Overcoming Rejection and Feelings of Inadequecy
December 9, 2020
As my last semester of classes has come to an end, I had anticipated feeling relieved. I now sit here, having passed all of the courses I need to graduate from this Master’s program, feeling immensely overwhelmed and discouraged. Up until this moment, everything had been mapped out for me. Each class that I would take and when I would take them were pre-determined. I knew that I just had to work hard and do my best in order to be successful academically.
I am currently studying for the COMPS (comprehensive exam) that I will be taking on December 15th with the rest of my graduating class and I am worrying about my future. This future is not pre-determined and it is scary, especially amidst a global pandemic. It is up to me to pave the way.
During this hectic time, I have also decided to pursue my OTD. After going through the interview process for the USC Chan Division residencies and being informed that I did not receive one, I felt extremely discouraged. I took this rejection as an indication that I was not good enough to get the opportunities I had been aiming for. I became anxious over the fact that I would have to find my own residency, especially because I was worried that my lack of experience in my field of choice would prevent me not only from getting a residency but also a fieldwork II experience.
This stress and feeling of inadequacy was something that was difficult to overcome. After sitting back and reflecting, I came to realize that I was letting one rejection skew my view of my self-worth and capabilities . . . just one rejection held that much power over me!
It wasn’t until I realized that if I didn’t believe in myself then who would!? I decided that if I didn’t try my best to go after the positions and experiences I feel like I deserve and want then I would regret it tremendously. I couldn’t let one rejection deplete my confidence and I knew that even if there were more rejections to come I would learn from them and keep moving forward.
I spent the coming weeks being polite and persistent. I began communicating with people who could help me develop the residency position of my dreams. Putting all the pieces together was tricky, and it took a lot of persistence to progress things further. Advocating for myself and my worth was key in progressing things forward, as well as acknowledging the work and effort the people communicating with me were putting in.
Your future is what you make of it. Be persistent, confident, understanding, and kind. Know that the person you are talking to will never know the mark you can make if you don’t advocate for yourself and your worth. Don’t let rejection take a toll on you. Sometimes putting in the extra work to make things happen really pays off! Advocate for yourself and believe in yourself because no one can do it better than you.