Rejection? Time to Reframe It & Use it Better.

May 23, 2023

What is the first thing that comes to mind, when you hear the word “rejection”? Some good feelings perhaps? No!? Some anger, maybe? Frustration…

Each and every one of us has faced rejection at least one time in their life (usually way more than that). The feelings towards it are varied - some are afraid, others are motivated, and third - just pretend it never happened.

Little do we know how important it is to acknowledge that we've been rejected!

As a person, who can gladly call rejections “his best friends”, let me tell you my story of how I‘ve been dealing with them from a certain consious point in my life. The aim of this sharing is not entirely egocentric but rather – a real attempt to support you through the screen of your device as you hear the lessons learnt and strategies adopted. Spoiler alert, I will not be able to remove “rejection” from life’s experiences, but I hope to be able to lift your spirits, reframe the term and increase your emotional abilities a tad. Let’s dive…


(you can skip it or you can get to know me better)

After my GCSEs (the equivalent of that in Bulgaria where I was born), I wanted to get in one specific high school. That was my first, conscious experience of “bad rejection”. I didn’t make it to where I wanted. I tried again and the second time was a success. But as life has it, - I didn’t want it anymore. Moving on and further down the line, university came. I had a vision in mind! I wanted badly to be accepted to study electrical engineering at Ruse’s Technical University. That’s based in a city, on the Danube River, that has the hungriest mosquitoes EVER. Instead, I got accepted in the capital - Sofia. I had to find alternatives, again, to make things work as I wished them...

On my very first job interview (for the biggest employer in my hometown) I got rejected and, at the same time, accepted for different position in the same company. Truth be told, I could stand it for only 9 months, but that’s a story for another time.

Years later I made the decision to “try my luck” abroad. Quit my so-called “well-paid and interesting” job as a sales engineer and took a low-paid one as an electrician with my best friend. We went to Germany. THE place for engineers! After just 2 weeks on the job our company lost all its contracts and came down to an end. With bad language skills and needing a work-permit, guess what happened? Exactly – countless rejections.

At this point, you may think something along the lines of "well, that's it, you tried and it didn’t work. Forget it and move on." But even a thousand more rejections sounded better than giving up on the life I wanted to create for myself. You see, I had a clear idea about who I wanted to be and where. i held on to that for a very long time and I wasn’t going to let it go because of obstacles. Not yet. I wanted to practice as an engineer in that country. I wanted to learn and develop in my field. I kept pushing…

What followed is not some kind of a success story. No. What followed was real life. There were more and more rejections. After the bankruptcy of the previous employer, I had to go back to my home town and couldn’t land a job for more than 6 months. After finally getting one, I continued trying for a full year, all over again, to secure the right opportunity in Germany. Remotely.

Yes, I accumulated more and more rejections…

During that time of trying, I improved my language skills. I accumulated more experience. And above all – I got even hungrier to get to where I wanted to be.

Behind all my efforts and resilience stood the need to prove to myself to me. I wanted to know if I can do it. That I am good enough. Once I relocated back to Germany, my ambitions seemed to be more attainable. I now had excellent language skills, an ratified university degree, experience in an international company, etc. but guess what? I continued to face HUNDREDS OF REJECTIONS. That’s the number with the zeros behind…

It took me another 2.5 years before I was able to make that breakthrough and find something significantly better. Something I that would satisfy, at least partially, my appetite for “making it”. The jump was big – both professionally as well as personally. I moved to Munich. You may think – "what’s the big deal?" No biggie. Just another kick in the teeth. It took me 9! (nine) months and as you may assume more rejections, than I thought I could possible handle, to find a place to live in. "The winner" was 60 km oaway from the city.


I took time to tell you only part of my story with rejection to illustrate clearly, that paths can be filled with trials and errors. I can go on from that last point to date and give you many more examples. I won’t glorify rejection and I won’t tell you that’s it’s simply “life lessons we should accept.” For most of that time, all those rejections, they made me feel worthless, insignificant and like I’m not enough. Because I am human, I had feelings. I couldn't always see the "bigger picture". Because it was tough.

I kept asking myself:
“What I am doing wrong”: “Why does it always have to be sohard?”; “What am I missing?”; “Do I need another degree?”; “Should I get another language certificate?”;"Why am I not enough?"

Questions and thoughts were jumping through my head for a very long time. I didn’t consider Steve Job’s statement that “you can only connect the dots looking back”. I was in the midst of it. Only after the dust settled, I was able to realize that this whole thing, simply and plainly, is an inevitable part of being a human with aspirations, larger than their immediate surrounding. In other words, if you want something more than what you already have, rejection will be a part of your journey.

Every rejection was giving me a signal: “This is not yours, move on…!”
BUT NEVER mistakenly take that as a “give up” equivalent! On the contrary.

Some people would tell you that: “If it's too hard, it's just not meant for you” or “that it's not worth the hassle”.
That's an unhelpful mindset that makes us jump to wrong conclusions about what's possible or attainable.

Every rejection you face GUIDES YOU rather than derails you.
"That's not yours, move on..." does't mean give up. It means - adjust your trajectory.

Precisely those adjustments/ rejections make the final destination that much more valuable and desirable.

Yes, it’s easier looking back, connecting the dots, and talking smart. It’s easier to say it now after certain growth and experience. You may think me foolish, but I invite you to use my story as a reminder.

You are doing fine if you are still trying.
You are doing fine if your visions are alive.
You are doing fine if you are laying bricks and making yourself more capable.
You are doing more than just fine no matter the speed!
My truthful suggestion for anyone who’s read thus far...

Accept the rejections in your life as “friends”. Use the help of that friend in the process of finding your dream job…the woman/man of your life…the home you envision…the contribution you want to make… Fill those spaces with whatever is important to you.

Rejection will continue to happen.
The question is – how will you call it next time it appears?
A friend or a foe?

Keep that vision clear and simple, and the rest will follow.
Now, get your sh..t together, get out and be true to yourself in the pursuit of your path(s). Don’t forget to take care of your wellbeing on the way – both physically and mentally.  

Never hesitate to reach out.

Yanko Boev,
An Engineer, who made it to a Qualified Coach too.


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