Rejection has always been equated to failure for me. I hate rejection. I hate failure. Unfortunately it has been a major player in my life in the recent years. I remember the first time that I was ever rejected. It was 5th grade and I wanted to play softball in the my town’s Babe Ruth league. There were two leagues: the minor league and the major league. You had to try out for the major league and everyone who didn’t make it and the younger grades played in the minor league. I tried out and didn’t make it. I wasn’t the worst player there, but I also did not know any of the coaches (if you knew one of the coaches you would make their team). I cried for days. I ended up playing in the minor league that spring and the major league the following year (mostly because all 6th graders automatically made the major league). I was young enough to play the following year when I was in 7th grade and became one of the best pitchers in the league.
I don’t handle rejection or failure well mostly because of my personality. I strive to be the best. Another part is my father. I love him dearly but he was extremely hard on me at times growing up. I hated being compared to my sisters or friends. A 95 wasn’t good enough or I was too fat. These were things I heard on a weekly and sometimes a daily basis and can definitely take a toll on someone. I was very shy and quiet growing up and I think it’s because I lacked self-confidence. I’ve grown up since then and have proven myself, however, when I get rejected again, I start doubting myself. Am I fast enough? Am I strong enough? Am I pretty enough? Am I skinny enough? Am I smart enough? I begin to wonder why I’m not good enough and comparing myself to other people. What does she have that I don’t? Why didn’t I get that internship? Why didn’t I get into that school? Why didn’t that guy like me? Why didn’t I get that job? I’m surprised I don’t have a permanent slap mark on my face from the numerous times I’ve been slapped in the face by rejection.
The fear of rejection is honestly one of the main reasons I didn’t apply to medical school. I was afraid that if I applied to 10 schools I was going to be rejected by every single one of them and I’m not sure I’m strong enough to handle that. I’m beginning to research PhD programs and the fear of rejection is returning. What if I’m not good enough?
The one thing that I have learned form rejection is that you have to accept it and move on. It’s part of life. Better things are down the road. However, I’m still convinced that I’m destined to be the crazy cat lady who lives with her father forever and works a dead-end job.