Life’s little knock-backs
It’s interesting to look back and recall with extraordinary clarity so many of the times in life I’ve experienced rejection.
And from such a broad spectrum of arenas, too, from not being selected for sports teams, University rejections, and being turned down by prospective girlfriends (especially cringeworthy), to job applications, store card enquiries, planning applications, book deals, and more times in business than I care to remember.
Why on earth do we recount life’s rejections so vividly, while everyday successes can fade so easily from memory?!
I’m by no means a psychologist, but I believe the answer relates to self-esteem, as well as a tribal instinct to belong, harking from distant times when being excluded from a group meant that bad things would follow.
Getting comfortable with ‘no’
Fear of rejection is not always a useful trait, since success in life so often requires an ability to hear the simple word ‘no’, and to take that as a cue to move on & find the next ‘yes’.
An effortless thing to say, of course; far from such a straightforward mantra to live by.
A manageable place to start might be to recognise that everyone experiences rejection, and therefore it’s unrealistic to believe otherwise.
In other words, expect rejection, and try not to take it personally.
Adopting a more positive outlook, accept that some things are outside of your sphere of influence, and – mighty hard though it is to do – try to view rejection as an opportunity to learn and move forward.
Oh, that’s just terrific…
If you’re starting out in business, aiming to raise capital, or embarking upon a new entrepreneurial venture such as becoming an author, writing a course, or launching a fund, anticipate criticism and expect rejection, because – & this much I can tell you for free – you will experience it!
Indeed this may sound counter-intuitive, but if you can embrace rejection instead of trying to dodge it, this may well accelerate you to your goals far more quickly.
Rejection is a form of feedback from which you can learn, develop, grow, and identify blind spots.
Yep, you read that right, rejection can mean progression!
Aim, therefore, not live in trepidation of the next time you’ll hear the big ‘NO!’, and don’t let that apparently innocuous word make you feel hurt, anxious, embarrassed, or angry.
It will take plenty of practice and false starts, but instead plan to think:
‘Oh great, another rejection!’
You’ll be a step closer to the next ‘yes’…and to the next success.