Failure is a blessing. In entrepreneurial circles, it's a stepping stone to success. These days, though, I don't hear very much about failure's homely sibling, rejection. Maybe that's because rejection is normally rolled up and thrown in to the bucket labeled Failure.
To anyone who's ever asked someone out on a date and gotten a cold shoulder, standing in that moment of awkwardness for what seems like an eternity, rejection feels like its own category. Sure, looking back, I can see where being told "No" or being serenaded by metaphorical crickets eventually led me to awesome experiences that I might not have had, but that doesn't make the long-lasting sting of rejection any easier to stomach.
Not hearing back from hiring managers or losing out on a new-business pitch are working-world equivalents to the pitfalls of the dating scene. I've had my share of all-of-the-above and, lately, it's got me thinking: maybe rejection is, more often than not, a factor of simply trying too hard to fit in where I don't belong.