I love hearing success stories. The hero story always comes with a hardship which has to be endured before a triumph is seen. It looks easier in the older history books – slay the dragon, kill the evil king, free the prisoners — okay, maybe I have been watching too much Game of Thrones – but the point is, there is a definite ‘task’ which must be completed before success is earned. Now, in the modern world we live in, it’s a different type of battle we fight. One that doesn’t get spoken about enough in schools or is glossed over in the success stories of the icons we hold in such high regard.
It’s inevitable. In your career, relationships, family dynamics… forget about being the last person being picked for the basketball team. You can still be dealing with the impact of rejection well into adulthood.
It happens. And when it does, it feels SO personal. But it’s not. If you allow it to, it can keep you stuck, quitting before you are meant to and giving up because rejection can sometimes make us question ourselves and the value we bring to those around us. If you don’t put it into context, rejection can become a roadblock to your destiny.
Here are three things you must know about rejection.
3 Things You Need to Know About Rejection
Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being redirected to something better.
– Steve Maraboli
1. The more you challenge yourself, the more rejection you’ll get
Yes, you can absolutely protect yourself from this horrid feeling by not doing anything outside of your comfort zone. But on the other side of your comfort zone is: awesomeness, freedom and a life that is SO much better for you. But it does come with a price tag: rejection – plus a side of judgement. I had this when I first started my own business. It’s not fun. The good news is, you do get used to being rejected by people. It’s like a muscle that you have to exercise at first, but once you do, you feel unstoppable — so keep going, and get used to it. And remember: those people weren’t there for you anyway. Rejection is a wonderful life filter that gets rid of the fake people in your life.
2. Rejection is for your own protection
This isn’t the advice people love hearing (particularly after a bad break up), but I can tell you from personal experience – THIS IS TRUE. I remember being devastated after not landing what I thought was my ‘dream job’ straight out of university. It was a total rejection from the job I felt I would have been ‘perfect for’ — which then allowed me to go for a job that was way more prestigious, better paid, and just all around a much better job than the one I had been pining for. The point is, if there is rejection attached to something, it’s not meant for you. It’s that simple. And there is something better, guaranteed. Yes, have a cry (or a Ben and Jerry’s tub) if you must, but then move on – because life has something better in store for you.
3. It’s getting you closer to where you meant to be
In sales, we say that every “no” is getting you closer to your “yes.” This is true in sales and in life. Rejection is never easy, but you need to know that it’s not a roadblock, but a road sign. A sign to go into a different direction – or to stop, stand still and assess what you need to do next (which is usually to keep going). It can be common to think rejection means you aren’t meant for that ‘thing’ (career, job, business, relationship) – but it’s just part of the process when you are building something or going for something that is outside your normal. Don’t overthink it – and don’t let it keep you from moving forward.
Rejection does hurt. But you know what hurts more? Standing still. I know which one I’d prefer.