A friend just calls me in tears. For the past two years, she’s been looking for a job and getting zero results.
“I think I’m doing everything right,” she wails. “I hate when I get a No!”
At some point in our lives, we’ve gotten a No or many Nos. Take it from me, No is a rejection. No, can also be internalized as failure or worst yet, “not good enough” personally or professionally. .
Ever get the job e-mail No? “We regret to inform you that the position you applied for has been filed. We will keep your information on file and will contact you should a listing comes up fitting your credentials.”
I can certainly identify with my friend because I have been and am in the same situation and felt the same sinking feeling.
Try sending out hundreds of resumes, cover letters, cold calling, following up on a lead, applying on line and in person only to get a No? Or equally disappointing, No response.
Can I explain what No does to your self-esteem in these or similar incidents?
One, you start to doubt your skills. “Maybe, I don’t have what it takes,” says the negative internal voice.
Two: You think of reasons not to try again. “What’s the use? I’m going to be rejected–AGAIN!”
Three: There’s the tendency to look at the job description and already start to disqualify yourself. “They’re asking way–ayy too much.” Or, ” I have some 5 of the 15 skills their asking for…..um, maybe not.”
Then, we go into depression because of our self-defeating negative tapes.
Oftentimes, I tell myself “Stop! Slow down! Get a hold of yourself!”
The depression and the self-defeating self talk will consume you–like it has me–if we don’t self-edit ourselves.
So, how do I switch it up? Affirmations.
Daily, I have to remind myself: “I can do all things through Christ who strengths me.”
Journaling helps me refocus by writing something good about myself–even when I feel bad.
“I’m good writer. I love challenges and can meet them. I will succeed!”
Then, I will tell myself: Conjure up a time when you were WINNING!
My mind warmly recalls all the compliments I’d lavish on my Pre-K students. “You look so beautiful!” I’d say sincerely. Oh, to see these children’s faces light up, then they would hug me or climb into my lap.
No, Nope, Nah, Not hardly, Not so much, Not today–or anyday. No way, No Dice, No way man/woman, Miss/Miss. Any way you chalk it up, No never feels good.
One day, I was watching Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, who produced “The Bible” an Emmy-nominated series. They explained when they got the idea to produce the show, they were met with so many objections and rejections. Yet, they were undaunted. What they said blew me away and stays with me today: “NO meant to us, “New Opportunities.”
Wait! Rewind! I was blown away how they took a No and turned the word into something meaningful and positive!
Editing my thoughts and my reactions to rejection/no takes lots of practice. No, I haven’t mastered it yet–I’m still a work in progress. Some days are better than others. When those negative thoughts crop up, I try to go into the protect mode by controlling my thoughts so they won’t defeat me.