Rejection is not all bad. I found in the last few years working with people that rejection is what holds many people back from achieving what they set out to. So, what a couple people said no that really should not stop you. The key to getting rejected is to learn why then move on to the next person. My favorite thing to say to myself when I hear NO is NEXT. I move on and find better opportunities for me. The opportunity that you thought was so perfect for you before you were rejected was all in your head. You never know what a situation is until you are in it. So, when you are told no; remind yourself that it probably was not the best fit for you and that you need to find the right fit. When I am talking about rejection, I am talking about Jobs, Schools, People, any situation where someone else has the power to say no. Remember you always have the power to move on and say NEXT!
I want to say that I understand how much rejection stings and hurts and deflates your ego. I also want to point out that like everything, the more you do it or hear it or feel it, the easier it is, the less it hurts, the less the sting of defeat and the more its motivation to move forward.
Here is an embarrassing but true story about me. I grew up with a learning disability called Dyslexia. I was placed in special classes that at the time did not know what to do with me, so I basically had no real education. I did learn how to maneuver in the world and did well for myself but always had spelling issues come up. No matter how hard I tried there would always be something wrong, and with the English language with so many words that sound the same but spelled differently, it can cause “Issues” for a dyslexic, with that said. I am always taking classes to learn more about the things that interest me. I decided to go to Drexel university and wrote my Entrance essay and sent transcripts and all. I was REJECTED! I did not give up I asked why and what I can do, and they said that to begin with I spelled College with an “a” …“Collage”! Spell check did not pick this up, and I looked foolish, But then I asked if I can go Nonmatriculated (Spelled correctly) and they said yes and I have a 4.0 at this moment. I say at this moment because I am in the middle of a spelling intensive writing class and it’s giving me a run for my money…
Moral of the story you hear no, ask why then change course to either fix it or move on to the next opportunity that will take you forward in the direction of your goals.
There was a great Ted Talk I want to point out for a great inspiration. Jia Jiang turned something we are all afraid of “Rejection” into what energizes him.
Jia decided to do 100 rejections and videotape his rejections to learn from them:
- Ask a stranger to borrow $100. Response No! while watching the video he saw how scared he was and remembered the 6-year-old him.
- Buerger Refill at a fast food restaurant. Response No! but then learned to add to the requests to let the other person know his interests.
- Olympic Doughnuts (donuts made in the formation of the Olympic rings) Response Surprisingly yes, the person was interested and made it, the video went Viral. This put him on the map, and he was getting support from all over the country for this idea.
- Can I plant this flower in your back yard? Response No! but then Jia asked why not, and the person said they have a dog that would dig it up, and it would be a waste of your flowers, but Janet across the street loves flowers you should ask her. So now by asking shy he is getting a referral and the reasoning for the rejection and he was not the one who was rejected it was the waste of a flower.
- Starbucks greeter: Response No! But then he said why because it’s a “weird” request, and the manager said yes, but then realized that because he was realistic about the request and knew it was odd that he could do it for an hour and just to not be too weird. He learned that acknowledging that a request could be odd, he helped the other person realize he was coming from an honest place.
- Day 6: Can I teach your class, he literally knocked on professors doors asking is he could teach their class, and they said no until he came to one who said that no one has ever asked that before. Jia showed his powerpoints, and handouts and the teacher added him to the next curriculum and him taught a class the next semester.
Jia learned that by asking for things that you want, you have a better chance of getting what you want versus never asking at all. The thing that held him back was the fear of the rejection in the first place. This sounds very simple but thinks about how much rejection hurts and why we stay away from it.