Making Rejection Work For You

Learn From Rejection: Find the Why Behind the No

Rejection hurts and the pain can last a lifetime. The fear of rejection can limit how you respond because the risk of failure is too high. Learning how to make rejection work for you rather than striving to avoid it will give you more control over your life. More importantly by going deeper into the reason for the rejection you’ll discover the “why” behind the “no” and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.

The primary source of rejection originates in childhood when your parents used disciplinary measures to help you grow, avoid harm, and learn about life. Unfortunately, being continually corrected or punished whenever something goes wrong can leave the impression that it’s your fault.

As you entered the education system rejection appears in new forms like failing a test, disappointing a teacher, losing a close friend, not making the team, having to attend summer school, or being sent to the principal’s office; the list is endless.

Given these past experiences it’s no wonder the fear of being wrong overrides your desire to take a risk and chase your dream. Yet, knowing how to respond proactively when faced with rejection is exactly what is needed for you to find purpose in your life.

Now is a good time for you to take charge of your life rather than let the fear of rejection diminish your aspirations and dampen your enthusiasm for what God has in mind for you.

The Formula for Success

Successful people will tell you that what they’ve accomplished has been the result of working hard, staying focused on what really matters, and not letting rejection get in the way.

They will also acknowledge that the risk of failure is always involved when undertaking anything worthwhile, but that didn’t stop them from trying, sometimes repeatedly.

Perceiving the negative reactions and unfounded criticisms from others as signs of failure is natural. It is tempting to respond by withdrawing or limiting your efforts to avoid being hurt.

Rather than let rejection dominate your feelings and limit your ambition, the more productive response would be to subscribe to the formula for success:

*Success requires risk.

You risk rejection and criticism whenever you commit yourself to a dream. Risk is a means of measuring the value of your commitment. You risk losing support from others when you act on your own. The more risks you take, the more likely you are to succeed.

*Risk escalates failure.

You will fail many times in your life. Look upon failure as a key part of the learning process. Examine the cause and try to avoid similar miscalculations in the future. Adopt the “no big deal” philosophy which means that when one thing doesn’t work keep trying until you find something that does.

*Failure builds confidence.

Have a strong belief in yourself. Feeling good about who you are and accepting that what you’re doing is right for you builds self-confidence. Believe in your own worth and value. You may have faults and others will pick them out, but as a whole person no one is better than you.

*Confidence raises self-esteem.

You feel good about yourself when others hold you in high regard, so don’t waste time on negative people. Do what you believe makes sense and others will support your efforts. Don’t compromise yourself or your values. Remember, your success is well earned and well deserved.

How you handle rejection can influence your ability to complete the success formula. Rejection and the learning that comes with it can be put to good use when you understand that it’s not about you, it’s about what you offer or what you represent that others are objecting to.  

Behavioral Insights 

  • Self-esteem is enhanced proportionally to the difficulty of the task. The tougher the task, the better you’ll feel about yourself when you get it done.
  • Painful experiences are not always negative. They often have many beneficial outcomes.
  • You do things for a reason, sometimes subconsciously. Your behavior has an ego-payoff. Understand what it is, and improvement becomes easier.
  • Feeling bad about the past is futile. Concentrate on those things you can influence now. Spend less time thinking about things you cannot change.
  • Be conscious of when you are letting other people determine your behavior especially when it goes against what you believe.
  • Your worth as a person is derived from who you are, not from what you do.
  • Enjoy what’s here right now because today is the only certainty you have and the only time you have control.

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