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How to Deal with Rejection and Turning Setbacks into Success on Your Leadership Journey

We all know the awful feeling of rejection. Whether it’s due to a job or a relationship or even an application for a loan, hearing “no” doesn’t feel good. That’s the reality, but it’s also a reality that we all experience rejection in one form or another throughout our lives. If we’re going to run into roadblocks like this, it serves us to develop ways to overcome the feelings that come with rejection so we can keep moving forward. Here are some ways of coping with this inevitable feeling.

Develop a resilient mindset.

When we are resilient, we are more easily able to overcome adversity. You can develop this mindset by knowing that every setback you face only makes you stronger to face your next challenge. It’s not that successful people never fail, they just know how to dig deep and get back up after they fall. To build this quality, look for stories that inspire you to become more resilient and share your times of triumph with others as well.

Let rejection teach you.

When we recognize the wrong way to go, it helps us see the alternatives that would have been better choices. Instead of going down a dark road of disappointment when you are rejected, take a minute to think about why things went wrong. See where you made mistakes and self-correct. Get other people’s insights if you’re having a hard time seeing where you could improve. Changing your course so that these failures become how we learn is one of the first steps to making more successful choices.

Keep adapting and stay persistent.

Sometimes, the difference between you and another person in terms of succeeding will be who just keeps trying and trying. Take these opportunities of rejection and use them as paths for change. Don’t be fearful of embracing new ways of doing things. Stay committed to your plans and goals even though you’re not always in the mood because of setbacks. Again, look for personal accounts of others who’ve done the same as inspiration.

Life throws a lot of curveballs, so failures on some level are inevitable. But, they should never be seen as the end. They are actually jumping off points for a new plan—a more educated way of handling whatever it is you’re facing. When you do overcome and experience a small win, celebrate it. The small wins will accumulate and eventually, the rejections, when they come, will carry less of a sting. LinkedIn summed it best by stating, “Rejection often paves the way for even greater opportunities.”


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