How to Own Rejection

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No one in the history of ever has moved through this life without a slap from rejection. From Beyonce’ to Einstein, to you and me, rejection is part of the journey. What sets successful people like Queen Bey apart is how they handle rejection. Understanding that rejection is an opportunity and not a scarlet letter is the key to owning it. When you own rejection, you view it objectively; that is, you understand that it has nothing to do with you as a person. So, here’s the 411 on how to own rejection.


1. It’s not you, it’s me. Rejection from a job, parent, or crush has nothing to do with you. It is solely the decision of the rejector. Every person, company, entity has the right to decide what is best for them. Choices are made based on what is needed now and in the future. Never take it personally. You are not everyone’s cup of tea. Believe it or not, in all of Beyonce’s fabulousness, there are people who don’t care for her work. She isn’t any less fabulous or talented and she still has a whole hive of supporters who love what she does. So Beyonce, so you!

2. Grieve it. Move on. I recently applied for an opportunity to learn how to create and sustain a successful podcast offered by Spotify. It included an intense boot camp with experts, in New York, in June. I felt that I met all the criteria. As I checked my email for a response-nothing. Let me just say that there is no form of rejection as painful as the no response. Rejection letters and even the rejections that are screamed at you in a fit of frustration, at least offer some form of explanation, but that no response shit will have your mind and emotions strapped in the world’s most loopiest roller coaster traveling through a series of tornadoes. As such was the case with me. We are human and we want to know why the hell would you not want someone like me? It’s OK. Grieve it and then gather yourself up. Dust yourself off and then look at what you’ve offered. Use that no as an opportunity to remind yourself of the work and time you’ve invested, decide if it needs tweaking and then move on to the next suitor.

3. So what, do it anyway. Just because you received 1 no or 100, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it anyway. I recently read an article on about The LipBar lipstick company that was rudely rejected on an episode of Shark Tank, but found a home in Target stores. That one no doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to pursue your dream. It only means that it was no for them. Keep perfecting your craft, make changes that are necessary for you.

4. New Directions. In the words of the beloved Dr. Maya Angelou, “each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and , carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction.” Sometimes rejection is necessary to push you into a new direction. It can serve as the launching pad for you to learn something new about yourself. It can serve as the push you need to pioneer into something new all together. Let it serve you.


*Excerpt is from Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou.



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