Rejection can sting, but it doesn’t have to derail your efforts or your future. Rejection is a part of life that everyone must face. While rejection isn’t enjoyable, it’s rarely fatal. Luckily, there are strategies you can use to help you use rejection as a stepping-stone to success.
Try these tips to deal with rejection quickly and effectively, so you can move on:
1. Take a short break. Whether a potential romantic partner, your boss, or a Hollywood director rejected you, take a short period of time to grieve and pull yourself together. Avoid taking too long to reengage with your life, though. Take the time you need, but get back out there as quickly as possible.
2. Realize that many other opportunities exist. How many potential romantic partners exist in the world? Millions. You’ll have other ideas to pitch to your company. A single rejection only means that you’re participating in the world. The only people that don’t get rejected are at home on the couch.
• There are plenty of opportunities in your future. Many of them are far better than your recent miss.
3. Learn from the rejection. Was there something that you could have done better? Take the opportunity to really look at the rejection and learn from it. If you can learn one small thing from each negative experience in your life, you’ll have far fewer of them.
• If appropriate, ask what you can do to improve. A job interviewer might be very willing to give you a few pointers that you can apply in the future. Listen closely to the answers you receive.
• Some quests have a low success rate. For example, you can offer home sellers fifty cents on the dollar to buy their house and 99% will reject your offer. Accept that a certain amount of rejection is part of any endeavor.
4. Avoid automatically assuming that the reason for the rejection is related to you. For instance, there are hundreds of reasons why a woman might refuse to go out with you that have nothing to do with you personally:
• She’s already involved with someone else.
• She’s interested in members of the opposite sex.
• She just got out of a long-term relationship.
• She’s moving soon.
• Her mother is ill and she’s caring for her.
5. Remember that each rejection is bringing you closer to success. How can you fail if you avoid quitting? Keep at it and you’ll eventually find the success you’re seeking. Sales people are trained to believe that every “no” is another step closer to a “yes.”
6. Remember that everyone deals with rejection. The most successful people get rejected the most. They just do a better job of forging ahead than those with average results.
7. Monitor your self-talk. Keep your thoughts positive and upbeat. A poor mood and expectations give poor results. Say good things to yourself and good things will happen.
8. Treat yourself well. A failure isn’t an excuse to mistreat yourself. Overeating, consumption of alcohol, or excessive spending isn’t the answer. Celebrate the fact that you made an effort. Maybe your rejection even deserves a small reward.
Rejection is just an undesired outcome. It’s no different than missing the strike zone during a baseball game. You wouldn’t walk off the mound after one errant pitch. You’d keep throwing the ball.
Avoid allowing rejection to have a negative impact on your mood or behavior. Learn, grow, and try again.