Dealing with Rejection

dealing with rejectionRejection is painful.  Particularly when it’s something we’ve worked hard for, or really, really wanted.  Your appeal for that raise was refused?  Your sales pitch to that new client was denied?


Still, you’ve got options:

(a)  Let the disappointment derail you and descend into a negative mental spiral that lasts longer than a visit from your in-laws, or

(b)  Celebrate that you’re one step closer to success!  (No, seriously.)

A few years ago I heard about an ingenious sales strategy that reframes rejection from a negative to a positive outcome.  Why?  Sales success is a numbers game.  You’ve got to collect a lot of no’s before someone says yes.  And I’ve found that this tactic absolutely applies to the game of life as well.  So,

Turn ‘rejection’ into your ‘objective’.   

Convert your goal of getting a single “yes” into collecting a series of “no” responses.  I’m serious here; seek out rejection!  Rejoice every time someone shoots you down because it means that you’re getting better, stronger, smarter and ever closer to that perfect “yes!”

Rejection IS simply the asking price for a richer life.  What’s worse than being rejected – is not even having tried!

Remember: Just because your product pitch, biz proposal or job application was rejected does not mean that YOU are ‘a reject’.

Unfortunately that’s how most of us will interpret it – but just because we FEEL it does NOT make it true.

Ask yourself:  What has actually changed because of the rejection?  It’s a trick question; nothing has changed!  But we make a big deal about it, assign it some cosmic significance, and allow it to defeat us.  Rejection doesn’t actually exist – except in the adult mind.

Doubt that this is true?

Consider a toddler who really wants some candy.  Do they give up asking for it after the first try?  (God knows, parents everywhere wish that they would!)  Of course not!  They continue to ask, demand, negotiate, throw-a-fit or smooth-talk their way into getting that darn candy.  Why?  Because they haven’t yet been socialized to equate “no” with defeat.  They keep trying until they either get what they want or they’re distracted by something else.  Either way, they win.  And so can you.

Finally, you may never know “why” so get over it. 

Why were you turned down for that job?  You had all the necessary qualifications! Often, the reason why we’re rejected remains a mystery.  Even if you can ask, people are reluctant to tell you the truth.  Would you tell someone they didn’t get the job because they seemed so competent you felt threatened?  Or would you make up some socially more acceptable response?

Yep.  So let it go.  

Keep asking, trying and risking.  It’s the only way forward.

Heather Petherick is a master success coach for high potential business leaders, having established her private coaching practice in 2007. Since then, she’s coached hundreds of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs from around the globe to overcome the mindset traps that keep them playing small so that they can realize their potential and create the impact they’re meant for. Her areas of speciality are: • Mindset • Confidence • Communication • Speed of Implementation Her clients include corporate rising stars at WestJet, Agrium, Suncor Energy, Manulife Bank, TD, Royal Bank of Canada, KMPG and PepsiCo International as well as big-thinking entrepreneurs from around the world. She has been featured as a career and success expert with Women Engineering The Future, The Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Living Magazine and Chatelaine magazine. Heather’s journey from growing up on a humble sheep farm on the prairies of western Canada to building a global coaching business have lent to her signature coaching style that combines both wit and humility, style and business savvy. She holds a Master’s degree in Management and lives in Lethbridge, Alberta with her husband and two children.

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