Get rejected more. Rejection will test you. It will make you better faster.
I don’t know about you, but lately, I’m not getting rejected enough. Instead, I’m playing it safe. And in today’s hyper-changing world, seeking protection is unsafe.
In the early stages of launching my first company, I was rejected from all sides; I was rejected by potential investors; I was rejected by retailers; I was rejected by sales teams and potential business partners.
During this arduous period, however, rejections became acceptances. I expanded, deepened and sharpened my skills. I learned more about business and myself than any other time in my life. There was no substitute for this kind of training. My MBA and previous employee-based learning was nothing compared to the real-life lessons of launching a business. When you launch a business, or initiate any daring activity, you’re exposed and vulnerable. In a “sink or swim” environment, you’re forced to learn fast.
Most of us have heard the expression: “Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.” My amendment to this is, “Anything worth doing, is worth the risk of rejection.” Understandably, the world is largely preoccupied with its own interests, so we might as well strive for something we deeply believe in – something that can help us overcome life’s barrage of no’s and maybe’s.
Are there many yes’s available to us? For sure, when pursuing lighter tasks. With more demanding tasks, however, we need to power through more no’s to find the yes’s.
If your pursuit is based on your values, it’s easier to let a rejection work for you. It can strengthen your resolve. It can sharpen your skills. It can focus your message and refine your delivery method.
Additionally, rejection can help clarify what’s most important to you. When challenged, you’re forced to discern your core beliefs. You’re pressed to think, “What do I really believe?” and “Is this really that important to me?” If you realize that these things are less important than previously thought, then reduce your emphasis on them. Instead, focus on matters that are more meaningful to you.
Although many people seek harmony, I welcome tension. Discomfort leads to re-birth. This concept applies to every living organism. For example, your fingers first bleed when learning guitar; a blade of grass struggles through a cement crack to reach nutrient sunshine; the severe pain of childbirth soon leads to collective joy.
Fear limits our progress. Many of our fears, however, are blown out of proportion. If we get rejected, it’s often not as bad as expected. And by demonstrating that we can rebound from rejection (or better yet, that it doesn’t effect us) it can engender respect. It makes us stronger.
Does the threat of rejection overpower your courage to advance? Challenge a small fear today. It may eliminate a more painful remorse later.