Discover more from Aamer's Letters
Friendly Façade, 4 Ways To Attain Mastery & The Power Of No
Rejections are taxing, demoralizing, outright frustrating but are sometimes more necessary than you think.
This one’s about looking at rejections as redirections.
A Story For You
Let's face it—hearing a NO is painful.
Whether the rejection is from family, friends, co-workers, or even a job prospect, the feeling of heart-sinking is inevitable. Perhaps not the physical heart, but the heart of all our emotional triggers.
The arrow pierces right through us and leads to a downpour of questions and self-doubt: Why me? What am I doing incorrectly?
Worse yet, what's wrong with me?
Self-criticism sets in and starts ripping us apart from within.
However, rejection also has a way of instructing us, guiding us in the right direction, and ultimately, as much as you’re going to hate it, improving our lives! Don’t believe me? Read ahead, so I can tell you how most of my greatest blessings have resulted from rejections.
In these past few years, I've learned to view rejections differently. This has allowed me to have a fresh perspective and maintain optimism in the darkest of times. Sometimes, it even leads to larger successes. This is one of those stories.
When I was 25 years old, I worked for a digital agency as a team leader, account manager, and business developer. I was managing more clients than I could count while also leading an entire team by myself. Sounds really great, doesn’t it?
Except it didn't sound really great financially.
The reality was that I had joined a friend's startup. For the past year and a half, the two of us had created everything from scratch. However, we were strapped for cash like many other start-ups. But, I didn't mind that because I was learning a lot and I was willing to overlook all the other red flags.
I didn’t mind that, until, the day my friend yelled at me in the office over an error that wasn't my fault. That behavior destroyed the façade I had established around the toxic job, which required me to put in over 70–80 hours each week, for pitiful pay.
Right then and there, I made the decision to move on to a better job. Since I was already doing so much, handling so many different fields and learning immensely for the past year and a half, why couldn't I move on to something better? Somewhere I was valued?
And thus began the barrage of interviews, at the receiving end of which, were countless NOs. I tried to be brave at first, but every no kept eroding my self-assurance like the rain that fell on brand-new bicycles. After having heard enough, I took matters into my own hands.
Instead of allowing the bitter thoughts to convince me that all of the NOs signified some inherent flaw on my end, I contacted a few people and sought their reasons for rejecting me.
Some of them were kind enough to get in touch and explain that they wanted someone with a specialization. While my resume was great, they said nothing in it demonstrated ‘expertise’. I had become a jack of many trades but a master of none.
So in essence, all those years of work and effort were for absolute naught.
But, now that I knew why I was receiving so many rejections, I could work on the root of the problem!
What kind of mastery should I develop? Or how do I even attain mastery at something? I began conducting additional research to find the answers.
Here are four ways that you can go about attaining mastery:
The 3 E’s: Education, Experience, and Exposure are the three main factors that contribute to the development of your abilities.
Building a specialized skill set is facilitated by education in that field. This includes degrees, online courses, reading books, and expanding your knowledge database.
Or you could attain mastery by obtaining 10,000 hours of experience, repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again.
If neither of these is your strong suit, you might find that your ability to network and gain exposure might be the ace up your sleeve!
I saw that I hadn't made the most of my 1.5 years of experience. I threw myself into my duties and didn’t seize any opportunities to network. Experience and Exposure both held bad memories so I circled Education.
That’s how I found myself in The United Kingdom pursuing a specialist Master’s degree. Problem, identified. Solution, found. Implementation, without a second thought.
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A Story From You
A bitter no forced my mind to run wild and speculate profusely on my rejection.
What rejection hurt you the most? How did you use that rejection to redirect yourself? How did things end up?
I truly believe that rejections force you to reconsider your options, and view the world from a different angle. I’d love to hear your thoughts and your opinions about it too!
Till next time,