Dealing with Rejection

Steve Jobs used to quote a saying “If you live each day as if it was your last – some day you’ll be right”.

I’ve pretty much applied this philosophy in my life and in doing so, many (but certainly not most) of my days are full.  Some days are filled with joy and accomplishment and other days it seems like nothing is working out.  Most days are a mixture of both – “hits and misses.”

I’m the type of person who tends to live life passionately, with hopes and dreams that are probably too lofty, and with that comes a lot of rejection.  A lot of successful people are like me in that way.  That’s not to say that I always feel successful, but some people may perceive me that way because every so often I achieve what I set out to do. What they don’t realize are all the times it didn’t work out. I can tell you, that I’ve had my fair share of misses.  So how do I deal with rejection?

  • I remind myself – not to take it personally.  Many times, it’s just that someone else has a different point of view and it’s just not the right fit.  It may be a job that I didn’t get or a party I didn’t get invited to. And more times than not – it’s not about me or my work at all.
  • I try to find out why something was rejected.  I do this because even though it’s hard to hear “why”, I know that if I can take my emotions out of the equation, I can learn and grow from it.
  • I remind myself that something I thought I wanted, maybe just wasn’t meant to be and in fact, many times that rejection ends up being a blessing in disguise.  I look back at some of the pivotal points in my life, where I took a different direction after things didn’t work out.  Almost every time, a low point prompted me to make a shift, it led to something extremely rewarding.
  • I tell myself that “playing it safe” is in fact very risky. If I don’t try, then  it’s a given that I won’t succeed. So, while “playing it safe” may seem like it can eliminate rejection – it can also eliminate feelings of accomplishment and maybe even self-worth.
  • I talk about my rejections, rather than pretend that everything in my life is roses.  In fact I have found in writing this blog over the past few years that the most popular posts have had the word “mistake” in the title.  Why is that?  Because, we humans seem to take comfort in the fact that we aren’t the only ones getting rejected. Misery loves company.  Ask any successful person how many times things didn’t go their way. You’ll find out more times than not.
  • I take comfort in the ones I love and who love me.  They get me through it every time and I’m grateful for those people in my life.

Rejection comes with living a life fully and I tell myself that every time I want to throw in the towel and give up on my dreams.  I want to live every day as if it were my last and if it comes with heartache and rejection, I’ll remind myself that it makes the “hits” that much sweeter.

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One thought on “Dealing with Rejection

  1. leila January 17, 2012 / 8:23 pm

    beautiful insights, we all have experienced rejections , it is the way we handle/ deal with it that is most rewarding. Thank you for putting them into words, and reminds us that we are not alone. I love the last one esp.”comfort in the ones I love—” thank you.

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