5 Things To Stop Doing To Help You Bounce Back After Rejection


As someone who ‘sells’ ideas, rejection is part of my daily life. I tender for work, write business proposals and speak at events in the hope of getting my ideas out there and understood. Some people get my thinking, and others just don’t.

The feeling of rejection can make us feel physically sick, its effect can be devastating if we let it. Not everyone will ‘get your thinking’ or see the value in what you have to offer. But that’s ok, they are not the people you want to work with. Learning the art of resilience and perseverance will keep you on track for success.

Two friends recently put in a lot of hard work preparing for promotion but didn’t get the role they wanted*. This has knocked them more than they anticipated. My friends turned to me for some advice and strategies to help them bounce back as they see me as someone who seems to take rejection on the chin.

So, what can we do, or stop doing, to build resilience to help us bounce back quicker and stronger than before?

1. Don’t beat yourself up

Receiving bad news has emotional impact. It effects our self esteem and self worth. Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself some time to grieve what you’ve missed out on. Set aside some time and space to process it. I find talking it through with people helps me gain a sense of perspective. But try not to dwell on it for too long. As Paul McGee recommends after some hippo time - Shut Up and Move on.

2. Don’t expect a ‘yes’

One of the reasons I bounce back is because I practice rejection a lot. I’m used to it. It’s part of my entrepreneurial life. My philosophy being if I don’t ask, then it’s a definite ‘no’, but if I put myself out there and throw my hat in the ring there’s always a chance of a ‘maybe’ or even a yes. I accept rejection, because in part I expect it. I mentally prepare myself for it.

3. Don’t put yourself down

Know your worth. Be aware of your skills and expertise and where you bring value. Write a list of your achievements, or even a love letter to yourself listing the characteristics that you value most about yourself. At times of rejection pull it out and read it, and you’ll be on the up in no time.

4. Don’t see rejection as the end

Try to see failure as an opportunity for learning. What did you gain? What would you do differently next time? Putting yourself out there and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone when there is the risk of rejection is never easy, but it’s a great way to build resilience - a valuable life skill. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

5. Don’t focus on the rejection

Boost your positive energy by changing your focus. Do something to take your mind away from any negative thoughts and put yourself in a different ‘space.’ After I’ve received a rejection, I’ll put myself straight back out there, as it often makes me more determined. Stoking that fire in my belly helps me look out for the next thing to come along which can often be better than what I initially planned.

Rejection comes before success

To be a successful entrepreneur you need to become an expert in many areas including rejection. The way you handle this emotion defines you. Stay focused on your goals and don’t give up!

Did you know that J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was turned down 12 times before Bloomsbury agreed to publish it? She passes on this advice:

“I wasn't going to give up until every single publisher turned me down, but I often feared that would happen. I had nothing to lose and sometimes that makes you brave enough to try.”

*both friends have gone on to get a new job far better than the original one!

Thoughts by Kathryn, Up+thrive Words by Amanda, Redwood Copy

If you or your organisation is looking for support we’d love to hear from you. Contact Kathryn to discuss your training/coaching needs, and Amanda to tell the world about it.

Do you have a great strategy that's helped you bounced back after a set back? I’d love to know! Drop me a note in the comments below.

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