• Sunita walked back to her room, dejected, crestfallen as she sat in front of the mirror. Trying hard to hold back her tears, she was vacillating between anger and disgust on being ‘rejected’ by the boy who came to ‘see’ her at her home in Lucknow. Working with a private bank in  Kanpur, average height and fair complexion, she was clueless on being rejected thrice. Though not comfortable with the ‘Arranged Marriage’ concept, she had grudgingly accepted it after her own attempts on various dating and matrimonial sites had yielded nought.
  • Raghav walked out of the hotel with a glum expression on his face. When the Japanese investor had invited him to the Leela hotel in Gurgaon, his fourth meeting for fund-raise, he was hoping to get lucky. But the body language of the investors towards the end indicated otherwise. It was fifteen months since he had started his e-commerce venture and had exhausted all his savings and the loan he got from friends and family. He was literally on two-months-lifeline and would need to quit  if he is not able to raise money.
  • Karan kept staring at his laptop for half an hour, without moving. The screen had email from LnT open in front of him. Apparently, the interview last week did not go well as he had not been selected. It was 6 months since he graduated from a top notch B school. Being ‘not placed’ on campus due to the CoVid lockdown did not hurt the IIT Delhi engineer as much as being ‘rejected’ by 4 companies post that. He was at a loss on what he was doing wrong and what more he has to do to get a ‘yes’.

The three stories have one thing in common, ‘Rejection’. It is typical for us to look within when we fail, especially on repeat failures in a short span of time. We start questioning ourselves, our skills (or lack of them), our learning/brought up, our education, family background, luck, etc. Its all OURs that we question. Not for once, we try and put ourselves in other person’s shoes and try and think of his/her perspective and what would have lead to a negative decision.

  • The guy in Sunita’s case might, after all, as often is the case, might have only grudgingly agreed for the meeting. He might have want to focus on his career or has a girl-friend who is not ready for getting married, etc.!
  • The investor in case of Raghav has a biased view on the sector and is not sure if Raghav’s company, will be able to make the transformational impact needed and hence preferred to not go ahead.
  • The company, LnT, in case of Karan had interviewed 10 candidates for just 2 positions and even thought they were extremely satisfied with him, there were two others who were better and they had no choice but to say no to him, just like with two more candidates.

The bottomline.. there was possibly NOTHING wrong with them, that lead to the negative decision on them. 

And why should this be a ‘life questioning ‘ moment ? It probably has to do with the sincerity, attachment or single-minded focus to what they were hoping for. Not that being sincere or having a single minded focus is wrong; after all, these are qualities that are considered critical for success in any venture. The problem is with the ‘attachment’. The way they strongly associate their fate to what they want. That’s the one which causes the problem. Attachment is easy, detachment is not. And as is the case with us humans all the time, given a choice, we jump to the easy option and feel lazy abt even trying out the tough option.

But tough as it might be, to immediately detach and distract your mind from what has happened, is critical. Its important to realise, its not you.. its them.

Look at it this way:

  • for Sunita, give or take a hundred, there at least 100,000 more eligible bachelors.
  • For Raghav, there are at least 100 more investors, if not a thousand, to approach.
  • For Karan, there are literally tens of thousands of positions to pitch for.

So, when u face rejection, or face that ‘nothing is right about me’ moment in life, look at the ‘bigness’ of the world, the ‘smallness’ of the missed opportunity. Realise that you still have 30, 40, or 60 more years, in some cases, to get what you just missed out on. In context of life as a whole, no one incident, however big it might be, can be more important than life ahead of you. 

So change your perspective, and life will change for the good.

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Hetal Sonpal

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