The Many Faces of Rejection And Why Often It’s a Gift

Tim McDonald
3 min readJan 13, 2017

Have you ever been turned down for a job or a contract you really wanted? You had already imagined yourself doing that work and then, you discover someone else got it. When you find out, you may feel disappointed or ask yourself, ‘what did I do wrong? What could I’ve done to get that job?’

That’s how I used to react in these situations. And today, I have found myself reacting quite differently and instead asking myself, ‘What can I learn from this situation? Is this really how I wanted to spend my life?’ It allows me to see opportunities to choose myself and wonder what I can go out and create. I have met so many chefs over the last few years who have shared with me that they did not excel at school or sports, but then their love of imagining dishes they can create to delight others sparked their love of cooking and set them on their path.

We have been conditioned to see rejection as us not being worthy or good enough. It often makes us doubt our abilities. But what would happen if we started seeing rejection as a gift? Maybe that job or contract would have sapped our energy by requiring us to work 24/7, for example? Maybe we didn’t get the credit card and it helped us conserve our spending? What are we not worthy of in the end?

It’s all about our mindset and If we are able to see it as an opportunity to ask, why did we want that job so badly? Was it really going to help me live the life I want to design for myself? Does it align with my purpose in life or does it simply serve my ego of telling people that I have a very important title?

This has a lot to do with our conditioning. My parents wanted me to have a better life than them — an opportunity for education, a good job, a bigger house and everything they never had. My counsellors at school advised me how to get into a good college so I can have a good job to support my life choices. My former bosses coached me on how to get ahead and get promoted. But no one asked me what I wanted and it was never accepted to be happy with what I already had. There was always an expectation that more is better.

When I launched #365DaysofGiving a few years ago, I learned a lot about giving and receiving. We are not conditioned to receive. We also focus on rejection and problems much more than possibilities. Ayelet Baron and I know that launching a daily dose of sanity, #365DaysOfSanity, is a collaborative effort where we invite anyone in the community to participate and share their insights. So, when we got a response a few days ago from someone who questioned whether emailing people every day about sanity is actually insane, we focused on why we hit a nerve instead of seeing it as a rejection. The people, like you and me, who are on this journey to co-create a healthier and saner world are showing up. We are choosing ourselves and listening deeply. And we must remember that we are the bridges from seeing the world as divided to shifting to greater harmony within ourselves and others.

Want to join us on this journey and receive your daily dose of sanity? You can sign up to get sanity, or not. It’s your choice and either way, you are a gift.

You can ❤, share or do nothing. The most meaningful thing to me would be to engage in dialogue with you. That starts with leaving a reply. :)



Tim McDonald

Stage 4 colon cancer survivor — AmBADASSador for @FightCRC #ColorectalCancerAwarenessMonth — Former Dir of Community HuffPost