I heard back from the committee for a scholarship I'd applied for many months ago. When I got the envelope, I was filled with fear, dreading that I was about to read yet another form letter that began with "we regret" and told me about all the worthy applications they'd received.
I didn't win the award. Maybe it's the fact that this is one of many possible funding sources (and I'm putting a lot more hope in a different grant), but the rejection didn't hurt. In fact, it made me feel a little better about myself. This particular sentence is what made me feel better:
"It may be some consolation to learn that you were a finalist, highly recommended by your provincial committee of selection."
Hey, wait a minute: I was a finalist! I made it past the provincial competition and was also ranked highly in the national competition! That's the first time in a long time that I've made it that far in a competition! Somehow, that makes me feel a wee bit more competent.