Wednesday, April 01, 2015

rejection - part of life and grant writing

Last couple of days and weeks I've been working with grant writing. As in, I've been the support person assembling preliminary data, help with reference papers and supporting material and - maybe most of all - supporting the feelings of the grant writers.

A lot of feelings and emotions go into the grant process. The worrying if the grant will be liked and approved, or if it's going to be rejected. That thing that if the grant gets rejected, it's also a rejection of the person behind the grant. And the fear of being rejected.

It's been a revisit for me since I'm not doing the grant writing on my own account. I'm not getting judged on my intellectual contribution and my writing (not from a grant perspective anyway). My ideas and my sense of self are not as closely linked as for a scientist who's competing for the few moneies that are left in the pool.

I can connect on the fear of rejection though. I did finish one thing of my own, a proposal of sorts and sent it off yesterday. I haven't heard feedback yet and I'm trying to keep an open mind and not worry about it. It's done. It's over. And there will be feedback and I can deal with it when it gets there.

Still don't like it.

The good thing with rejection in the work place is that you can practice and work on how to deliver and receive critique. There are, hopefully, mentors and support personnel to help with structuring the grant and improve the writing, thus improving your chance of not getting rejected. These things may or may not be part of your personal life, where rejection rears its head at times and you are left to deal with the fall out. And that type of rejection is seldom based on "your writing" but rather on "you as a person" or "things you did", which is a little more personal and a little harder to 'accept and get back on the horse'.

I've come to feel, after these pretty emotional weeks at work where my support have been asked for - that I have some knowledge in how to deal with these feelings. It's been a little surprising to me, since I tend to feel like the young emo teen I was back in the day, but apparently I'm fairly decent at alleviating stress and fears of rejection in others. Now I just have to work on alleviating my stress* of speaking about feelings and emotions at work every day. Good improvement work for the introvert ;)

*this stress have a tendency to manifest in slight paranoia of "am I a good enough friend/person/daughter" and other relationship like thoughts that could drive anyone slightly nuts. Good thing there are jogging and other exercise to get endorphins and remove the adrenaline

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