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  • Writer's pictureBrian Reaves

The Springboard of Rejection

Every single one of us, no matter how awesome or cool we may be, has failed at some point at something. No one has gotten it right every time. Whether you were passed over for a promotion, didn't get that dream job, were told no on the possibility of a new relationship, or were picked last in a junior high dodgeball game, we've all tasted the bitter tang of no feeling like we were good enough.

The biggest issue with rejection, however, is how you react to it. Do you push on and fight your way through the pain and embarrassment to another opportunity later? Or do you quit and say "I'm done"?

John Maxwell said, "There's a difference between saying 'I failed' and saying 'I'm a failure'." To me, that's a strong statement and it perfectly sums up a simple truth: rejection can either be an anchor or a springboard.

Too many people in life drop anchor in rejection moments. Their momentum stops at that point and they lose all confidence in their abilities and possibilities for the future. They do not look at it as one moment and one outcome, instead choosing to see it as the definition of who and what they are (and possibly always have been in their eyes): a failure.

We have to remember that no matter how successful other people may appear to be, we have all experienced rejection at some point in our lives.

Charles Schultz had every cartoon he contributed to his high school yearbook rejected, yet he went on to create one of the most successful comic strips of all time: Peanuts.

Walt Disney had his signature character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit stolen by the company he worked for at the time, but he pressed on and created Mickey Mouse and a cartoon empire.

Winston Churchill wasn't elected Prime Minister until he was in his sixties. Henry Ford went bankrupt before changing the automobile industry forever. Abraham Lincoln lost every election he was in before he became President of the United States.

Great things happen when we perservere through the bad times It never feels good to be rejected and to lose, but we cannot allow it to be an anchor in our lives Instead, use it as motivation to do that much better the next time out!

A few years back, I ran in my first (and only) 5k obstacle course marathon. Along the way, they had signs everywhere to try to motivate you to keep going. One of those signs sticks in my mind to this day: Just imagine if your ex could see you now!

I love that! I have no doubt there were some people in that race who had indeed changed their lifestyle because of some relationship breakup in the past, and there was that fun reminder that they were not the person they used to be!

Take every rejection as a learning experience. It's not easy in the least, and it's definitely not fun, yet the fact remains that if we dare to try for success it will come with a few failures along the way. You've got to be all right with that if you're ever going to be the best version of who you are meant to be!

Next time rejection comes (and it will in some form or another), buckle down and say "Now I know something that won't work. Let's try something else and see if this one does."

Life is a learning experience. Use that experience as a springboard to motivate you toward that next level, not an anchor holding you forever to the past.

You can do incredible things if you are willing to hang in there!

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