How to deal with “NO”


No!  At one time or another every single one of us has been dealt the dreaded No!  Whether it was for a new job, a school, a special project or program, or an internship, it just plain hurts no matter the circumstances.

Even though being told “No” is nothing personal, we seem to take it on a deeply personal level.  Being rejected from a great job is one of the most impersonal situations one can come across.  Some random person in Human Resources made a decision to give you an interview based on a one page document and then makes an entire opinion about you within 5 minutes of meeting you at the interview, this is anything but personal.  Did they ask you what your favorite food was, or what you like to do during a rainy day, or perhaps what your favorite baseball team is?  Highly doubtful!!  Instead they’ll ask you questions like “Tell us about yourself,  where you’ll say every possible adjective (like the ones listed here ) but nothing that will describe your true personality.

When I was recently rejected from a year-long project I began to second guess myself, basing my self-worth on someone else’s 15 minutes opinion about me, which is one of the worst things a person can do to himself.  So what did I do?  Here are the 3 stepsI went through:

  1. I had to see that this wasn’t a personal decision.  There’s two possibilities for their no: (a) My unique shape didn’t fit into their puzzle or (b) they didn’t get to see that if they flipped me around a few times more then I would have actually fit quite nicely. That’s not my fault, that is theirs which brings me to number two.
  2. It’s their loss not mine.  Sure I am missing out on a great project, that could have given me some good experience but they also lost someone that does not exactly think within a box.  I am not (nor are you) the average cookie cutter shape, we have unique shapes that enable us to see things from a unique angle.  So don’t see it as your loss, see it as theirs!!!
  3. There are more doors to try.  So one door of opportunity gets shut in your face.  If you are like me then you probably felt that this was your only door of opportunity and thats that.  You have to remember that life is literally a hallway of doors.  Everyday we make decisions, choosing this door rather than that door.  So this one door gets shut in your face, there’s many more doors to try.  You have to remind yourself that this is not the last door of your life.  tumblr_kt5xm7259a1qa1xnko1_500

Overall rejection sucks, but it’s how we deal with it that matters.  After I got rejected, I spent a few days drowning in self pity, but eventually I got up, wiped the dirt off my jeans and instead of trying more doors I actually made my own door.  I have a few entrepreneurial ideas currently in motion that I think will give me more value and experience than that project I was rejected from. So  remember, don’t take it personal, its their loss not yours, and there are more doors to try or just simply make your own.

I am a big fan of TEDtalks so here is a great list for you to enjoy:


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