Posted by: Matthew Molinari | April 13, 2012

There’s a Difference Between Rejection and Failure

Many people may not realize it but there is a big difference between being rejected and failing. In many cases, it may be hard to tell the two apart especially when the rejection is fresh. When you set you mind on something and find out that you will not be able to accomplish it you may feel a range of emotions – from depression to anger. Failure, to me, is much more related to how you handle that rejection.

 

 

I read this post from Tentblogger about a recent interaction he had with someone trying to pay him to post a link on his site. The exchange quickly went south when the offer was denied. There’s nothing wrong with asking in this situation even though the offer was rejected. You’ll never achieve success if you don’t constantly put out offers and ideas. However, the seller failed because of the way he reacted to that rejection.

A “no” right now may turn into a yes in 6 months or 6 years and by mishandling the situation you may be closing the door on future possibilities. Beyond that however, I think there is something more important that needs to be taken away from hearing the denial of your proposal, job application or any other effort.

There’s a reason you didn’t get what you were looking for and it probably stems from the fact that there was a better product or smarter idea or a more experienced candidate. It’s so much easier to have that external locus of control that says it wasn’t my fault but rather the system that prevented you from achieving your goal. What we should look to do is take that rejection and learn from it. Ask yourself, or better yet the person who you were dealing with, why wasn’t I the best option?

The most important thing to realize is that every rejection is the perfect opportunity to learn something about yourself and improve on it. If your idea wasn’t good enough, go out and read about current events and talk to others in the market. If you didn’t have enough experience, take some classes or volunteer for a project at work. There’s a reason you got rejected and in almost every case that reason is internal and can be corrected. Rejection points out your weaknesses and you can choose how you want to respond.

You can either take the opportunity to make that weakness a strength or your can externalize the experience and look forward to being rejected again in the future. The real failure is to be rejected for the same reason twice.

If you enjoyed the post leave me a comment.

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