It’s Not Personal
When we face rejection, it’s easy to take it personally.
In fact, it’s easier to take it personally.
“I’m not good enough.”
It’s easier to give up and say I’m not good enough than to take stock and work out what really happened. What actually got rejected?
Good news is, you’ve got lots more of them. An infinite supply.
If that particular idea sucked, there’s bound to be one that’s better.
If it was a great idea that got rejected, then maybe you need to get better at communicating and sharing your ideas. Here’s a way that I’d strongly recommend.*
You are not your work. Not on the days you do great work and not on the days your work is…less than great.
There are days I’ve ordered the burger from a menu. On paper this thing reads like it’s going to be heaven in my mouth. When it arrives at the table, however it certainly doesn’t look like the burger I ordered and the reality of eating it has not met my expectations. Though I was disappointed, I didn’t think to myself – the person that made this burger is a worthless human being. Because they’re not. But if they choose to, they can learn how to make a better burger.
You can make better work. You know you can, because you’ve started learning something before and got better at it. Maybe this is impetus to go back to the drawing board or the studio and come back with something better.
Or maybe you’re confident your work is great, but you realise you were trying to share it with the wrong person.
That same chef could spend the next two years perfecting the world’s best beef burger, but she’s going to face rejection when she tries to serve it to a vegetarian.
Sometimes it’s not the right time. You showed up too early or too late. The right person at the wrong time is not going to get the job, the date, the gig. Even if you were really, really right for it.
Often we don’t present what we have to offer to the right audience, or in the right way. Learning who the market is for what the product, service or idea you seek to share is an art in itself. As is finding how to position your work so that it stands out to the people you’re trying to reach.*
All of these things; your ideas, work and delivery are things you can work on.
Refuse to take a rejection or failure personally. Pick yourself up and get back to doing the work that you’re passionate about, that excites you, where you want to make a difference.