Thursday, September 20th, 2012
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jess of Hack My Modern Lifestyle.
Have you ever had times in your life when you found it hard to get up after being rejected?
Being rejected is difficult to handle in any capacity in life. Whether it is in your love life, social life, or work life, rejection often hits hard, and can sometimes knocks the wind out of your sails. Rejection in the work place has a special kind of sting to it, while rejections in relationships or social life are full of emotion.
Finding a way through rejection is not always easy because the reason for the rejection can sometimes be biting. Even comprehending “feeling better” immediately following a rejection can be difficult. This inability to feel better immediately is a normal reaction, and it can actually be a great moment of clarity for the individual.
While it may be tough to find some sort of guiding light through rejection, there are ways to turn the sudden negative into a long-term positive effect. That may seem farfetched to some, and it is not the easiest transition in the world, but it is wholly doable.
Seeing Rejection as a Challenge to Improve
Sure, the rejection does not feel great at the moment. However, being rejected has challenged you.
My first job did not come easy. When I was graduating, the economy slipped into a crisis. Few companies were hiring; in fact, most of them were retrenching. There were many times I went for interviews, only to find myself competing with experienced hires who were compromising themselves for a junior entry position.
Though I knew that competition was stiff and the chances of securing the job offer were low, every cold, hard rejection was a blow. I was feeling just plain bitter. My mind started to wonder if I was incompetent or whether my luck had run out.
It took me some effort before I could see rejection as a challenge for myself to hone my pertinent skills. I started to improve on my interview skills and took on freelance projects to build up my technical experience.
Eventually, my hard work paid off when one of my freelance customers actually hired me for a full-time position in his company after being impressed with my work!
So, how did I manage to turn those nasty rejections into strength?
Step 1: Accept Rejection
First, accept the fact that you have indeed been rejected.
Yes, it is not a pleasant feeling. But hey, isn’t life about overcoming, not giving in, not giving up? Living in denial would mean constant avoidance of problems and stagnating in life.
Step 2: Redefine Your Strategy
Secondly, take the rejection as an opportunity to expose holes in your approach. Be humble in yourself and note what it is that a company or hiring individual did not like about your presentation or strategy.
If you are certain you will not receive a job for one reason or another, take the opportunity to learn something from a critique. Being told what is lacking, odd, or confusing about your presentation of yourself gives you a chance to redefine your strategy. This can mean a whole new way of presenting you which should inspire anyone to be better at the work game.
Step 3: Turn Rejection into Higher Personal Power
Many people who have succeeded at their highest level have often been rejected early on. Their careers are often mired in one rejection after another by supposed “masters” in their type of business.
You have probably heard of Colonel Sanders, the founder of the fast food chain KFC. How did Colonel Sanders become an unbelievable success? He was born neither rich nor educated. In fact, he was 65 years old when he fulfilled his dreams. Many people laughed in his face when he went around knocking on every restaurant’s door, trying to convince them that sales could improve by using his recipe. After being rejected 1009 times over a period of 2 years, he finally succeeded.
We also have renowned leaders in the political and business arena who were like Colonel Sanders. Look at the founder of Walt Disney who was turned down 302 times before he got financing for creating Disney World. In addition, the former Prime Minister of UK Winston Churchill was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister and fulfilled his dreams at the age of 62.
The key to success is being able to turn rejection into higher personal power. Instead of mulling over the last rejection, immediately focus on how to do things more effectively and better the next time. Let yourself improve, and show that you can evolve and improve.
Even if you are unable to get/keep the work you desire, you will have acquired a new skill for when the next opportunity arises. Life does not have just one job for each person, and being inspired to gain a new skill will inevitably help you in the future (in one form or another).
The second key to success is to believe in what you do. Many of the greatest inventors and innovators were laughed out of rooms and told their ideas made no sense. Others were given menial work because of their creativity, but their major ideas were passed on. However, rejection did not deter them. It often inspired them to continue forward in order to find a way to succeed.
With the above three pointers, let rejections inspire you to take the qualities that miss the mark, and cultivate them into full-functioning strengths in your repertoire.
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