Being in our twenties is tough, and it can be lovely and lonely all in one single moment. Our twenties can be a lethal combination of all the worst things we have ever felt (guilt, rejection, hangovers), but they’re a wonderfully-crafted learning curve. We’re faced with a lot of problems, mainly being dealing with situations where we don’t get what we want. Relationships fall apart, friendships fade, and employers might as well stick a bright pink Post-It saying “No chance” on our foreheads. It is all too easy to forget our worth when it feels the whole world is trying to show us how little we mean.
It makes us feel like failures, which many of us hadn’t experienced until we graduated. What do we give to the world? What can we offer that no one else can? Are we as smart as we have always been told we are? Can we be as ruthless as we’re told to be? Bright as a button, that is how we were described as children. But what happens when we can’t make our future happen?
Rejection is almost inevitable, and that gut wrenching feeling of disappointment is a feeling all too familiar to most of us. Most of the time, we’re quick to say enough is enough and accept the possibility that we’re doomed to a life serving low fat cappuccinos, but we still keep trying. Here are some tips for coping with rejection:
- Cry – If you are like me, you are not a fan of crying. But it does feel good to just let it out – once it’s over, it’s over and it doesn’t need to happen again (it’s such a waste of mascara). If you get the big ugly sobbing tears out of the way then you can begin to get over it, and plan your next move. The last time I got passed over on a job interview, I cried and it was one hell of a tantrum. Because I thought that if I couldn’t even get a job I didn’t want, then what chance did I have for my dream job? It will happen when it’s meant to happen.
- Read – Read quotes from your childhood heroes, favourite authors and movies. Read blogs written by people similar to you, like by us here at GenTwenty. You might pick up a few tips, and they might inspire you. Read books by successful businessmen and women. One of my favourites is Ivanka Trump’s The Trump Card. Read something with a happy ending, to remind you that you will get yours.
- Reflect – Look back on what went wrong and how you can improve on it for next time. Maybe it was the interview, maybe it was that someone else was better than you, or maybe it was the timing.
- Pull yourself together – It is so much easier to pull the bed covers over your head and barricade yourself in away from the prying eyes of the world. Life goes on, and we have to get out of our pajamas and put on some fresh lipstick (buying a new lipstick in a different colour always helps with this – that’s what the internet is for). Eventually, we need to go outside. A little perspective goes a long way, you can get through this – and worse than this. That overwhelming feeling of doubt that still haunts you in your silent moments, shake it off. No matter what the rejection, you can overcome it.
- Try again – The laws of probability would suggest that if you try enough, eventually you will get there. You just need to find the fight inside of you to do it, no matter how tired you are.
So we will perform this routine over and over, and we hope that one day we won’t have to anymore. If there is one thing we can say about us twenty-somethings, it’s that we never fail to ignite even the smallest spark of hope, even when we think we’re all dried up. That castle in the sky you’ve been waiting for will find you one day, you’ll just have to fight a few of dragons along the way.