Ever been shut down by someone who supposedly knows more than you? It happens to me daily. I get denied by people that are more senior, more polished, and more knowledgeable than me. I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed professional rejection, but I try my best to dust myself off and move forward, reminding myself that that a series of controlled failures are necessary for eventual success.

Not surprisingly, I’m not the only one getting ignored because of my inexperience, and the rejections can be downright vicious. Just last week, Kate called me in tears after attending a media conference with well-known industry bigwigs. After spending months anxiously anticipating meeting her professional heroes, she couldn’t have been more disheartened on the day of the event. Noting that she had been working in the industry for less than a year, most executives simply refused to engage in conversation with her, and the ones that did spoke to her in a condescending, suspicious manner that made her “feel like a kid who was inconveniencing a gathering of distinguished adults.” She flew home categorically disillusioned.