When did you last experience rejection?
Was it last week when your toddler pushed you away and said “no kisses mummy” or when you were turned down for that promotion to senior associate or when your application for flexible working was turned down?
For me, it was during the summer of last year. My husband had the opportunity to be home more and spend more time with our son, which coincided with a busy period for me at work and in my business. After spending a lot more time with daddy, my son became more of a “daddy’s boy”. He would cry when my husband left the room, whereas when I would say “I’m leaving now” to him, he would just say “bye!” and wave. As a new mother, this was not easy for me to deal with.
The experience got me thinking about the inevitability of rejection in both your career and motherhood.
We can choose how to deal with the rejection. We can either allow it to stop us from striving for what it is we want to achieve, or we can look at the rejection, find the lessons in it and learn from it.
Here are some practical tips on how to deal with in both motherhood and your career.
If your child pushes you away, remember the following:
- Don’t take it personally
I know that sounds strange given that you are the only mother that your child has, and therefore if they’re rejecting you, it is YOU that they’re rejecting. But what I mean is don’t take it to heart, especially to the point where it changes your behaviour towards your child.
Don’t draw away from them to protect yourself from future rejection. They still love you. They absolutely love you because you’re the only mummy they have, and you are irreplaceable, and they need your love and affection, even if they’re not showing it right now. Keep showering them with the kisses and cuddles because even if they’re pushing you away they still need them. I’ve definitely been smothering my son with kisses and cuddles and he’s going to get them even if he doesn’t show me that he wants them.
- Look at the positives
If your child is showing a preference to your spouse at this time, appreciate the fact that your child is really bonding with him and they’re building up their relationship with their dad. When your child was a newborn, it’s likely that you were the primary caregiver and your spouse may have experienced some of the same feelings of rejection that you’re now experiencing. Enjoy watching them together and the fact that they are bonding, growing and building a solid foundation for their relationship.
- Look for support
It may be beneficial to you to speak to other mums who are going through the same thing. I’ve personally found that knowing that you’re not the only one is always helpful in every situation. It may be that you speak to other mums in your local NCT group, or mother and baby group, or that you look online for some support and connect with women in the Being More Than A Lawyer private facebook group. However you choose to do it, connect with others so that you’re not doing this motherhood journey on your own.
If you experience rejection when seeking a new role, consider the following:
- Don’t take it personally
You have to remember that the person hiring is going to hire the person that they perceive will be able to perform the role and hit the ground running with the least amount of support, and the person who is going to be the best fit for their existing team.
Just because they say no to you, it does not mean that you’re not capable of performing the role or that you’re not good at what you do. It just means that they do not view you as the right person for the role at this time. As an outsider looking in, you do not know what the team dynamic is like, you do not know the extent of their training resources and you do not know what personality type they are seeking.
All of those things are variables and none of those things are within your control – you can only control what you can bring to the position. If they say no to you, don’t take it as “I’m not good enough” or “I’m never going to find a role like this, so maybe I should switch what I want to do”. Take it as “this role was not the right role for me and I was not the right candidate for them.”
- Know that at some point, rejection is inevitable
To be a successful lawyer you need to know that rejection is inevitable. It may come in the form of being turned down for roles or being turned down by clients. it just comes with the territory.
I recently read that the famous comedian Kevin Hart was rejected by Hollywood producers for 19 years before he got his big break. That is a lot of time. In between his rejections, he was honing his craft and learning from the greats in comedy. He was doing all he could to improve who he was as a comedian, so when the right opportunity finally came around, he was ready for it.
When you are rejected, don’t take it as a sign that you should stop doing what you’re doing, instead take it as fuel and motivation for you to move forward. If the right role doesn’t come up for you straight away, use the time to really get clear on the type of role that you want and to build up your skill set to meet that role so that when it does come about, you’re prepared. Keep going, even when you don’t feel like it. Keep going!
[bctt tweet=” Keep going, even when you don’t feel like it. Keep going!” username=”@LightBOXPD”]
- Understand that this rejection has paved the way for something better
At the time that you applied for the role, it may have seemed like the perfect role for you, but getting a no to this role means that you’ll be available to say yes to the next role, which may be a much better fit for you.
You may not be able to see it now, but in the future, you’ll be able to say, “Actually that role wasn’t right for me and this role is lot better.” Don’t always look at it as a negative – look at it as you having time and space to open yourself up for a role that is actually better suited for you.
If you think this article could encourage someone, please share it.