by Phoenix Desertsong, The Perpetual Prose Machine
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde
I've known for a long time that being yourself is the way to go. But the way that Oscar Wilde, the famous Irish poet and playwright, put it is probably the best reason ever to simply be yourself. What's the point of trying to be someone else? It's already been done. Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes people stare at you funny.
Just share this quote with them as your reasoning for being so beautifully (and at times awkwardly unique). Some of them may actually take this quote to heart and they'll thank you someday for it. Or they'll totally forget where they heard it and benefit without your knowledge. Pay it forward, folks.
Browsing social media, I read the following quote: "Rejection doesn't mean you aren't good enough. It means the other person has failed to notice what you have to offer." I get the sentiment. However, I don't agree with this attitude in many areas. Here’s why.
Rejection in Relationships
When this advice is applied to relationships, it fails miserably. Just because you have something good to offer, doesn't mean someone has to take it. Sometimes the feeling just isn't mutual, even if the person really does know what you have to offer and they do like you as a friend. Sometimes you haven't had time to get close enough for those feelings to develop and time might change that. Sometimes it won't. Rejection doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you and it is perfectly normal and OK. It also doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the other person or that they did anything wrong by not accepting you as their mate.
As it applies to careers, the advice in the quote may somewhat apply. But, it is not completely right, in my opinion. It’s your job to make it obvious that you belong in a position. Even if you're qualified, you may still get rejected. Sometimes, it’s because people didn't see your value and sometimes they may well see your value but it isn't what they were looking for. It's possible someone else was more qualified, even if your experience was also worthy. Perhaps the experience was equal and they simply made a difficult choice. That doesn't mean that you or your work are not valued. There are many different reasons quality work or quality resumes get rejected and not all of them mean that someone didn't notice what you have to offer. It may, of course. But it doesn't always.
Know Your Worth Beyond Acceptance or Rejection
Rejection is natural and we are all different and have different needs. When you are rejected, you should not take it personally. You are valuable with or without a specific person or opportunity. Whether you are accepted by another person or within any position should never be what you use to value yourself. You are worth something because you're you, not because of your status in a career, social group, or relationship. Know your worth before, during, and after any and all statuses, opportunities, and relationships. Your personal strengths are such because they simply are, not because they are accepted by another as such.
What is meant to be will always happen and it may not always be when and what you think it will.