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Ways to Deal with Rejection

Are you aware of how many publishers rejected the Harry Potter manuscripts before Scholastic took a chance on J.K. Rowling? Lots! Bet those publishers are hitting their heads against the wall now; the series on the “boy who lived” have caught the imagination of an entire generation.
           
Or how about Walt Disney? He’s such a household name today, it’s hard to think he’s ever had humble beginnings. But did you know he was fired in the newspaper agency he used to work for because he “lacks creative ideas”? Worth a chuckle, isn’t it? You only need to take a stroll ‘round Disneyland to know that “lacks creative ideas” is a horrendous understatement!

But these stories hit the point home. Rejection doesn’t necessarily mean you have nothing to offer, or that it’s the end of the world. Rejection is simply feedback --- it’s the opinion of someone else and doesn’t define you as a person. The key is in being able to rationally weigh the information you get, change strategy if applicable, and try again.
           
Would you like to be able to handle rejection better? Then consider the following tips:

Don’t take things personally. Which former American Idol judge do you most resonate with? Nice and sweet Paula Abdul or Mr. Nasty Simon Cowell? Well, regardless of your pick, do you really think those two set out to be accommodating or mean each week because they have a personal vendetta against auditioners? Nope, they’re just doing their jobs (or being true to their personality!) And likely, the supervisor who told you that your report is incomplete is merely doing a job, or is a perfectionist by nature. Your supervisor may actually be game for pleasantries and beer after work!

ALWAYS find out what you can do better. Even when you get rejected, make sure the encounter is profitable. Ask what you could have done better. Did you fail to make the cut in the sport you love? Ask the trainer how you can increase your chances in making it the next year. Your spouse thinks lunch is lackluster? Then seek their preferences. There’s always a next time! In fact, consider goals the challenge that spices up your day.

Allow yourself to be disappointed. You’re human --- of course, rejection will hurt you. It will make you want to rail at your loved ones for not seeing what you want them to see. Or feel like giving up on a dream that you’ve nurtured since you were a little child. Give yourself a moment to cry, pull your hair in frustration and scream bloody murder. Get it all out; don’t lock your feelings in. But do move on afterwards. As entrepreneur and motivational speaker Bo Benett puts it: “A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.”

Remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion. We have the blessing of living in a democratic country where there’s freedom of speech. This means that, for good or bad, everyone can air out their opinion. And now that we’re at the age of connectivity, people airing their opinions can be as simple as logging in a micro-blogging or social networking site. Just remember: opinions are not facts. Hey, people can be wrong sometimes you know!

Strengthen your core. Lastly, if you want to become rejection-proof, it’s important that you beef up your self-esteem. Know that you’re a person of value, with talents, gifts and positive things to offer the world. Your in-laws may not accept you for their son or daughter, or you can’t whip a cheesecake that impresses the judges at the fair, but for sure you deserve all the happiness in the world. Imagine yourself as always wearing a protective shield of self-worth around you --- rejection will just bounce off!

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