“Rejection is just an opinion, remember? It reflects them more than me, right?” -Jia Jiang
The human experience of rejection is painful both personally and professionally. While it is easy to make rejection personal regardless of the situation, it is difficult to objectively analyze the root cause of the exact reason why you were rejected. Rejection happens for a multitude of reasons. However, not all of those reasons are because of you.
Jia Jiang wrote Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection about his experience of his entrepreneurial goals being crushed by rejection, feeling defeated and overcome with self-doubt. He then set out to face his fear of rejection by purposely seeking rejection on a daily basis for 100 days. Jiang discovered through his bold quest that rejection can be turned into something positive. Usually, Jiang found that the rejection had little to do with him and more to do with a reason he had not considered.
Effectively getting over rejection begins with doing a root cause analysis. The root cause analysis is an objective evaluation of the other party’s perspective as they are the one executing the rejection. Do not evaluate from your biased perspective because your perception is your reality. Your perception is biased and may be flawed, narrow, unaware or uninformed. The essential question you need to answer is: What is the root cause of why I was rejected? Analyzing the rationale that lead to the decision of dismissal is vital to thriving despite the initial letdown.
Ask a mentor or close friend to participate in the following exercise with you:
- Think of a minimum of five questions as to why you were rejected and reflect on those questions for at least twenty-four hours.
- After at least a day has passed, go back and answer them.
- Then, write down your conclusions.
- Finally, when you both have completed this reflection, connect with your outside perspective to think through and evaluate the answers.
- Compare the two lists and determine what you can change to receive the desired outcome next time.
Another step towards getting over rejection is to go to the closest person in your life, one who knows you well, and ask for a pep talk. It is okay to ask for a pep talk. People are afraid to ask for help. By being afraid and not asking for help, you are only hurting yourself. Do not try to navigate through rejection alone. We are stronger together than we are by ourselves and we all need to be built up at certain times.
“One of my secrets to getting the most from my life is that I naturally forget bad things that have happened to me. “- Dr. Ruth Westheimer, relationship psychologist.
It is easy to play the role of the victim when you have been rejected. But you have to get over it. You have to move on, lick your wounds and go onto the next opportunity.
The magical key to getting over rejection is to do it now. Being rejected provides an opportunity to re-evaluate, receive feedback, make any necessary changes or adjustments, and allow the experience to propel you forward as a better person both professionally and personally. The only person you can change, and the only organization you can change (if you’re in control), is you…