February 9, 2017
Rejection. Who enjoys it? Who doesn’t feel like locking themselves in their bedroom and never leaving after failing?
Most of us hate it. But listening to a recent talk by Jia Jiang for TEDx, he made me understand just how beneficial rejection may be.
I’m a huge believer in every struggle being a blessing in disguise – and this talk reconfirms that. Rather than feeling deflated, awkward and disempowered, getting rejected might be the wake-up call that we all need. In fact, it may be the sign you need to change your direction, or improve your focus in order to get a little closer to achieving your goals.
In reality, what’s the worst thing that can happen when you’re rejected? It may be a little cringy, you’ll feel weird and awkward, but in the end – at least you gave it a crack.
Now I’m not talking about the rejection that you may experience after asking someone out – although that may be beneficial too (it may be time to rethink that pick up line…)
What I’m talking about is the type of rejection you experience after pouring your heart and soul into an idea. Like pitching to someone you really want to impress and getting a very underwhelming response.
Those are the transformative experiences. They make you rethink your approach and may make you realize that you were so set in your ways, when instead you should have been more malleable, critical and innovative.
It’s so easy to beat ourselves up after this – but rather than focusing on the negative, there’s so much opportunity to figure out how to improve ourselves for next time. It’s hard to remind ourselves that the best in the business, whether they’re in advertising, law, finance or any other field are incredibly experienced and they have practiced thousands of times behind closed doors. These things don’t just happen, and if we continuously compare ourselves to others “we run the real risk of being held hostage through fear, never becoming the person we were supposed to become” as Steve Bartlett so eloquently says.
Fear is an incredibly natural feeling. What I’ve learned about personal and professional growth, and achieving the life that you want to live is that you need to become very comfortable with being uncomfortable. Those experience that I very quickly realised I wasn’t doing enough and that I needed to step up my game – those experiences were exceptionally beneficial for me. It feels nice when we take the easy road but that path doesn’t elevate ourselves, it doesn’t confront us with situations that make us dig deeper into our real selves – inadvertently revealing our true capacity to create. It doesn’t allow us to experience a seemingly miraculous breakthrough after investing copious amounts of time, sweat and frustrated tears into something.
And it starts with becoming a reject. So let’s embrace it.
If a pitch, meeting, interview or whatever other permutation goes poorly and you end up being rejected – brush yourself off, reflect on what you could have done differently, and freaking focus on that. Don’t let your fear stop you from living a life that you’re truly proud of, a life that overflows with opportunity and allows you to consistently push the boundaries of what you thought was possible for you to achieve.
You got this.