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10 Benefits Of Rejection That Will Surely Impress You

10 Benefits Of Rejection That Will Surely Impress You

Like most writers, I’ve long since lost count of the number of rejections I’ve received. Rejections for written pieces (“This does not suit our needs at this time.”), rejections at job interviews (“You’re very intelligent and seem like you would be an asset, but we’ve decided to hire someone else.”), and even rejections in my personal life (“You’re a sweet guy, J.S., and I like you a lot, but…”). Rejections for this, that, and the other thing. If there’s one thing I know really, really well, it’s rejection. I also know the slow-burning anger in the gut, the frustration, and the despair that comes with it. If you’ve ever been rejected and felt like you wanted to throw a full-on three-year-old temper tantrum, install a new skylight by Hulk-smashing your couch through the ceiling, or just sit in a corner and cry until your body shrivels up into a mummy, then you know exactly how I felt, and you know that I know just how you feel.

Rejection is an unfortunate but necessary part of the human experience. Everyone experiences rejection at some point in their life, whether they realize it or not. What many people who experience this don’t ever realize are the benefits of rejection. While this may sound self-contradictory, ask anyone who’s ever been turned down for a job or had someone they cared about say they weren’t interested in the person that way. Most of the time rejection can actually be a very positive thing, if you just look at it the right way. Here are 10 benefits of rejection to consider the next time you find yourself in this position.

1. Rejection motivates us to do better.

“The position’s been filled.” “This isn’t what we’re looking for right now.” “You’re a sweet guy/girl, but…” Ouch! We’ve all been there and done that at some point, and it’s unquestionably frustrating. When confronted with rejection, this can be a sign that you need to be doing something you’re not, or stop doing something you are. Figuring out what that is will put you on the path to doing better, and experiencing less rejection in the future.

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2. Rejection reminds us we’re human.

human-evolution-1

    Everyone’s the star of their own movie, and this can lead to an understandable but inaccurate sense of one’s own importance in the larger scheme of things. Rejection is actually a good thing because everyone at some point could stand to be taken down a peg or two. Rejection helps us here because it reminds us we’re all only human, no matter how extraordinary we’d like to believe we are.

    3. Rejection teaches patience.

    Some kinds of rejection can be hurtful, while others can be outright devastating. Not landing that job you’ve spent a month sending resumes, emails, and faxes back and forth about can be one of the worst rejections because the bills and the cupboard don’t care about your hurt feelings. However, this is one time when rejection can actually help you by teaching you to be patient and keep moving. You may not get what you want right away, but if you’re willing to work hard and be patient, you will eventually find yourself where you want to be.

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    4. Rejection causes us to explore different paths.

    The Path Less Traveled By

      Sometimes rejection is life’s way of telling us we need to look at a different path to get where we want to be. Maybe the path we’re trying to take to get to our goals is all wrong for us, or maybe there’s a better way and we just haven’t realized it yet. Rejection can be a positive experience if you’re willing to take another road or try a new way of achieving the same thing.

      5. Rejection forces us to reevaluate ourselves.

      Many people deal badly with rejection. This is natural. Rejection is a painful experience. However, when someone hears the same thing enough times, they generally start to listen. “You have great skills with numbers, but you’re not too hot at dealing with other people,” is an example of such a rejection. Learning how to remake ourselves to be more goal-oriented, more people-oriented, or tweak aspects of our personalities to get along better with those around us is an important benefit of rejection people tend to overlook.

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      6. Rejection makes us reconsider our goals.

      As a species we tend to ignore warning signs that are there for our benefit, like the person who struggles through an MBA program because they’ve been told their whole lives that’s the ticket to money and power, when what they really want to do is play the violin in an orchestra. Then the person gets a job interview and is told they were woefully underqualified. At the same time, the local orchestra is looking for a third-chair violin player. Your passions will always shine through, and sometimes rejection is a way for the world to force us to consider that impossible dream we’ve always wanted to chase rather than the “safe goal” that’s going to make us miserable in the long run.

      7. Rejection creates opportunities for change.

      Think about the last time someone said, “I would never have found this job/met this person/moved to this place if the other place hadn’t refused to hire me/person hadn’t refused to marry me/town had more jobs available.” Rejection can be a powerful force for analyzing why we go for the goals we do and what it is about these goals that drives us on, or away. It can also be a good time for introspection and considering one’s reasons for going after certain things, people, jobs, or situations. If we would only take the time to listen to ourselves about these things, as a race we’d be a lot happier and a lot more confident in ourselves and our instincts.

      8. Rejection gives us new ways of looking at things.

      Everybody gets tunnel vision once in a while. We focus on one goal, one person, or one dream to the exclusion of all else. Rejection can give us a time to pause and take another look at our objectives and how we’re trying to meet them. In this case, the idea is to look around with new eyes and consider, not only new ways of getting to the same goal, but how we view our goals and dreams.

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      9. Rejection makes us stronger.

      push-up

        There’s an old saying: The strongest fish is the one that swims upstream. Rejection can often feel like it brings you to a complete halt, but in reality it gives you something to push against. People do not grow stronger when everything is working for them, but when they are forced to cope with the unexpected or the undesirable. In this way, rejection helps us by showing us just how strong, resourceful, and capable we really are when the chips are down.

        10. Rejection is an opportunity for growth.

        Rejection does not have to be an automatic negative. Instead, try looking at rejection as a chance for you to grow and learn as a person. Maybe you learn from rejection that your aftershave gives people sinus headaches, or that your demeanor in a work environment puts people off. The lessons you learn from rejection can be applied to just about any facet of your life, making you a stronger, kinder, more “polished” person.

        8 Habits You Can Adapt to Be Successful at Everything

          While rejection can be painful, you can see it can also be a blessing in disguise. The question now is, how will you deal with rejection? Will you take the opportunity it’s giving you…or install that skylight in your living room? The choice is yours.

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          Last Updated on May 28, 2020

          10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

          10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

          Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

          You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

          Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

          You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

          Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

          1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

          If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

          Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

          When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

          Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

          So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

          Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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          2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

          Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

          Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

          • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
          • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
          • Answer a few Superpower Questions

          Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

          3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

          Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

          The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

          You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

          Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

          Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

          4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

          The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

          Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

          To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

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          This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

          5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

          Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

          Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

          • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
          • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
          • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

          The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

          Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

          6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

          I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

          To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

          Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

          A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

          Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

          Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

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          7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

          Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

          Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

          What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

          Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

          8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

          Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

          Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

          What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

          These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

          9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

          Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

          This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

          Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

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          “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

          10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

          Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

          Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

          You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

          You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

          Final Thoughts

          Eleanor Roosevelt said,

          “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

          Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

          By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

          If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

          This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

          Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

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          Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

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