Your hopes were high—and now they’ve been dashed. You received a curt, “Thanks, but no thanks” for an opportunity you were really excited about.
Take some of the world’s most successful people, for example. They not only deal with rejection with poise and professionalism, but they also use it to their advantage. They extract lessons from the experience that they can use to better themselves moving forward.
Want to know how you can do that same thing? Begin doing these five things that all successful people do after facing rejection.
1. They Recognize Their Role
Rejection can be brutal, and it’s often enough to inspire us to begin playing the blame game. It’s their fault that they didn’t see the value we were offering or that they decided to go another direction.
When we’re hurt, it’s pretty much human nature to make ourselves the victims of the situation. However, successful people understand the importance of recognizing the role they played in their own rejection.
Were they as prepared as they should have been? Did they settle for mediocre when they should have put their all in? You need to accept responsibility for anything you did that might have contributed to you being passed over, or you simply won’t learn as much from the situation.
2. They Reflect
Similarly to the point above, successful people don’t immediately jump into action after being rejected. Instead, they press pause and take a little bit of time to look back on the experience.
Are they blindsided by this rejection, or did they not feel great about their chances to begin with? If they could rewind time, what key things would they do differently?
Before you can use rejection to help you improve, you first need to pinpoint exactly where you could make some changes.
3. They Ask Questions
When you’re turned down for something, your first inclination might be to bury your head in the sand and get as far away from that humiliating situation as possible.
However, successful people resist the temptation to run and hide. They know that it’s better to use this as an opportunity to gather more information that will help them to become better in the future.
Swallow your pride and directly ask what you did well and what you could do better next time. That’s all valuable information—directly from a reputable source—that you can use to improve moving forward.
4. They Improve
Far too many of us fall into the trap of collecting feedback, but then never actually doing anything with it. But, not successful people. They go the extra mile to actually implement the suggestions they receive.
You know you can’t continue to do the same things and make the same mistakes while expecting different results. So, remember to detail an action plan you can use to put those tips for improvement to use. You’ll be better off for it.
5. They Move On
Rejection can bruise even the healthiest of egos. But, it won’t do you any good to obsess over it—which is why successful people know it’s better to take a deep breath, let it go, and move on.
Yes, you’ll need to take a little bit of time to reflect on the experience and pull out the necessary lessons and value. However, once you’ve done that, don’t continue to dwell or hold a grudge. Ultimately, that will only hold you back.
There’s no denying that rejection can be a painful experience, but it can also be extremely educational—as long as you’re willing to make the most of it. Take these five strategies, and you’re sure to use rejection to your advantage.
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Photo of person getting rejected courtesy of Caiaimage/Martin Barraud/Getty Images.