Everyone has faced rejection at some point in their life. Rejection hurts. Even the word sounds bad.
At work, I always say that accountability doesn’t have to be a bad thing; it’s essentially feedback. Accountable is defined as being able to justify or explain decisions or actions. It says nothing about disciplinary action or punishment. It’s really only bad if you’ve done something bad that you cannot justify in good reason.
When I first thought of the topic for this post, I was thinking that accountability and rejection were similar. I was trying to find a positive spin in the hurt of rejection. But really, they are two very different concepts.
Synonyms for accountable include:
Synonyms for reject include:
No wonder the word rejection sounds bad. It is bad! No one wants to be refused, disapproved of or denied.
In my effort to be courageous, I’ve been dealing with rejection. At work, when we are held accountable, there’s a conversation, an explanation as to why we are being held accountable. We don’t always get an explanation for rejection. There’s no feedback on what you need to improve. There’s really no closure in rejection. You are just left wondering what you did wrong.
And while I would like to embrace rejection for the simple fact that it means I took risk, I’m having a very hard time accepting the hurt that comes along with it. The feelings of rejection can lead you down a dangerous path. As Brené Brown would say, it leads you through the “shame storm.” And that’s where I’m at.
Although there have been wins, (and I do want to fully recognize those wins), I’ve been dealing with rejection both personally and professionally the last few months. The rejection has become compounded, and I have found myself lost in the shame storm feeling unworthy, unqualified, unprepared, and many other “un” things.
While part of me feels like I have been trained in leadership and read all the books about self-awareness and worth that I should respond better to these rejections, these are natural human feelings. It’s okay to feel them. The true test of my character is how I move forward.
The thing about rejection though, is it stems from seeking acceptance or approval from others, and that triggers shame. To move forward, it’s reminding myself that I am enough. The perception of what that program or that guy thinks is only a reflection of them, and what they perceive is beyond my control. What is in my control is knowing my worth, and it is their loss if they don’t see the value.