I want to talk about a subject that is very close to my heart. It’s something that I face time after time, in my career and life. Today I’m going to write about rejection and I want to talk openly about this as I feel that very few people admit that they have been rejected. I’m very open about all the rejections that I have faced in my life. And you know what? Every time I talk openly about rejection, I feel very liberated, I feel empowered rather than being embarrassed. I feel that by sharing my rejections, I bring a positive message that rejection and success can coexist. I love the speech that Lady Gaga gave at “The Oscars”. She said quote unquote: “I worked hard for a very long time. It’s not about winning. What is about, it’s not giving up. If you have a dream, fight for it. There is a discipline for passion. It’s not about how many time you get rejected or you fall down or you’re beaten up. It’s about how many time you stand up and you’re brave and you keep going”.
You would think that you are the only person in the world that gets rejected. You are wrong. Regardless of who you are, where you are in your career and life, we all face rejection, every single day. Rejection sucks. You put a lot of work into something, you put your heart and soul, and you get closer to achieving your goal and then, “boom”, you get rejected. But the way you choose to respond to rejection is what will make a difference in the long term. Ever notice how being turned down stops some people from trying again, while others bounce back from rejection stronger than before? Everyone experiences the sting of rejection, but some people use that pain to grow stronger and become better. Mentally strong people know that rejection serves as proof that they’re putting themselves out there. They expect to be rejected and they’re not afraid to go for it. They refuse to let rejection define them.They don’t make sweeping generalizations when they’re rejected. If companies turn them down for a job, they don’t declare themselves incompetent. Or, if they get rejected in their love life, they don’t conclude they’re unlovable. They keep rejection in proper perspective. Don’t let your self-worth depend upon other people’s opinions of you. Just because someone else thinks something about you, doesn’t mean it’s true. Instead learn from your rejection. Ask yourself “what did I gain from this?”. Rather than simply tolerate the pain, turn it into an opportunity for self-growth. Approach rejection as a time to reset. Time to get stock of what you’re good at, of what you can improve. Set your goals. Redifine your strategy. As with everything in life, I never put myself in a victim position. I use rejection to fire me up to chase my dreams even harder. Often people say to make you feel better that “there is always something good that comes out of something bad”. I am not sitting down waiting for that something good to miraculously come up because I deserve it. I use the shock of rejection to take me to my next goal, my next project, my next risk. Every experience I’ve had, good or bad, led me to the next, and every “no” I got, made me try harder to get to a “yes” next time. I embrace rejection and challenges as a way to evolve, to get better, to be ahead of the game. Even if I do not make it at the end, I always take a minute to be grateful about the opportunity and everything that I’ve learned along the process.
Lastly, I want to share with you my 5 top tips of how to deal with rejection:
- Take sometime to process rejection rather than react immediately. Yes, you will be said, yes, you won’t feel great. Do something nice for yourself. Go to a high vibe place, get a glass of champagne, treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting to buy for a while, make yourself feel special.
- Focus on what you have in life and appreciate it.Write a list of the top things you are grateful for right now. It could be your health, your family, recent achievements, people in your life that uplift you. Regardless of what happen to us, there are always some great things in our life that we need to value. Be grateful for what you have, rather than always focus on what you haven’t.
- Don’t think it’s about you. I see this all the time in business. Companies may see an amazing candidate but they may be too junior or too senior for a certain position. It’s all about the fit and it has nothing to do with them. So don’t blame yourself.
- Talk to a friend or a loved one. Sharing your thoughts with someome you trust, helps you process your frustration and sometime find the resolution that you are looking for.
- Every rejection is an opportunity to redefine your goals and plan of actions. If “plan A” hasn’t worked out, is not the end of the world, come up with “plan B”. The important thing is to keep on moving, keep progressing and one thing will lead you to the next. You will ultimately going to achieve your goal. You just have to keep going and be patient.
What I learned over time is that success is wrapped in rejection. It’s all about taking risks, putting yourself out there, and developing very thick skin. You will fail at times, but you will put yourself together and get back at it. And with that in mind, embrace rejection.
I wish you all the best,
Dr. Valeria Acampora