how to deal with rejection

On Friday, I called into the local radio station for a chance to win concert tickets. Twenty One Pilots, a band from Columbus that you’ve almost certainly heard of, was playing a series of shows in their hometown.

The station was giving away a pair of tickets to one of the shows, and all I had to do was be caller #10.

I was not caller #10.

This is an example of impersonal, very low-level rejection but it got me thinking. A couple of weeks ago, rejection was a topic that came up on one of our calls for Unreal. One of the members, a comedy writer named Emily, said that a huge portion of her life is just dealing with rejection – and that it’s been a hugely beneficial skill.

The fact is, rejection is a very normal part of life, and more frequent for some than for others. Any time you hear about a “conversion rate” (and there are conversion rates for everything) you are implicitly talking about rejection.

If 5 readers out of 100 click the button below, that’s 95 readers rejecting me.

But that is OK and that is expected. I had a sales leader explain to me that, “every no gets you closer to a yes.” So in a world where 5% of you click the button below, that means I need 19 people to tell me “no” in order to get that 1 “yes.”

But here’s the real point to be made: If you aren’t being rejected, you aren’t putting yourself out there. There just aren’t perfect conversion rates. Even if what you’re selling (and you are always selling yourself) is a perfect fit in theory, the timing may be wrong.

The more you experience rejection, the better you become at appreciating it as feedback but then moving on. When you first experience rejection, it’s easy to take it personally and to stop putting yourself in those growth situations where you make yourself vulnerable to being rejected.

So when you face rejection, take that as affirmation that you are putting yourself out there. You are getting closer to the “yes.” And you now have more data to potentially improve your approach the next time.


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