Sometimes what we refer to as a rejection isn’t really a rejection, it is a projection. When people say no to our request, they don’t really mean a resounding no. They meant they don’t have time, come back later. They are indirectly telling you that what you are asking for is beyond their power. They are indirectly telling to be patient; they are telling you to prepare more before you come back for what you are asking.
Rejections mean they don’t agree with what you are saying or doing. They want you to remain and continue to do what you are currently doing. They want you to maintain the status quo. Rejections also come from people that just don’t know what they are doing. They don’t know what you are asking for, and they don’t want to learn anything about it. They are scared of change. So let’s look at more reasons why we face rejections every day.
You are a high achiever. This type of rejection happens a lot in organizations. When people don’t like to change and you are pushing for a change, you will be a target because you are trying to force people out of their comfort zones. As a result, you will be rejected by low performers in your organization. Do not reduce yourself to their level; you need to change if you want to grow. Maintaining the status quo is like staying in “grade 1” forever. Don’t do it.
You are a change agent. A change agent is someone that is responsible for initiating change projects. People working for organizations where change is encouraged have no problem with a change agent. In organizations where change initiatives are almost prohibited, on the other hand, a change agent is not acceptable. They are not welcome. The people pushing for a continuation of the traditional ways of doing things will reject the change agent. So if you want to do well with these people, make sure you have the majority of them on your side before you start. Carefully look for who acts as their leader, and be nice to him or her. Explain to him or her why change is necessary, and the consequences of not doing it. Don’t push too hard. If you push too hard, they will resist your proposal. Give them time to think about what you have told them. They need time. You need time, too.
They are jealous. People will reject your ideas or your proposals if they don’t like you, if they don’t enjoy working with you, if they are jealous of you, or if they have low self-esteem. It is not about you; it is about them. With these people, there is nothing you can do to convince them to buy into what you are selling. They are not going to buy into your ideas. Allow them to be comfortable with you. Still treat them with respect and dignity. Don’t reject them because they didn’t buy into your ideas. They didn’t reject you; they rejected your ideas.
They don’t trust you. People like to work with those they wholeheartedly trust. If they don’t trust you, you cannot work successfully with them. Trust is everything. Life is all about building relationships. And without trust, there is no relationship. In order to win them to join your bolt and sail around the world, you need to show them that you will not disappoint them. Live what you preach. Do what you say you will do. They want you to earn their trust.
They are ignorant. It doesn’t matter how hard you sell your ideas, when people don’t know, or they haven’t heard about your ideas, it will be very hard to sell it to them. Don’t try to educate them. Show them the benefits of the thing you are selling, and give them enough time to think about it. Once they are convinced, they will buy it or listen to you. People don’t buy products, they buy benefits.
Why does rejection hurt so much?
We are human beings. When someone says no to you, the first thing that comes to mind is “we are not good enough.” It makes us question certain things about ourselves, about our beliefs, about our intelligence, and it forces us to start to ask the following questions:
- “Am I not good enough?”
- “Why do they reject my ideas?”
- “What are they seeing that I can’t see?”
- “Am I that bad?”
To add to that, when people reject our ideas, our self-esteem, confidence, happiness, health and well-being, and motivation, suffer. They decline. Our insecurities climb to the highest levels.
Here are some quotes that will help you to better understand the real meaning of rejection:
Albert Einstein once said, “I am thankful for all of those who said no to me. It is because of them I’ m doing it myself.” Adena Friedman said, “The best thing we can do with rejection is to make it a learning experience- rejection is a great teacher.” Bo Bennett said, “A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” And finally, Oprah Winfrey says, “I don’t want anyone who doesn’t want me.”
As I said before, when people reject us, we think they don’t like us. We think they are rude, they are not nice, they don’t want us, or that we are not good enough. Of course, we are good enough. We should learn to not always see rejection as a bad thing. We should take it as a stepping stone to the next level. We should take rejection as a learning opportunity. If we think it is, it will be.
What to do When you are Rejected
1) Be who you are. Remember, they are not rejecting you; they are rejecting your ideas. There is a difference, and that difference is what people don’t understand. Be yourself. Still believe in yourself. Don’t question your abilities to get things done. Don’t give up.
2) Believe in yourself. Believe in yourself. Don’t let any temporary defeat draw you into questioning who you are, and what you can and cannot do. Just believe in yourself. You are who you are, and nobody can change that.
3) Don’t believe what they say. Be careful here, because some people just want to criticize you for no apparent reasons. Research them. Look them up and see what people are saying about them.
4) Ignore small talk. Small talk belongs to small-minded people. Don’t let small talk bother you. You are bigger and smarter than that.
5) Be consistent in your behavior. Even when people try to put you down, don’t change how you treat them. Let your actions match your behavior.
6) Don’t waste your time thinking about it. They did not reject you, they rejected your ideas. Don’t waste your time thinking about it. Plan forward. Look forward, work forward, and live forward.
7) Don’t fight back. When people reject your ideas, don’t fight back. If you want to grow, there is no room for revenge. You will need them in the future. So don’t fight back. Move on to the next project on your list.
8) Don’t seek people that don’t see anything good in you. If you want to grow, or if you want your dreams to come through, don’t stay around these kinds of people. Nothing you can do to please them. So why waste your time? Seek people that are ready to nurture your dreams. Enjoy your journey!
Putting it Together:
Rejection is not about you, it is about your ideas. Don’t take it personal. If you want to grow, take rejection as a learning opportunity to get to the next level. You will get there.