It’s no fun having someone tell you ‘no’ when all you want to hear is ‘yes’ – but rejections need not stop you at all if you can learn to see them the right way.
Getting that all-important first job can be tough. It can also be hard to gain promotion and climb your way up the career ladder once you’re employed. Sometimes it feels like the odds are stacked against you. So what is the key to keeping going when rejections keep coming your way? How do you hold onto your dreams?
How to keep going when you keep getting rejected
First of all, if you need some encouragement, it’s said that the following famous people were rejected – sometimes many times – before achieving success:
- Before becoming internationally famous, Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a reporter because she was told she became too emotionally involved in her stories.
- It’s said that in his early days, Elvis Presley was told he’d be better off driving trucks than singing!
- After being signed by a big record label, Lady Gaga was rejected after only three months of performing.
- Allegedly, Albert Einstein didn’t utter a single word until he was four, couldn’t read until he was seven and was expelled from school. Then, despite being rejected from the Zurich Polytechnic School, he went on to become one of the greatest minds ever known.
- When Marilyn Monroe tried to become a model she was rejected and told she should become a secretary instead!
Despite their various – and sometimes frequent – setbacks, all of these people proved their worth in the end. Through sheer perseverance and determination, they continued on their rocky paths to success. Ultimately, they all had staying power and resilience. They knew how to keep going when you keep getting rejected.
So how do we define these characteristics? Staying power is the ability to keep going despite difficulties. It’s emotional stamina, if you like. Whereas resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from these difficulties. It’s the ability to bounce back.
The Graduate Coach Top 5 Tips on overcoming rejection
So, take a few minutes to check out these Top 5 Tips to help you develop both staying power and resilience:
- Don’t take rejection personally. Sometimes rejection is a way of helping us perfect what we’re doing – whether it’s preparing a CV or writing a letter of application. Rejection and failure are simply ways of telling you that you need to ponder and prepare a bit more. You need to fine-tune your skills and ideas. So take a positive outlook; rejections are opportunities to grow.
- There’s no point in channelling all of your energies into something you have no control over. This won’t help to make you resilient; it will leave you feeling useless and ineffective. Instead, think about the things you do have control over – for example, considering the questions you might be asked at an interview and planning your responses in advance. This will give you a sense of purpose and will boost your confidence. To have resilience we need a realistic goal and a clear sense of purpose.
- Keep a sense of perspective and don’t let rejections affect the rest of your life. Just because you’ve been turned down by an employer, doesn’t mean that you’re a failure in other aspects of your life. This is one rejection – in one part of your life. That’s all.
- Resilience also involves a sense of commitment. Those people who are the most resilient really engage with life. They show a deep commitment to everything they do – from their sports and hobbies to their relationships. After all, there’s no point in being half-hearted about life. Take a deep breath and embrace it wholeheartedly!
- In the end, people who are resilient are positive. This doesn’t mean they don’t feel negative emotions deeply; they’re just able to recover from them quickly. This is because they manage to find something good in even the most challenging of circumstances. Even though our inherent survival instincts mean we tend to focus on negative events rather than positive events in our lives so that we can learn from them, positive events tend to happen more frequently. So we need to learn to shift our focus to the good things. In every situation – yes, even when we’re being rejected – we need to try to see the positives. This will boost our well-being, confidence, stamina and even our immunity. So give it a try!