/school_jobs/jobs/rejection.htmlWikipedia. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_to_Think_That_I_Saw_It_on_Mulberry_Street