No, doesn't mean never. Just means not right now. I swear this is a quote from someone famous.
Rejection is always tough. Sometimes such rejection is for good reason. It just never feels like it. I swear, when I struck out on my management consulting interviews I thought my world had ended. I mean, you'd think after 3 months of networking to get 3 interviews at the top firms you'd be set... guess not. Yet, my world didn't end. It continued operating like any other day. It was another day to squat and deadlift.
You'd even think after lots of rejections you'd get used to it. It's true that your world doesn't feel like it will end. But each one still stings. I mean I struck out twice from the same buy-side firm after building up this opportunity for about a year. I've even had an offer rescinded too! Shit happens and it feels like the world is telling you to get lost.
It's not always in careers too. The girl I chased around in university said no. I asked a dear mentor of mine to be part of my podcast and he said no. I don't know if I'll ever get to a point where the rejection doesn't sting, no matter how small.
Now, this isn't an article dedicated to draw sympathy. There is a learning that has come from all this.
What I've learned is that rejection is rarely a permanent no.
I eventually got to double dip and be a consultant whilst getting my accounting designation. That experience was material in forming my mindset to get into a top buy-side firm where I got to try my hand at investing in a firm. The girl that said no is now my girlfriend of 6 years and she's been part of each rejection I've had. I'm still going to have lunch with that mentor of mine.
No just means just not now. You can always find another way. Or, something new I'm learning, is to wait and come back to it later. If it's something you really want you'll come back to it eventually. If you don't, you probably don't want it as much.
What's the rejection that's haunting you? Can you look at it as an opportunity to explore something else you've thought about doing? What's the downhill battle you can fight to get what you want? Whatever it is, nothing left but to get back up and dust yourself off right?