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Rejection At Its Finest: You’re Still The Ish After Constantly Being Told No

Inspiration

Rejection has a way of making even the most confident person feel inadequate.


From not being selected for the seemingly perfect job you knew you had in the bag, to opening a rejection letter from the school you've dreamed of going to since you were a child, to getting played from the guy you were convinced was "the one." We've all been there.

Still, that doesn't make the sting of rejection hurt any less.

It's totally normal to start second guessing yourself, your skills, your appearance, and even your ability when you're told "no" over and over again. I certainly know what that feels like because it messed with me like no other. Eventually, I jumped off the emotional downward spiral and evaluated the situation, myself, and others around me.

After doing some serious self-evaluations, my bounce back game is stronger than all the L's I've experienced. (*Cues Big Sean's "Bounce Back").

I've learned that when faced with rejection, you can choose to feel one of two ways: like you're less than, or like you're stronger than ever. In cases of the latter, rejection can serve as a reminder that you're still the ish! Here's how.

Ask Yourself, Was It Really A Good Fit For You?

It's crazy how getting rejected can cause us to glorify the very thing that turned us down. We start to think how perfect it would have been for us if it would have worked out. We paint a picture in our imagination of how everything would have fit together seamlessly if we would have moved forward in the direction we hoped. Instead, it was taken out of our control and out of our lives before we even had time to have a say in it.

Still, it's no secret we really don't know what the future holds. There is no telling what that situation would have really been like.

While we're painting a perfect picture in our minds, it's very likely things could have played out completely different in reality.

Not to go churchy on you, but in situations where I've experienced rejection, I had to learn that I never know what God is protecting me from. Yes, in our minds, these situations from a job to a guy would be perfect if we were just given a chance to prove ourselves. But in the end, it's important that we ask, was this really a good fit for me?

Sometimes, we'll never know the answer. But we do know that things do and don't work out for a reason, and it's okay to be content with that.

Let It Upgrade You

You really can't lose after you're rejected if you allow it to make you better. Despite how rejection makes you feel, you didn't miss out on the best thing out there. It might have felt like the best thing for you, and I'm confident that you gave it your ultimate best. But if you were rejected in the situation, in all honesty, no matter how good it looks on paper or social media, it just wasn't the best for you.

Which means, the best is still out there waiting for you to pursue it.

Just because that dream job and dream guy turned you down doesn't mean that you're a loser and you have to settle for anything that you're not really passionate about. If anything, you should know that you're still the ish and it's their loss. Instead of letting rejection bring you down, let it lift you up as you improve yourself and start to prepare for what's really meant for you.

Do Your Own Thing

I'm a sucker for a good turnaround story. You know those stories people tell about losing their jobs, starting a business, and turning into a millionaire? Or the ones about a woman who went through a heart shattering breakup, traveled the world, fell in love with herself, and found a better love she never knew existed? There was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in between those heartbreaking moments and their love for life, without question.

They are real-life stories that exist after the people that have lived them were able to overcome their rejection and just do their own thing.

If you're not finding the job that works for you, start your own business girl! You were put on Earth to do something no one else can, so don't let rejection stop you from rocking it. If you're having a difficult time after a breakup you never thought would happen, find things that you love to do and fall in love with yourself. After all, you're pretty amazing.

I know it's so much easier said than done, but those moments after a rejection can serve as the moments that inspire you to become the person you never thought you could be. They have the power to push you out of your comfort zone and mature you like no other. Most of the time, we never would have jumped out there to try new things if we weren't rejected.

Dust Yourself Off And Try Again

Don't be afraid to try again. Hearing no constantly is one of the worst discouragers in this thing called life. But don't give it the power to knock you down. If it's a job you know you would dominate, do more research on the company, get new experiences that line up with what they're looking for, and keep going at it. I used to be the queen of having pity parties and sulking when I tried so hard only for something to not work out.

Still, it's the best story to tell when you keep at it, try again, and realize just how much of your hard work pays off.

Keeping that confidence after being rejected to the point where you feel you can't get back up again, is what strengthens us and makes the moments in the journey so worth it.

Featured image by Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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