Rejection is a part of life. No matter who you are, there will be times when you are rejected personally or professionally. How you deal with these inevitable disappointments has a significant impact on your happiness and success. Here are three steps to overcome rejection.
1. Be kind to yourself.
Many people are very self-critical after a rejection. Do not make that mistake. Be kind to yourself. While you did not get the outcome that you wanted, your effort should be celebrated. A rejection does not mean something is wrong with you. It means that you put yourself in a position where rejection was possible. That takes courage. You should celebrate your effort.
The only people who never get rejected are those who never put themselves in a situation where they might fail. A rejection demonstrates that you are in the game trying to make things happen, rather than playing it safe and watching from the sidelines.
2. Ask yourself “What good can come from this?”
When you are rejected, the natural reaction is to focus on what you will lose. However, the rejection could actually be a blessing in disguise. You might actually gain something and end up in an even better place than if you had not been rejected.
For example, if someone rejects you for a date or relationship, maybe you will meet someone else who is even better for you. As another example, if a company rejects you for a job, maybe you will land a different position that is even better for you.
There is no way to know for sure that you will end up better off in the long run. However, why not believe that things will work out in the end? There is nothing to be gained from expecting the worst.
3. Ask yourself “What could I do better or differently next time?”
When you are rejected, you might feel sad or angry. You might think the person who rejected you is wrong. Do not get defensive or criticize the person for their decision though. That will only make you look bad and make you feel even worse.
Take a different approach. Give yourself some time to process the rejection. Then, be humble, and ask yourself what you might have done (or not done) to influence the decision. If you are honest with yourself, you will likely identify some ways that you could do better next time. While painful, you can use a rejection as an opportunity to grow and improve.
Summary and Final Thoughts
Your ability to deal with rejection has a significant impact on your happiness and success. Follow these three steps to overcome rejection:
- Be kind to yourself.
- Ask yourself “What good can come from this?”
- Ask yourself “What could I do better or differently next time?”
The only real failure in life is not trying. It’s much better to be rejected than to wonder what might have happened if you had taken a swing. Remember the advice and philosophy of billionaire Mark Cuban: “Every no gets me closer to a yes.” 1
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About the author: Pete Leibman is the Creator of StrongerHabits.com. He is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, executive recruiter, athlete, and peak performance coach. His work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and CNNMoney.com, and over 500,000 people across the world have read his articles.