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Everyone has had his or her share of rejections. “It’s not you, it’s me.” “We’ve decided to go in a different direction.” “We’re pursuing other opportunities at this time.” Whether it’s personal or business, no one wants to hear that she is not right for something. Especially when it’s something she wanted or thought she needed. It can be a blow to the ego, to self-confidence and to beliefs. But it doesn’t have to be catastrophic.

To thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.
– Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3, 78-82 

There’s no doubt that rejection is frustrating. You’ve put what you think is your best self forward and somehow it isn’t enough. You’ve polished the resume, smartly crafted a cover letter with all relevant information, outlined and practiced interviewing skills, and yet through an automated  email alert, or via a brief phone call or email, you were informed the process stopped before it got rolling. Or maybe you encountered this with a sales presentation for a prospective client. They were interested at first and set up meetings and calls, but then that attraction somehow wavered and disappeared before you really got your foot in the door.

Some people spend hours of self-reflection trying to figure out what was the mitigating factor in a decision they don’t completely understand. Others will simply shrug and move on, knowing that something else, potentially something better, will be around the next corner. You may never really understand reasons or change a person’s point of view, so it’s usually pointless to speculate.

It’s okay to be disappointed. What you do after the disappointment is what demonstrates your strength of character and resolve. There’s a million clichés to address the situation. Everything happens for a reason. Sure, things happen, and then you have to discover the reason. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Okay, these days it’s probably by your Manolo Blahniks or Allen Edmonds. Win some, lose some. Most of us prefer to keep our winning percentages high.

steve jobs quote

Whatever the situation, keep moving forward. While not right for the job or a client, there is another one out there. But don’t stop being true to who you are, because there is someone who will hire you for your skills or love you for your quirkiness. Don’t be afraid to keep pushing forward as you.