As of August 2017, I have interviewed 40 different leaders. Most of the leaders that I have interviewed have experienced rejection. Many have experienced rejection so painful that it has brought back tears many years later. Unfortunately, leaders must experience rejection to grow and expand their abilities.
Changing Our Views on Rejection
In his book Rejection Proof, Jia Jiang discusses the idea that rejection is merely a human opinion. Rejection is painful and something that everyone experiences and can take many different shapes. Whether it is being passed up for an opportunity, not holding value in another's eyes, it can have lasting effects on our lives.
Many people are unable to let go of their rejections, which severely limits their potential. What if we were to change our thoughts on rejection? What if we were to see rejection as an opportunity? It could change the way we live our lives. How we handle rejection makes all of the difference because it has a lasting effect on our lives, leadership abilities, and legacy. Here are some tips to reject rejection and reach your full potential.
1 - Change How You Look at Rejection
Imagine yourself as a piece of driftwood tossing along waves of rejection that push and pull you to your destination. You have no control over the waves and where they may take you; however, your journey will season and prepare you for your eventual destination. Your rejections are preparing you for your destination! Be patient because you will have an opportunity someday.
Many of us view rejection as a barrier; however, there are times when rejection serves as a detour. Several years ago, I was told that I did not have leadership potential and I would never make it as a principal. I am thankful for that experience because it helped me see that I was not passionate about handling discipline problems. I was passionate about educational technology. The rejection propelled me into creating this blog, sharing ideas with colleagues, and focusing my attentions on becoming a top-notch educator.
3 - Be Thankful for Your Rejections
It may sound weird, but I am learning to be thankful for my rejections. Unfortunately, our talents and abilities are not always appreciated and recognized by others. Instead of stewing in what people "should" think of you, why not give thanks for other opportunities?
In a previous post, I had mentioned that I have been overlooked for leadership positions within my organization; however, I am thankful for the rejection. Why? Instead of having to leave my job to gain valuable leadership experiences, I have the opportunity to serve as a consultant schools, colleges, and universities across the country and serve as a faculty member at Harvard University for two summers. The opportunities have provided me with valuable experiences that will someday hold value in another's eyes.
Just like a piece of driftwood eventually reaches the shore, you too will reach your destination. You will reach a destination where you are valued, respected, and appreciated. You have an incredible opportunity to change the way that you look at rejection. You are blessed with the gift of time, which will season your abilities and add to your experiences. The rejections that you face from others will help refine your passions and possibly detour your God-given destination. Be thankful for your rejections, because how you view rejection has the power to make or break you.