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  • Do You Handle Rejection or Does It Handle You?

    Dealing with rejection is a major bummer.

    Whether it is from a date, a client or a job posting, rejection tends to bring up the worst kind of questions in ourselves: the plague of self-doubt.

    “Was it me? Am I good enough? Of course I’m not good enough. I knew this would happen!”

    And before we know it, we are one big hot mess.

    But rejection doesn’t have to hurt you — or your work. All you need is this simple method that reframes the way that you think of it. Trust me, it’s all in your head.

    Step One: Identify How Much Success is Worth

    When you take a risk and get rejected, rather than focusing on your rejection, focus back on what was possible.

    In my first company, I got rejected by the New York Times 20+ times before I got a mention. Each time hurt (more than a little bit). But, I knew that one mention was so valuable for me that it was worth 100 rejections!

    One mention was worth dozens of hours of work and dozens of rejections.

    Because of this, I chose to view each failure as a small payment towards that dozens of hours that ended up paying off big time!

    Ask yourself, how many rejections would be worth it to land one game-changing client? Or to get a job at your dream company? Or to meet your next potential boss?

    How much failure is one success worth?

    Then, when you get rejected, when you fail, bring your mind to your end goal. Remind yourself how much you value that goal and think of your rejection as a step towards it.

    Remember: Your rejection is a necessary step towards attaining your goal.

    Step Two: Acknowledge that Risk is Required for Success

    Let’s put it out there. Failure and rejection are not positive.

    No one wants to fail. No one wants to be rejected.

    BUT, putting yourself in a place where failure is likely is not only positive, but it is required to be successful.

    Let’s repeat that: Putting yourself in a position where failure and rejection are likely is necessary for success.

    Playing it safe forever will not yield the results you want. You will never get hired. You will never get your dream client. You will never go on a date. You will never try anything new.

    Without risk, without the potential to fail, your life will be a shadow of what it could be. You may survive, but you will never thrive.

    In my life, if I am not failing 30% of the time, I know I am not taking enough risks.

    I recognize that without 30% failure, I have an opportunity to play bigger. To make more money. To grow. To expand my power. To have a better life. To have more impact.

    I also know that I can’t have any of those things without rejection and failure.

    (If you ask me, rejection is a small price to pay for love, power, money, fun and adventure!)

    So there you have it.

    Rejection is a necessary component of success and a downpayment for your future awesome-ness.

    So, tell me, what risk are you going to take today to make a “downpayment” on your future?

    Author:

    Rebecca Rapple has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Keith Ferrazzi’s My Greenlight and more. You can learn more about the fundamentals of a remarkable job search on her site, The Resume Revolution.

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    Posted in Job Search, Personal Branding
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    2 comments on “Do You Handle Rejection or Does It Handle You?
    1. avatar
      EXPERT
      Seth Fargher says:

      Great article Rebecca! Rejection in ANY form is hard. One of the principles I preach on heavily I call the “just ask” principle. The quickest way to guarantee rejection is to not ask and you just never know. That pretty girl, that job recruiter, that gifted author/speaker/celebrity…just might say yes! I was able to get a speaker friend of mine connected with his greatest inspiration, Tony Robbins, by reaching out to an acquaintance of mine. I thought it was crazy but I “just asked” on a whim and my friend was invited as Tony’s guest to one of his seminars.

    2. avatar
      EXPERT

      You offer truthful and compelling perspective in this post. Rejection never feels good but few paths to success are paved without challenges. Many of our students at Westwood College have had to overcome a lot just to realize their goal of pursuing a degree and we admire their dedication despite rejection, family obligations, and so on. Thanks for addressing this topic. We will be sure to promote this article as part of our Friday industry roundup on the Westwood College & Career Blog.

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