Every now and then, I like to look at all my past rejections, all the times people didn’t accept my ideas or think I was good enough and just laugh at how morbid it all seemed at the time. Even though the idea of me sitting there and laughing to myself seems crazy, I promise you reflection is healthy! In that moment, when you’ve been hoping and praying for something and it doesn’t come through, the level of disappointment is almost unbearable. Don’t get me wrong it gets easier to get over as you become older and have been hit by a few more blows but the initial hit is always as hard and powerful as the last one.
A big issue I find with rejection/failure is that some people fail to understand that mine and the rest of the public’s interpretation of failure are two completely different things. Some people find that difficult understand, whether it be because of insecurities or prior judgements they may have on my personality, I don’t know. I remember I cried when I got a lower grade than I wanted in 1 out 4 exams for my A Levels in AS. This guy was like ‘what a pointless thing to cry over, just appreciate it, it’s a good grade’. Now when a person works off their own PERSONAL aspirations not comparison to other people’s performance, then it doesn’t matter what other people have achieved. I don’t sit there and think, oh this person did worse than me so I should feel better – or this person did better than me so I should feel crap. My mentality is, I set my goal as this and I am disappointed because I didn’t achieve my goal. For me it’s very simple. My parents are at the forefront of my discipline and motivation and I’m not afraid to be ambitious when I set myself an objective, that’s just my personal approach.
I remember when I walked into this photography class and asked the members of the class if they’d be interested in partaking in this project I had coming up. (I even offered money... which I didn’t have). I was ridiculously excited with one of my best friends Jean Kachika with me. So we went ahead and asked, trying to sell it as best as possible in the 30 seconds we had - seeing as we had received the 'what are you doing here?' look. And when we were done speaking, I remember thinking it was the look of disinterest and dismissal that was worse than they’re response. I am not one that strives for acceptance, but even that was painful. Often the fact that people will not give you an opportunity to prove whether your idea is valuable or not is what frustrates me the most. It happens everywhere, work, school, sports and even church! That being said - I’m sure each and every one of us can even be held accountable for dismissing someone quickly without taking the chance to hear what they have to say.
As we grow up we have an issue of becoming ‘realistic’. Now no one wants to be naive, but often we blow things away because we often have to calculate the risk of it, then whether it’s doable, then come to the conclusion it’s unlikely so it’s not worth it. The beautiful thing about children is that they have the most adventurous of minds, where we see no possibilities, children can invent a way in their minds. We on the other hand are so quick to dismiss ideas, they have no chance of coming into fruitation. Whilst some of the children’s ideas may reach too deep in to the land of fairytales, it’s the magnitude and the quantity of ideas that makes their minds so powerful. If you only come up with one, mediocre idea – you have no alternatives neither have you lifted off the ground much. Whereas if you have a 1000 ‘sky is the limit’ ideas, you’re more likely to find at least one credible idea that’ll really lift off.
My point being, broaden your minds to a world of possibilities and don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t. I remember the first GAP programme I applied to, I was so excited and I must have got to the 3rd stage or so and then an email came with a rejection. I was gutted to say the least. I had been really optimistic about this opportunity and thought that they’d see me as a worthy candidate. Some 2 months or so later I applied to the rest of the big 4 accounting firms (KPMG, Deloitte, EY and PWC – you can guess which one I applied to first) and I was successful with only one other gap programmer with a place in Manchester. I am PROUD of my failures because when I succeed it feels so much better. I feel PROUD after my failures because I know I got back up again. The point is not to take rejection personally because the people who are doing the recruitment aren’t always following the same criteria. Sometimes you are rejected because that workplace/course/goal/person wasn’t right for you! The world isn’t out to get you and honestly rejection and failure is a stepping stone to achieving what you want.
Do not be scared of disappointment and failures in life. It’s inevitable and if anything it’s essential for getting things done. Instead welcome the opportunity to be set back quite early because it prevents an even bigger downfall in the future. Learn from it and get what you can so that next time, the same thing doesn't happen again! My best advice for today, have a child like mentality. How quickly do little kids forget about arguments and downfalls? You see them crying one minute and laughing the next. That attitude I will always strive to have in my life.
Thanks for reading guys!