No one will tell you this, but I will.
I hate being rejected. Any kind of rejection feels painful. I would act strong publicly, and then privately sulk and think about how the rejection proves how bad I am at everything else (I mean, that’s what we’re supposed to do right?).
It’s painful, sure, but it’s also pretty normal. I know this. Conceptually. Being rejected is so normal that it happens to every single one of us many times over our life time (unless you live all alone your entire life in a little bubble/cave where your needs are taken care of without moving or talking).
I’ve been rejected in a big way and in little ways. Like today. I woke up and burnt my breakfast.
(side note: I fail at eating healthy breakfasts every morning. Life has its way of subtly telling you that you’re not really succeeding in this adult thing.)
I’ve been thinking about rejection. Most of us really don’t deal with rejection very well.
Sometimes, rejection makes you feel like you should stop. Like when you ask 100 people if they would buy your clothes and 99 of them say NO, it sucks. Or when you go to your boss and ask for a week off and they say, ‘Hey, NO. You had your vacation already!’ That sucks too!
It especially sucks when you’re doing something you really want to be successful in. Like writing, a business, a project… when you show people the work you’ve done and they tell you, ‘This is no good’, ‘You are behind our worst amateurs’, ‘You don’t have the wow factor’ – all these suck.
But does it mean you should stop?
Rejection doesn’t mean you should stop, but it might mean you need to do something differently.
I know a lot of people who gave up six months or a year into doing something. They faced a lot of rejection but I really thought that their projects and their goals had a lot of potential.
I still do wonder what could have happened if they hadn’t given up so quickly.
On the other hand, I’ve seen a few people who told me about their ridiculous ideas and goals who keep doing and doing and then years later, I see them achieve their goals PLUS ten other goals.
I know rejection can feel bad sometimes, but you’ve got to persist if it’s something you want to see happen in your life.
My current obsession, Casey Neistat washed dishes in New York to buy camera gear so he could keep making films. He went on to produce a series with HBO and this awesome ad for Nike:
Rejection is just life telling you that something doesn’t work a certain way, but it’s not telling you to give up. It’s teaching you how to be better.
So if you want to be really good, get rejected more often!