How do you respond to rejection?
I’ve had no real option but to simply accept it as someone else’s opinion and get on with doing what seems most appropriate to me.
I have been rejected by most for most of my life, and there has also always been a group (though often a small one) that accepted me, and saw something in me.
I clearly recall at age 5 being in the room when my first teacher told my parents that I was “retarded” and would always be “a burden on society”. That coming from a flap of skin under my tongue that prevented me from speaking clearly.
And it started much sooner than that. My inability to make the sort of noises most kids made pointed me out from a very early age as someone different, and difference often results in exclusion and unwanted attention from bullies.
So from a very early age I had to develop an ability to value myself and my own choices that was essentially independent of others.
Today I chair many organisations, and am involved in many others, and I still often have more failures than successes.
One of my dad’s favourite sayings was “there is only one thing certain in fishing, you can’t catch fish with you nets in the boat” – though one night a flying fish did land in the nets in the boat – so even that wasn’t absolutely certain, and it was certainly far more probable than the alternative.
I have learned to simply accept what happens, to look for lessons, to keep on being the best me I can be, looking out for my own interests and the interests of everyone else.
Do what little I can, when I can, to improve things for everyone. (And sometimes it seems that all I have emotional energy for is breathing, and at other times I am a little more capable.)
If we can all do that, then we all win – little by little.
Fall over, stand up, take another step. If the path is interesting enough, it is always worth doing.