Saturday, August 08, 2009

Curious about Rejection: How Do You Deal with It? What’s Good about It?

A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” - Bo Bennett, American businessman

Don't let anyone, or any rejection, keep you from what you want.” - Ashley Tisdale, American actress

You may be wondering why I picked rejection - such a negative word for this week’s theme. I ask you, though, whether it really is so negative? I have been listening to many audio tapes lately. Several deal with writing, others with speaking and presenting, and several with sales and selling.

As you can imagine they all mention rejection. They don’t downplay the importance of experiencing rejection – everyone does experience it. It is how we react that is the important and lasting part.

As the American author James Lee Burke says, “There's nothing like rejection to make you do an inventory of yourself.”

All well known writers usually share that they have had enough rejection slips to wallpaper a large room. Many times meeting planners are choosing between several speakers. Just because you are one of the rejected speakers doesn’t mean that you are lacking. It just means that you might not fit as well with that audience. Storytelling festival planners face the same challenges and excellent storytellers are not always the first choice. And, finally, in the field of selling, I would wager to say that more potential sales people drop out because of the fear of and dislike for rejection.

I submit to you that rejection can be viewed as character building, a learning experience, and clarification of a situation. You and I have interviewed for jobs and not gotten them. I have met with potential clients and proposed websites that haven’t been chosen. And, if like me, you have been involved with network and/or multi-level marketing, you know that the rejection can be brutal.

It is not easy, but accepting rejection is like falling off a horse. You just get back up, dust yourself off, and get back on the horse.

How about some more quotations from the experts:
  • Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody's going down.” - Lance Armstrong, American athlete
  • Retirement may be looked upon either as a prolonged holiday or as a rejection, a being thrown on to the scrap-heap.” - Simone de Beauvoir, French writer
  • Some actors couldn't figure out how to withstand the constant rejection. They couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.” - Harrison Ford, American actor
  • I wrote poems in my corner of the Brooks Street station. I sent them to two editors who rejected them right off. I read those letters of rejection years later and I agreed with those editors.” - Carl Sandburg, American poet
  • It was the worst period of my life. I had all this gigantic acceptance as a kid, and all of a sudden there was this monumental rejection.” - Tommy Rettig, American actor“
  • I had immediate success in the sense that I sold something right off the bat. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and it really wasn't. I have drawers full of - or I did have - drawers full of rejection slips.” - Fred Saberhagen, American author

A couple more to chew upon during these coming weeks – that is, if you experience any rejection:

I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.” - Billy Joel, American musician

I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” - Sylvester Stallone, American actor

What kind of rejection have you dealt with? What was good about it? And what was bad? I would love to hear from you.