Whether being turned down when asking someone out on a date or failing to snag a lucrative business deal with investors, rejection stings like a quick shot to the gut.

young-guy-looking-up

No matter how you look at it, it hurts when people turn us away. It hits directly at our sense of self-worth and, therefore, can lead us to question ourselves.

There is no magic bullet for dealing with rejection. So, if you’re trying to get out there and live your best life without that gut-wrenching feeling you get when you put yourself out there, it’s just not going to happen.

However, there are tricks you can use to make rejection easier to deal with. One trick, in particular, has helped me greatly for years and is really the one and only trick I’ve ever used for helping me deal with rejection.

I believe that rejection is a blessing because it’s the universe’s way of telling you that there’s something better out there.

– Michelle Phan

A simple trick for dealing with rejection

Before I get into the trick, some context to help you understand it better.

Years ago, I sold insurance. I was primarily a salesman, so I was one of several people in charge of obtaining clients (the old-fashioned way: face-to-face and over the phone).

I did everything from cold calling — most of the time being hung up on — to occasionally door knocking. Cold calling was bad enough, but door knocking was quite literally one of the most gut-wrenching things I’ve ever done in my life.

Thankfully, I realized how crazy I was to be doing that and got out sooner rather than later, especially since it had nothing to do with anything I had ever loved in my life previously, but that’s beside the point.

When you’re working in a business like that, you often resort to using certain tricks and things just to get through a typical week due to the sheer volume of rejection (and the resulting emotional turmoil) you have to deal with.

And, to that end, there was one trick in particular that worked wonders for me and many of the others which I’ve come to employ throughout the rest of my life to help me deal with rejection.

Turn rejection into a numbers game

Whether it appears that way or not, most things in life are a numbers game. By that I mean there is something which must be done a certain number of times to achieve a desired result.

When I was selling insurance, I had to make about one hundred phone calls to get ten people who would be okay with me following up, and from that I’d (typically) get one new client.

But the trick isn’t to track your results, it’s to track your rejections.

By turning rejection into a numbers game — “I need 99 rejections to get a yes” — I was able to flip the way I looked at rejection and turn it into a measure of productivity and progress.


It’s a simple change in perspective, a shift in the way you think, that makes a huge difference.

You won’t always know your number for what you’re trying to do, but you can still use the trick by either gathering data and then finding your number — how many rejections until you get a yes — or you can start off by guessing, see how that number worked out, and adjust from there.

So, if you’re looking for a date, your number can be reaching out to X profiles (if you’re doing it online). Or, you’re interviewing for a job you can guesstimate how many resumes the average business gives out, how many they interview from that, and then reverse engineer a number and send out that many resumes (and, again, adjust from there).

You still don’t need to know the actual number, the trick is that this perspective changes how you think about rejection and turns it from being a discouraging force to an encouraging one.

This helps motivate you to take action because you know that results, whatever that is for you, are within your reach. You just have to reach your number.

It’s a way of taking some of the emotion out of the experience of rejection and replacing it with a system that’s easy to follow and encouraging because you know the only thing standing between you and the result you want is you tallying up enough rejections.

You still have to put yourself out there

No matter what you’re trying to do, you still have to be willing to face rejection and put yourself out there. There’s no other way.

However, by using this simple trick, it can help take the emotional edge off of experiencing rejection and turn your focus to that eventual yes.


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