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A note on self-belief


 “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill

Every one of us has faced rejection at certain points of our lives and we know by experience how disenchanting it can feel. We, as human beings, strive for recognition, approval, praise, affirmation of our strengths and achievements. Rejection does the opposite – it brings us down, pinpoints our weaknesses, and erodes our confidence and self-belief. This is not to say that we can’t unlock our inner strength to overcome the ‘blues’ of rejection and turn it around in our favour.

Take job interviews, for instance. You have been fighting for this amazing opportunity by putting yourself through multiple rounds of gruesome interviews and just when you thought you got the job, you receive the dreaded phone call informing you that, unfortunately, despite your great performance at the interviews, they have decided to go for someone else. The situation sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

So what do you do next? You have two options really. The first one is to sit back and give up on any further attempts. ‘What is the point? They will reject me anyway.’ Or alternatively, you could pull yourself together, pick up the phone and try to find out what was the exact reason why you have not been chosen. Most likely, the company is not going to be upfront with you and will say they don’t disclose their reasons for rejections. But the main thing is trying to overcome the stifling feeling of unworthiness that may set in after you get a rejection call. And for this to happen you need to act – do anything to stir your enthusiasm – maybe you could try putting your feelings in words in a blog, in an email to friends or family or simply on a piece of paper in front of you.

I believe it is possible to make a comeback from pretty much any job-related rejection situation you may be faced with. The only real tool you need is belief in yourself, in your strength, intellect, use your will power and keep going. Never give up.

Around five years ago the company I was working for got dissolved and I found myself unemployed at the height of the recession, I applied to many jobs and got straight rejections from most of them. What did I do? I persevered, searched for more opportunities through a different route – contacting companies direct rather than through recruitment agents. I went for interviews, was pushed back, went for more interviews and eventually found a job I really loved. The lesson for me was that a rejection can lead to the bout of creativity and inspiration and make you approach things from a different perspective. For me it was a realisation that I didn’t want to use recruitment agents in my job pursuits but instead, to get in touch with companies directly.

I have also been turned down for promotion at the job I had been doing for a long time and excelled at. Despite being one of the top performers, I was rejected and somebody with just a few months experience was taken on instead. Did it upset me? Yes, of course, it did! I began to feel depressed and it started to have an impact on my performance and my life in general. Then I decided that enough was enough. I went to my managers and asked them to create a plan for me on what more I had to do to make that or any other similar post in the future. I prepared training seminars for our employees, worked hard on my targets. As a result of taking a deliberate action, I have reinforced my self-belief and confidence and moved on from that disappointing experience.

I have learned some important lessons from my life and experiences:

–          Act (do something) immediately after you have experienced a job-related rejection. It could be a follow-up phone call, re-designing your CV or devising a new approach to your job search. You could, for instance, write down a list of all your main achievements to date and send it over to an employer in addition to your CV.

–          Never give up. Take a different look at what you are trying to achieve, assume a new perspective, change your course of action 360 but do not give up. Keep going no matter hard it may seem. You will eventually reach your ‘destination’.

–          Believe in yourself. No matter what happens, know that you can do it and overcome the challenges. All you really need is self-belief. With it, you can make your life a success – without, you may be lost.

It all sounds easy you may say, but in reality, self-belief doesn’t come to some people naturally.  Cultivating self-belief, like many other pursuits in life, requires patience, perseverance and practise.

You could, for instance, seek out opportunities to try something new, something you have never tried before. It could be giving a presentation without notes or slides to support you, learning how to create your personal website or attempting to write articles and blogs. In other words, find something that will force you out of your comfort zone and seek people’s feedback on what you have accomplished. Encouragement and positive comments are certain to bolster your confidence and self-esteem and promote your self-belief. Well, in any case, it is worth a try.

Dasha Amrom

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