Can you handle rejection?

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Last week I found out I was unsuccessful in an application for a promotion I had put in for at work. In my whole working life it was the first interview I've ever been unsuccessful in. I can't say I was shocked, because I wasn't expecting to get the job, but it still stung to know that I wasn't good enough. I felt I had done my best throughout the whole week long process, and knowing that my best wasn't up to the standard required was painful in a way.

I'm a hard worker and throughout my career I've been used to being able to get what I want when I put my mind to it. I had done the role previously with another company, so I know I could have done the job with my eyes closed and I felt it unfair that I seem to have gone unrecognised in a position that is far less stretching than anything I've ever done before.

As a kid, my parents turned everything I did academically into a competition and if I wasn't the best, then what was I doing? "Make sure you beat Seema at that spelling competition, TAKE THAT BITCH DOWN!" "But Dad, I don't know how, I'm only 7!" I also have a tiny black emo heart so I don't deal with rejection or not being the best at things very well. I felt that I failed myself and my partner by not being the best applicant. Cue me spending every night after work curling up on my bed watching The Tudors until my eyes bled and funnelling Reeces Pieces down my throat (literally. I created a cardboard funnel out of the box) and feeling shit about my life, wailing 'WHAT AM I DOING? I'M 25 YEARS OLD AND I CAN'T EVEN GET A PROMOTION!'

In reality, now that I've had a week to think about it, my talents and good qualities are perhaps better suited to a different, more creative role. Just because in someone else's opinion I wasn't best suited to this specific role doesn't necessarily mean I am a failure, and it doesn't mean I won't get another promotion if I put myself forward for one in the future. Shit, even JK Rowling got rejected by 12 publishers before Harry Potter flew into our lives on his Nimbus 2000, and that doesn't have any bearing on her talent whatsoever. They must all be kicking themselves in the goolies for missing out on our bespectacled friend.

Can you handle rejection? Does it get easier the more it happens? How do you keep motivated and stay on track when you've been told you're not good enough?

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