CAREER DEVELOPMENT / FEB. 25, 2015
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How to Embrace Rejection and What to Learn From It

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A stinging rejection feels like the world has just slapped you in the face with a piece of sandpaper. It hurts. Naturally, you’ll feel angry, and you’ll want to perform the one-fingered salute at whatever has rejected you this time. But rejection can hold some nugget of knowledge. It doesn’t always have to turn into a negative thing. Our greatest failures sometimes herald our greatest successes.

This is why learning from rejection is a better option than getting upset about it. We’re going to go through how you can embrace and learn from rejection. Read on to find out more.

Ignore the Negative Rejections

There are two types of rejections in the world: positive and negative. A positive rejection is one that can help you improve. The person rejecting you usually has your best interests at heart. On the other hand, a negative rejection is malicious. These people are worthless to you, and you should ignore them. As a rule of thumb, anything that involves an insult should find its way into your mental recycling bin.

Focus on the positive rejections and try to pull out the critique parts of them.

Comfort Yourself

Most positive rejections will include one or two good points about yourself. Use them for what they were designed to do. Take the edge off of your rejection with them. Think about it like this: "I’m disappointed because I was rejected due to X, but I’m thankful that they liked Y." You’re tempering every bad point with a good point.

This frame of mind will make it easier to accept rejections and embrace it.

Give it Time

When you first receive a rejection, your heart will rule your head. You’re emotional and you’re trying to compose yourself. It’s impossible to look at a rejection from an objective point of view in the beginning. Before you review your rejection properly, give yourself 24 hours to digest the disappointment. Go out to see a movie, watch your favourite TV show, or eat a bucket of ice cream. Just work the negative out of your system and return the next day.

"How Can I Improve?"

This is the question you need to ask yourself when reviewing a rejection from an objective point of view. Look at what they suggest and act on it. If you were turned down for a promotion because the supervisor doesn’t think you can take on more responsibility, prove them wrong. Be proactive and take on more duties by helping out your colleagues when they’re in need.

One rejection will never define your whole future. It’s one rejection in a sea of many. You can always improve and return stronger than ever before. This is the mindset you have to go into matters with. Always think about how you can improve.

Hold Your Rejections

Some people would recommend that you throw your rejections in the trash in order to maintain a positive state of mind. We’re going to say the exact opposite. You should file these rejections away for the future. You can always learn more from previous rejections. Casting a fresh eye over your rejections in a few years can reveal things you never noticed before. Read between the lines and use your rejections to drive you forward.

Overall, learning from rejection is a difficult skill to master. You’ll always feel rotten if you had faith in something only for it to come back with a big fat red rubber stamp on the front of it. The key to embracing and learning from rejection is to limit your emotional response. This is why we say you need to take time to properly digest a rejection. If you can master this, you’ll look at the criticisms, and you’ll think more about how to improve, as opposed to dwelling on the rejection itself.

Are you able to use rejections in a positive manner? Or do they affect your confidence whether positive or not? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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