“Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough, it means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer” – anonymous.
Most of us, at one point in the course of our life’s journey, have had to deal with rejection. Whether it’s a job interview, romantic relationships, sales pitch or career. Rejection comes in different forms and shapes but however we face it, it hurts. By default, it is painful and a bruise on our ego. Imagine having had to prepare for a presentation for about 2 weeks and be told it wasn’t not good enough. Or being interviewed for a job position after rigorous preparation, and being told “We decided to go a different route.” There is nothing more painful than the feeling of not being good enough and that is one of the byproducts of rejection. It destroys self esteem, morals, unsettles us and has the ability to kill potentials if it is not handled appropriately.
The feeling that comes from being rejected is a completely normal human reaction. Being excessively worried to the point where it prevents us from making progress can be very damaging to the overall wellness and quality of our lives. Preparing for a sales pitch takes time and effort. Watching your sales pitch being shot down requires a significant amount of mental toughness. But to succeed at any endeavour in today’s world, you must learn the art of taking rejections gracefully.
Rejections can be used as a stepping stone to success if you can learn to channel the negative emotions that stem from the pain associated with rejection. When you are told “We decided to go a different route” for a job interview you know deep down that you are qualified for, it sometimes isn’t about you. Most times, you just don’t fit into their narrative. There’s a lot of complex processes and personal convictions behind individual or corporate decisions that unless we get context, we may never understand why we were rejected.
I was having a general conversation with one of our clients just last week. We chatted about politics, challenges of living in today’s world, job offers and rejections in the employment hemisphere. During the course of the conversation, I suddenly realised that an average person experiences rejections no matter the ethnicity, educational or social standing and the pain of rejection feels the same across board. How we handle the aftermath of rejection reveals our true test of character, mental, emotional and physical strength as an individual.
There are ways to handle rejection in a way that makes it possible to be utilized as a propeller for progress and ultimately, success. Here are 5 tips to help you.
Be open to being rejected
The fear of rejection is real. It cripples our ideas and creativity before we get a chance to manifest them; immediately we get an inspiration to do something positive, fear starts to kick in. We begin to think of the many ways the idea we have won’t work. Since the fear of rejection is one of the greatest enemies of progress and creativity, we must be open to being rejected. When we embrace rejection, it eliminates the fear of not getting an idea off the ground because of people’s responses or actions.
When you or your idea gets rejected, it isn’t always about you. You probably are not what they wanted at that point in time. Behind everyone you come across in life is a story and behind every facade, there are real issues they may be dealing with. Those issues and experiences drive their decisions and shape their sense of reasoning. Never take it personally when you don’t fit into their narrative or make it into their scripts. Sometimes, it isn’t about you. It doesn’t mean you or your ideas aren’t good enough. It’s also pertinent to ask questions in regards to why you weren’t accepted. Doing this will not only satisfy your curiosity but also show you how to further position yourself for future acceptance.
Do not wallow in your pain
Personally, I have experienced rejections on countless occasions and I can tell you firsthand that it hurts and it is emotionally draining. For days, I would keep telling myself that I am not worthy, and thinking of what I did wrong or I could have done differently. It took me a while to get to the full understanding that it isn’t really about me. They don’t don’t see and understand me the way I see myself or what I have to offer. It was a perspective issue and we can’t fault anyone for viewing things from their own perspective. The pain is normal but do not wallow in it for too long and do not give up on your dreams at the first sight of rejection. Use the pain as a fuel to fire your passion and keep moving.
Position yourself for future acceptance
When the reason why you get rejected is because your ideas are half baked or that you need additional training in your area of expertise, it is important to get the required training in order to position yourself for future acceptance. Sometimes a no could be the constructive criticism that is needed to propel us forward to a more positive outcome.
It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, what matters is how many times you get up after a fall. After healing from the pain of rejection, it is crucial to dust yourself up and try again. This time, from a position of strength and knowledge.
Great people in history were rejected and labeled as crazy because their ideas seemed very unrealistic. They pursued their dreams with conviction and maintained hope when faced with rejection. If they had quit, history wouldn’t have been kind to them. There are many ideas that could’ve been beneficial to mankind but didn’t see the light of day due to fear of rejection or failure. Nothing kills dreams and aspirations faster than rejection. Do not let it kill yours. Face your fears head on.