Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, of Shark Tank fame, was labeled the dumb kid in school. After graduating from high school, she had nearly two dozen short-term jobs before she entered the fast-paced New York real estate market. Now, on Shark Tank, she has told anxious entrepreneurs that she does not like them or trust them. She even told one pair of business owners that they were too slick and too prepared. The kid who was once rejected at school and at work is now rejecting prospective business partners for reasons that seem personal.
Rejection always stings. Sometimes the pain can last a lifetime. Although we may never know why a person rejected us, we can choose how we react to it. Consider a couple of things when you process rejection.
First, rejection is information. Whether you’ve been rejected from a job, a sorority, or a school, the organization or person that rejected you rejected the current version of you. You have to decide how you will handle that information. Will you change? Will you decide that you can do better? Will you pursue other options? The organization that rejected you provided you with a valuable piece of information. You get to decide how you use that information.
Second, rejection is ammunition. Perhaps you learn why you were rejected. Maybe you don’t have the right education or the right “look.” What will you do with that information? Will you use the rejection to push yourself to obtain a certification or another degree? Will you refresh your wardrobe? Or will you use the rejection as fuel to light your entrepreneurial fire?
Finally, rejection is a reminder. Sometimes when everything is going well, we need a little reminder that life can be difficult. Perhaps your being rejected will help you to be more compassionate with those who seem to always have a hard time moving forward.
Rejection is an important part of life. When you encounter rejection, choose to dissect the event and determine what you can learn.
What is the biggest rejection you’ve endured? How did you move forward?