Throughout your career, it wouldn’t be uncommon for you to experience the painful process of rejection. Be it from a job interview, submitting a critical proposal or simply being denied a promotion – rejection can often occur in your day-to-day work life. It’s essential to learn from these experiences and create positive outcomes for yourself and your career.
Rejection can often be followed by harsh self-criticism, negative thinking and a generally poor outlook on how you can progress. It might seem like you’re hitting a wall, particularly if you are being rejected for the same thing, over and over again.
It is important to understand that rejections happen for a reason, but not always the reason you might be thinking about. A proposal that you’ve spent time working and worrying about might be rejected because it requires a little more work to iron out some details, or a rejection from a job interview might be because another candidate fits what they were looking for more.
Rejection is not always about what you lack but more so about what you can improve upon for next time.
Here’s a tip: turn that rejection into a positive outcome. Were you rejected in a job interview? Ask what you can do to improve your chances of getting a similar position or the reason for the rejection (and if you could improve on that reason).
Here are a couple of strategies on how to handle rejection and direct yourself towards more positive thinking.
- Manifest positive outcomes with your positivity – approaching an opportunity with negative thoughts of failure before you’ve even tried could impact how you approach it overall.
- Use rejection to get outside of your comfort zone and make changes, take risks and overall deal with the adversity you can face.
- Don’t take rejection personally – it’s all too easy to assume from the rejection that it is you who is the failure, and not that you happen to have failed at that specific outcome.
- Turn the rejection into a learning experience for self-growth and self-exploration.
- Promote positive self talk when interpreting why you might have been rejected.
Rejection is something that everyone has at least once in their life experienced. As a not uncommon occurrence, rejection has a way of teaching, redirecting, and reflecting on improving and challenging ourselves to do better.