How to defeat rejection and succeed! | El-Shaimaa Abumandour

October 22, 2021
By Shaima Abumandour, Freelance Researcher

Humans everywhere like to be successful and always accepted; it is true. Almost every one of us has faced a heartbreaking feeling called REJECTION. All our activities and life choices comprise two potentials: acceptance and rejection. Definitely, approval is pleasant and gives us the feeling of success and belonging. Undoubtedly, life seems to be happier and easier if it is rejection-less. Nevertheless, positive feedback and confirmation is not granted in most of our life quests starting from your dream school, university, program, job, even pitching a new idea, etc. If you could pass the bad times, heart aching refusal experience, you would find it a necessary step towards your success and you could reevaluate your self-weakness and strong points. Without frustration, one would forget the good taste of harvesting the outcomes of great and hard work would not be able to experience the sweetness and happiness of success. 

Number of writers have mentioned that the most successful and eminent people have experienced rejection and failure almost in all fields. Walt Disney failed three hundred and two times to convince bankers to fund Disney until finally he succeeded. In addition, J. K. Rowling one of the well-known authors worldwide was mocked by twelve publishers before the vibrant success of her series of Harry Potter fantasy novels. J. K. Rowling has a quote said, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation in which I rebuilt my life.” Moreover, plenty of renowned scientists, researchers and Nobel laureates witnessed rejection and failure before finally having their research work acknowledged, published and disseminated. Kary B. Mullis was jointly awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and awarded the Japan Prize in the same year. Nevertheless, the paper he authored about his invention of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was rejected before winning the prize. 

In brief, all these rejections do not mean that judging others ideas, work, etc. is rough or unfair, in fact it is part of improving, enriching human knowledge and enhancing community. Usually researchers and scientists facing the rejection experience more than others because of their work nature.

 As a doctoral degree holder, I have confronted great deal of refusal in different situations. Rejection ranges from pitching a new research idea, implementing new technique, applying in tens of grants and receiving tons of refusal e-mails starting with the following disappointing sentence: “Thank you for your interest, unfortunately you were not selected ….”. 

There is no doubt that rejection feeling is the worst, depressing feeling one can experience especially if you have this thought “I must be a reject, less qualified”, unsuccessful or not good enough struggling and feeling depressed are normally encountered. Since I have my own experience in handling numerous rejections and survive afterwards, I could say, do not waste your time thinking you are not good enough, not qualified and/or worthless. Try to use this failure  as a step to rise above disappointment. Do not lose faith in yourself or your capabilities. At the same time, reevaluate yourself, check the reasons of rejection, try to enhance your competencies and learn from the criticism. Do not ever lose hope or trust in yourself and dreams you are special in every way. 

Life is a journey you should enjoy it with all its prospects and face all its risks. The risk could bring both the shock of rejection and the surprise of succeeding and acceptance. So listen to Thomas A. Edison “I have not failed. I have just found ten thousands ways that won’t work.” Accept rejection as an adjustment experience, as a step stone on your pathway to success and give yourself chance to strive towards your objectives and my last advice do not stop learning and dreaming.  

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