Here’s the reality. In your life you will face rejection. You might get cut from a team, dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend, told you cannot be part of a group or club, lose a sale to your competition, or be turned down for a job. Rejection happens. What now?
How you answer that question, through what you do next, says a lot about what you will be able to achieve in your future. In fact, it can define it.
I’ll share a brief story. When I was in high school, there was a guy I knew who joined a group of other boys to form an intramural volleyball team. He was athletic, but he had never played volleyball before. His team played several matches over the next few weeks, and they were decent, but not great.
One day he was sitting at his lunch table and one of his teammates approached him. His teammate told him that they no longer wanted him on the team. “You stink” were the words used. The guy was very competitive and generally good at most sports, so this hurt in a big way.
However, he had a decision to make that could affect his entire attitude in the future. He could believe what the teammate said and be depressed, or he could channel the negative experience into some serious motivation. No surprise to those that knew him, he went with the latter and it shaped many things he would do in the future when faced with rejection.
In case you are wondering how it turned out, the guy went on to become an outside hitter on a AA volleyball team, played in four leagues per week, practiced and trained like a fiend, and joined a USA Volleyball traveling tournament team. He pushed himself to get the most out of his ability and had a great time enjoying the game.
Those teammates that rejected him in high school never knew – and that’s the way he wanted it. He didn’t focus on becoming a good player to show them they made a mistake. Who cares? He did it to prove to himself that he could channel that rejection into something positive. He has approached every future rejection the same way.
You will face rejection, and it can hurt. But if you want to achieve your goals, make the right decision about what to do next when it happens. That can truly shape your future. By the way, that guy from the story… it was me.