Rejection & Resilience: In Search of the Open Window

Frustrated Man That Doesn't Know What To do surrounded by grumpled up pieces of paper

You feel like the world is on your shoulders. You worry all the time that what you have done is just not enough. Your family is stable but they don’t understand the pressure you are under. According to them, everything you have attained is luck.

Your situation seems precarious and you keep trying to get to that next level that seems within your grasp but for some reason, you can’t get it. You are told that you don’t have the right education. Or that even though you’re educated, they don’t know the reliability of that education coming from a different country. Your experience is spot on but again it seems like it’s just not enough.

It frustrates you and you are starting to think it must be a sign because when American colleagues with less experience and less education get the position you wanted, you are left speechless. Angry. Disheartened. Nothing you do feels like it will ever be enough.

Rejection can be hard to handle whether it is from trying to get a new job or in relationships that just don’t last. Or, yet, from your family who either doesn’t understand your situation or chooses not to understand the situation you’re in. Here are some things to think about when handling rejection.

Accepting The Unknown

There are many aspects that go into a decision process where someone or a company decides to cut ties and go in a different direction.

So, it could be a sign to do something else. It could also be a sign that you may be dealing with people who don’t know very much about the world around them. Unfortunately, no matter where you live, there will be a time where you are dealing with people that don’t know much outside their bubble. So even though your education is spot on because it comes from a different country that HR person may have a perspective that is too limited to know that its the equivalent or greater than the education that is required for that position in the United States.

It hurts to have to deal with this situation and those types of people. However, know and believe that you are too good of a candidate for any position where such ignorance whether intentional or otherwise is allowed into a company’s culture. Sometimes, the path to your dream is not linear. There may not be an open door. Yet, you may be able to find an open window that is opened just enough to pass through.

If this is the path that you want to go down and the end results are what you want, then understand that you will get what you want but know that there are two variables that none of us can predict. Those are how long it will take us to get there and what path we will have to take. Please, be aware that sometimes you will need to veer away from the original plan to get the end result you desire most.

Understanding Yourself VS Your Experiences

Everyone is at one point rejected in their lives. It’s all about how we come back from that rejection. While sometimes, because we don’t have the same privileges, we have to work harder than others for what we want. It also does not mean we always know what the background conversations are.

Not all rejection is personal especially when you think about the interviewing process for jobs. There are many variables that you just won’t know. It may not be about you at all. It may be about an internal transfer, a hiring freeze or budget cuts that weren’t planned.

Now, if it is from a personal relationship ending, it does not mean that you are unlovable. It just means that that relationship has come to a close. You learn from the relationship and when it is your time, you move on.

Your self-worth is not tied to being accepted or rejected. You and the experience of being rejected are different. An experience is situational and can be temporary. You defining yourself as unhirable or that no one will accept you is a distortion. It is negative self-talk that will only cause you harm in the end.

Growing Pains

Realize that even though it can be painful, rejection can be a learning experience. It teaches us strength. We have heard sayings like verily when there is difficulty, there comes ease. When it comes to rejection, the pain of the rejection is the difficulty, the learning is the intervention, and the attainment of knowledge is the ease.

Therefore, reflect on what happened and the closing conversation, Often times we are given constructive criticism about why it is was not us now. Reflect on what was said and how it was said. Think about who you are and the values you follow. Is there something more you need to learn?

Remember, that none of us are perfect and there is always room for growth.


Your growth is for you! It is for the person you want to be not for the person that others expect you to be. If you continue to gain education for someone else, you may pass the class but you will find yourself hitting a wall again and again. If you are not really interested in the goal you are trying to attain, others will and do pick up on that.

Expanding Connections

As you try to attain continued personal growth also try to grow your network. There is a lot we can learn from books but there is, even more, we can learn from each other. If you feel like you’re hitting a wall in any aspect of your life, continue to reach out and make new connections. Sometimes, in life it is not what we know, it’s who we know. That is our open window.

Believe in your resilience.

And By the Way!

My name is Tara. I am a therapist who provides online counseling services in the state of Illinois. This blog post is not therapy and it should not be used as a substitute for therapy. If you would like to talk more, you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation, click here!

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