Countering Rejection: 5 Tips for Killing It Next Time

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Welcome to Tuesday’s Tips, the one day a week when I break the format of answering your questions and I dispense useful, actionable and empowering tips!

Today I’m talking about rejection, which, as we all know, sucks. There are few things in life that sting as much and none of us escapes it indefinitely.  It doesn’t really matter if it’s huge, like not getting into your first choice college, or less life altering like being turned down for a second date. No one likes it.  Still, it’s a fact of life. So what can we do to minimize it’s effect? Here are 5 tips that are sure to help you rebound:

1. It’s not personal. Really, it’s not. If someone or something doesn’t want you, it’s less about you and more about the vision that they had for what they wanted. You didn’t fit it?  Next! Good riddance. They did you a favor. Really. I’m not blowing smoke up your ass (or dress). If you follow AskDrDarcy, you know this.

2. Listen carefully. Don’t defend. Listen to the explanation for why it didn’t work out. There’s a learning opportunity here. Usually there’s information to glean. Did you do something wrong? Could you have done something differently? If so, retain that information. It’s your avoid-rejection-next time card.

3. Focus on the take-away. When you walk away with a lesson learned, it gives value to the experience. What was the take-away? Anytime something doesn’t work out for me, I know I own a part of it. If I can take that information with me, I can ensure that I do things differently in the future. But if my ego is too fragile and I’m too focused on being right, I’m destined to repeat the mistake again and again.

4. Remember you’re in good company. In 2008, J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, spoke at Harvard University's graduation ~ not about success but about failure. In particular, her own.  12 publishers rejected her first manuscript. She is just one of many, many famous people who has a rags to riches story.  Walt Disney’s first animation company went bankrupt. And, not that I’m (yet) in league with these names, but I was laid off from my job in 1998 which catapulted me to start my company, Alternatives Counseling, in that same year. But for that rejection, I’d still be working for a shitty hospital praying I was spared every 6 months during layoffs.

5. Get back on that horse. You’re an AskDrDarcy follower. You are not a quitter. We value tenacity and perseverance. We get back on the horse.  This is just a numbers game. Throw enough mud against the wall and something’s bound to stick. Try again. And maximize the likelihood for success by applying the take-away from the last rejection!