What if you’re rejected?

Every year right around March I see a plethora of articles on college acceptances, success stories, and rejection stories.

She knew I care about education and have been actively involved in non-for-profits that are focused on assisting high school students for their college transition. After viewing the video, here’s what I think.

If you were to peel the layers back for a moment, and examined the core. You may discover that at the crux of what was discussed is something quite fundamental that can be applied to all aspects of one’s life. That is: how does one cope with rejection.

Now, I would agree being rejected from a customer because the customer isn’t interested in buying a magazine from you, may not feel the same – in terms of emotional intensity – as being rejected by your dream school. But feelings of intensity fluctuate over the course of one’s life.

There are important milestones in one’s life, including but not limited to:

  • college acceptance
  • first internship
  • college graduation
  • first full-time job selection
  • first promotion
  • engagement
  • marriage/wedding
  • first child
  • first home
  • retirement

I call them “the big decisions” in life.

Life is a conglomerate of people you’ve built meaningful relationships with, experiences you’ve encountered, key decisions you’ve made, and lessons you’ve learned.

So the real question we should be asking is – how do we prepare and teach our children to have the right coping skills to manage some of these “big decisions” in life?

As parents, educators, mentors, how do we convey the truth that one’s life will not end because of one rejection at any one moment?

Everyone experiences rejection at one time or another. It is a normal occurrence to anyone at anytime.

With every decision we make, we are bound to get both pros and cons – hopefully the pros outweigh the cons. We should remind young people that even if they get into their dream school, there may be other decisions where they will not get their first pick. We need to encourage them to cultivate a nimble mind to manage their emotions, and balance their views of the good and the bad.

The most critical decision we can teach and learn as parents or mentors with the next generation is to be mindful that rejection is hurtful. Let your children or mentee know they could turn things around if they allow themselves time to see what they had missed. Failure is not forever.