[Photo Credit - comedy_nose on Flickr]
I was watching American Idol last night and I noticed something with the contestants who were being sent home. After learning that they were eliminated from the competition, they generally reacted in 2 different ways.
- Defeat - Many of them looked like their dreams had been shattered. They reacted as if their dream was dead and never coming back. They seemed to think that this was their only shot at obtaining their dream. Tears, anger, and bitterness were caught on camera as they left the stage.
- Confidence - And then there were a few who reacted differently. They didn’t get as much camera time because it is not as entertaining as someone throwing a temper tantrum. But they calmly accepted their elimination and often thanked the judges for the opportunity. They walked off of the stage with something else to look forward to. It didn’t seem to me that they felt this was the end of the road for them.
Why do we let one experience of rejection sabotage the dreams that we have? How can we let one critic destroy everything that we have worked for when in reality, our fans outnumber our critics? I have experienced plenty of rejection in my life. Thankfully, I have never been rejected on national television. But I have learned to work through rejection by asking myself 3 simple questions.
What went wrong?
How do I fix it?
What is next?
The point is that we shouldn’t give up because of one little snag along the way. Obtaining your dream is not easy. It takes a lot of practice and perseverance. So when we are feeling rejected, we need to learn as much as we can from it and then move onto the next thing. Rejection doesn’t have to mark the end of a journey. We can turn it into a landmark on the way there. Often we give up too soon. And giving up only guarantees that we won’t get to where we want to go.
We can allow rejection to convince us to give up, or we can use it as a step along the path to obtaining our dreams.
How has rejection hurt or helped you along the way?