Successful people do not learn to avoid rejection, but to deal with it, to learn from it and even to create a new opportunity. We talked to some of our most successful successful people – former guests from Lifehacker's column How I Work – about how they deal with rejection at work.
Anjali Bhimani, actress:
Ahahaha, as an actress, the question is rather, "What is not some kind of rejection that you will be confronted with in your job?", Because rejection is likely to show up in one form or another every day and is often not conveyed in a very friendly way.
Just because someone else thinks I am this or that or not enough, or that does not mean that it is a categorial truth.
For me personally, one of the best ways to deal with this (even if the disappointment is when I really want a job is not completely eliminated) is to make sure that I do not support the rejection by rejecting myself. It is very easy, especially as an artist, to take it personally, if you do not want to play a role, and it is important that I always think of being friendly to myself and not internalizing the feedback, when it is not a useful criticism. Especially if it's just wrong (for example, when a casting director said I was not hired because of my "Indian intonation" when I spoke with my native American voice). Just because somebody else thinks I am this or that or not enough, or that does not mean that this is a categorial truth, and mostly I do not know that there are other considerations / forces of which I know nothing.
Sometimes rejecting a job just means that the people in the room like me but did not need me here, and they eventually got me into something else. Therefore, for me, the most important thing is that I can get past anyone, being my own inner champion and being to myself and compassionate to the people who are also trying so hard to do their job by having the one who in their opinion, is right for the role, so that what comes from outside does not come to my head. The feedback is not so much about me as a human being than me as a particular product that may not be appropriate for the buyer at this time. Sometimes it still hurts, but not nearly as much as it did in my career, when I thought it was a referendum on my talent, my career or my whole being.
I remember social science research that the greatest success in life is determined by happiness.
As an academic, the success of your career depends on having papers accepted in top magazines and what you do not have on the C.V. (academic resume) are all letters of rejection that they have received along the way. To get a tenure, all you need to do is receive confirmation letters from 5 or 6 of the right journals within 6 years. The top journals have single-digit acceptance rates. It's normal to get dozens of rejections along the way.
A very typical reaction to rejection is to hide from it. That's the # 1 mistake the junior faculty is doing. We always have so much to do with other projects and educational content that it's easy to leave this rejection email unopened or bury the printout under a stack of things on your desk. The best advice I try to give to the junior faculty is to correct what you can get from the feedback in the letters and submit it to another journal as soon as possible. It is very easy to let these things slide for 6 months or a year. This is a mistake.
That does not make the pain disappear. For this, I remember the social science research that the greatest success in life is determined by happiness (see the work of two of my former colleagues: Bob Franks) a recent book about happiness and Tom Gillovich's excellent paper on tailwind and headwind. It's easy to see a rejection as an attack on yourself. I'm not trying. Above all, I remember that my children will never know or care, which is on my C.V. and they are the most important thing anyway.
Oh and Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off".
Morra Aarons-Mele, Author and Business Consultant:
I own a service company and sell my living. That's why I get rejected about once a week: If a potential customer decides not to hire my company, chooses another company, or (and that's the worst thing) to not renew a contract.
I've been doing this job for over 20 years with many successes on the way, but every time a potential customer chooses another, I take it personally. What is worse, however, is that I could assume that refusing would mean very bad news for my company. I catastrophic and bubble things disproportionately high.
I practice visualizing abundance, not lack, and it really helps me to keep things in proportion.
I say to myself, "There are more and more cakes." Shortage fights for a tiny piece of cake – because that's all you deserve, that you deserve it. Lose this piece and no cake for you!
People who come from abundance do not let themselves be disturbed by the solid inner core of their being. There are more and more cakes! They come across a "no" and assume that a "yes" is just around the corner.
So the next time you reject a no, you will question the profitability of your entire financial future or your entire life. Instead of dealing with the no, you force yourself to be generous and broad. Look at a beautiful, freshly baked cake in your head and tell yourself, "That's okay. There is much more. "
Jamie WilsonDirector of the feminist press:
I often deal with rejection as a nonprofit executive director in a competitive fundraising landscape, as an author who introduces my work to magazines, agents and editors, and as a publisher who wishes to sign authors who often trade options with other presses.
Even if it sounds like a platitude, if you just want to fix your ego in the face of disappointment, rejection can be a form of protection from something that does not coincide with your purpose or your journey at any given time. Rejection helps me to clarify where I can spend my time and energy. This allows me to focus on opportunities and relationships that prioritize my values and strengths.
Sam Reich, CCO, CollegeHumor:
At CollegeHumor about 50% of the sketches end green – and we feel bad about having to reject the other 50%. Sometimes the reason is as simple as "too R-rated", while other factors play different other factors. With that in mind, we've launched a segment in our new CollegeHumor podcast where we read the rejected sketches. What we did not expect was that sketches would get a second life. Last week we all agreed on Rekha Shankar's "Secret Meat" sketch.