Rejection is inevitable, but failure is not

Morgan Dowler | Cartoonist

By The Editorial Board

“Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” is a common quote associated with taking risks and doing things that could end in failure or an undesirable experience. Rejection is inevitable, but we need to embrace it and learn that failures aren’t always losses, and rejection isn’t always bad. The way we react to things going poorly in our lives has a lot to do with our mindset and how we associate achievements and success.

Rejection hurts, whether that’s being excluded from weekend plans or getting told no for a job offer. We can all learn from defeat, and we can use rejection as a time for redirection to work harder, reflect and grow. Rejection challenges a person to be introspective about what they truly value as meaningful and what they desire out of life. It shows whether or not one ‘no’ is simply going to be enough to stop a dream. Where some might give up, others might fight harder for what they want. We should share our bad experiences and normalize the concept of having to redirect a plan when things change. Rejection isn’t failure because through trial, it empowers someone to live their best life and to be more resilient in their actions.

Success is defined by you. Success isn’t about people knowing your name or having a six-figure job. This idea of success is fed to society in movies, books and TV shows regarding what other people deem important, not what YOU want. This idea of success is warped because we are comparing it to what other people want, not what we want.

In reality, finding success in your life is most likely going to look vastly different from your friends, peers and even family members. Don’t conform to societal norms; instead, discover what you want your life to be centered on and evaluate how well you are accomplishing your priorities for success. Don’t look to others of your age or gender as a benchmark of how well you are achieving things in your life, because everyone is on a different path.

If you feel fulfilled, happy, loved, etc., then you are succeeding. If you aren’t enjoying a certain aspect of your life most of the time, maybe reevaluate it for your betterment. Making a change in your life like dropping a class or Greek life, quitting a job or switching your major can be a positive way to put yourself first. Use this as an opportunity to put your time and energy into something you actually enjoy and feel like you are getting something out of. College is hard — plain and simple. It is a time when so many things are constantly changing. Pushing through difficult times is just as important as having the courage to say no to something, but sometimes quitting isn’t the answer. Part of the process is persevering through the hard times to get to a better time.

Picking yourself up after you are down is hard. It’s tough to put yourself out there and take a leap of faith to try again or even try something new. Joining a club, starting a hobby or trying something new could go great or not so great, but you will still leave that experience with gained knowledge. The fear of not being enough or not succeeding keeps us from living and traps us into thinking that we can’t take up the task. Overcoming the fear of failing and learning to embrace both the good and the bad will ultimately take you farther in life as you experience all the things life has to offer.