Business & Success

How Rejection Can Make You More Successful

alt“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill. Each and every successful personality, including celebrities have met with rejection in the early stages of their career. History abounds with such personalities and how they suffered rejection and endured humiliation in their early life. Mahatma Gandhi is an outstanding case of rejection as a young Indian lawyer in South Africa. Only it was then called as ‘Apartheid’. Everyone knows the story of his ejection from a train compartment meant for the ‘whites’ and the attempt at forceful subjugation of Gandhi by an English policeman. By silently bearing the brunt of the assault from the policeman, Gandhi continued with his attempt to stand up and board the train. He not only became famous overnight , the act became the foundation for his Satyagraha movement in India against the British, who had to eat humble pie and finally hand over power to the Indians as they had no weapon to counter his non violence movements.


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There are many more famous personalities who suffered such early setbacks. But instead of throwing in the towel at the first signs of rejection, all of them went ahead with more attempts in their chosen fields to finally achieve greatness because they had unassailable belief in their own self worth and the confidence to overcome early disappointments. This quality to stand up in the face of failures is known by various names such as resilience, intrinsic optimistic disposition, risk taking ability (to overcome fear of rejection) etc. The temperament and attitude to be resilient can be developed at any stage in life if one is able to analyse the reasons for failure(s) and is able to conclude that fault lies elsewhere for the rejection and not in oneself. Alternatively if our own performance does not match up to the required standards, we can make an all out effort to achieve those standards by hard work and/ or seeking help from the experts. Giving up is still not a solution especially if it arises out of a thought or fear of rejection or failure in our own mind.


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Most often when one meets with rejection in the course of performing a job like a sales job involving meeting and convincing a lot of people to buy or invest in something, one tends to attribute the failures to achieve the targets on oneself as if it is a personal rejection. The best attitude in such cases is not to take it as a personal failure as this would deflate our morale and have a cascading effect on the future of ourselves as well as the job objectives. The objective way to deal with rejections and it’s after effects is to first probe the possible reasons and in case of any personal shortfall, correcting it and enhancing our own performance each time. The rejection should be consciously treated as a motivational factor and not a debilitating one and this will automatically better the output progressively. On a wider perspective, Life itself is a game and we have to play it better each time to become proficient at it.

On the other hand one can strive not to get rubbed the wrong way by following a policy of never entertaining animosity against anyone even in the face of rejection like what Will Rogers, Humorist, Actor and American Philosopher has said “I never met a man I didn’t like.”This mind set makes one view all the worldly actions including rejection as normal part of life one has to undergo to achieve one’s goals without feeling overly let down by other’s actions. Often rejections are the result of personal insecurities of the person doing the rejection rather than any shortfall of person making the attempt.


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We would be benefited more if each rejection is treated as a wakeup call for even a better performance like what Sylvester Stallone, Actor and Producer had to say “I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.”

Martin Luther King, Jr., Preacher, Activist, and Civil Rights Leader described how we withstood rejection and trying times as an ultimate test of standing as a man when he said “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Trial and error, or testing and failing is how we learn about ourselves and our true capabilities. Rejection is an indicator of courage, effort and the exploration of personal boundaries. People should not view rejection negatively; instead take it as stepping stone to greater things.

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