How to Handle Failure & Rejection.
Have you ever had one of those days/months/years where you just can’t seem to win?
I recently experienced what I could only describe as a day of failure and rejection. I was rejected from a job opportunity I really wanted, lost a big sales opportunity I had been trying to close and missed out on buying what I thought was the perfect property at auction. Whilst these may appear to be seemingly trivial matters, I could not help but feel disheartened and disappointed.
After taking a moment to wallow in my sorrows, I began to ponder over the concept of failure and rejection. Surely, I am not alone here. If I have experienced my share of failures and rejections, I could only begin to imagine what challenges others may have had to overcome. After researching the topic of failure and rejection, here is what I learnt:
- J.K. Rowling: “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”
- Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
- Walt Disney: Dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt at joining the army. In one of his earlier ventures, he went bankrupt due to his lack of ability to run a successful business. He was also fired from a Newspaper due to “not being creative enough.” In an interview, Walt revealed “we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
So, how does one learn to handle and rejection? You can start by:
1. Remembering that you’re not Alone
Celebrity psychotherapist Dr. Lisa Palmer states “Every successful person if going to have so many experiences where they don’t make it to where they want to make it at that moment. Failure and rejection happen to everyone, so keep that in mind the next time you’re feeling like the most rejected fish in the sea.”
2.Not Giving Up!
One of the key attributes of successful people is that they don’t let failure or rejection get in the way of trying again… and again… and again. Regardless of the circumstances they get up, dust themselves off and keep moving forward.
3. Learn from Rejection
Life is not meant to be easy, but to present us with challenges that help us to grow. Use failure and rejection as an opportunity to move forward with more power and knowledge. Every experience, whether good or bad, teaches us something. It us up to us to identify the lesson in every experience and to apply certain behaviours to drive toward success.
How to Handle Failure & Rejection
What I know for sure is that when I have experienced a failure (or perceived failure) in my life, it has only opened the door to a bigger and better opportunity. So whilst I may not particularly like failure and rejection, I have learnt to be ok with it.
Do you have a favourite failure that has opened you up to a better opportunity? What are some of the strategies you utilise to overcome failure and rejection? I would love to hear your thoughts- please leave your comments below!