How to Use Rejection to Create Success

These are terrific tips that we all need. Especially those of us who are cursed with an addiction to showbiz. (Even you, munchman!)


by Tori Reid

Whether it’s a job interview or after asking someone out on a date, rejection is a harsh reality that we all face at least once. It’s tough, but how you handle rejection may very well be the key to getting a second chance later, and succeeding when you do. Here are some tips on handling rejection well and using it as a turning point that will get you what you want in the end.

Overcome Your Fear and Accept Rejection as a Real Possibility

Fear of rejection isn’t uncommon, but that fear will get in the way of you taking another shot. The first thing you need to do is overcome your fear of rejection, regardless of how intense that fear may be.

We’ve discussed rejection therapy before, where you seek rejection from someone every day. It’s a great mechanism to help you overcome your fear of rejection. Enduring rejection over and over again will desensitize you to it. Practice rejection with possible outcomes that won’t backfire and make you less inclined to do anything. This could be simple and fun interaction, like picking up dates (in situations where you’re likely to fail) or wearing a “Free Hugs” shirt and approaching people for them until you get turned down. The goal is to lessen the blow of rejection so you can stay calm and composed when it counts later.

It also helps to acknowledge rejection as a real possibility before you risk it. If you walk into a job interview expecting to land the job, you’ll be much more surprised—and your behavior much more disheveled—if the interviewer turns you down. On the other hand, going into it understanding rejection as a very real possible outcome gives you the upper hand. You don’t have to expect failure, but while remaining confident in your abilities you do want to think clearly and rationally about what your next steps will be should you be rejected, and set yourself up for a comeback in the long run.

Ask for Feedback the First Time

Asking for feedback can also give you the upper hand. Once you know what they’re looking for, you can improve and do better next time. If you get a rejection letter from a potential job, a University, and so on, don’t be afraid to respond asking what you could have done better to land the position. You may not get a response, but at least you asked, and the times you do hear back can be very helpful for preparing to try again.

You could also ask for feedback with dating and friends, though it’s much more difficult to not seem like you’re pestering. Putting the initial idea in their head and not losing communication often results in you getting a second shot later, unprompted. However, if you really want to ask, make the question as casual and light as possible to be careful not to bother them instead of make productive conversation.

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