Most people do not even take the first step toward achieving their dreams out of fear of rejection. You have not only taken the first step but you threw your arms open, exclaimed “Here I am! I have something to share!” and stood tall and uncovered as the subsequent feedback rained down upon you (or trickled in excruciatingly slowly). I know you’ve heard it before, but some seriously accomplished and influential people faced tremendous amounts of rejection before they finally got to the “YES” spot.
- Did you know that Harland David Sanders (“Colonel Sanders”, founder of the infamous Kentucky Fried Chicken empire) struggled to sell his chicken when he was first starting out? His recipe was rejected over ONE THOUSAND times before a restaurant finally accepted it. (Now that’s persistence!)
- In her early career, Oprah (yes, THE Oprah Winfrey) was fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv”. I bet that person is kicking him or herself now…
- We all love Dr. Seuss’ intriguing rhyming stories, but his first book was rejected by not 1, not 2, not 3 or 26, but TWENTY-SEVEN different publishers. That many rejections would make anyone want to start speaking in rhyme!
Colonel Sanders, Oprah, and Dr. Seuss are just 3 examples of the hundreds of fabulously rich and famous people that have received the ugly red “REJECTED” stamp on their efforts. If you find yourself facing rejection, I want you to remember that you are in good company–amazing company–and that if you persist in pursuing your goals, you will reach them one day and then amaze even yourself as you exceed your own wildest expectations for your life. The next time you face rejection, I want you to do the following five things (in any order that you’d like): 1. Remind yourself that you are amazing. You went for it! And your story is just beginning. 2. Figure out what you want to do differently next time and what you want to keep the same. 3. For the things that you want to do differently, think of or find 3 people who are doing it the way you want to. Reach out to those people for advice and guidance (or if they’re ridicu-famous like Oprah or no longer with us like Martin Luther King, Jr. take notes by observation). 4. For the things you want to do the same, write them down so that you can remind yourself again that you are amazing and so that you can be sure to not leave any already-awesome part of your strategy out the next time around. 5. Take an hour, afternoon, day, or whole week to feel really sorry for yourself. Then get back to trying, failing, re-trying, succeeding, and climbing the mountain to the summit of awesomeness that is your life. Whew! After writing this post, I feel like picking up some (baked) chicken, reading Oh The Places You’ll Go, and crying a little with Oprah and her teary guests. What do you do when you face rejection?