017 How to take the sting out of rejection

Every new beginning invites rejection. In fact, if you don’t experience it, you may be playing it too safe. Rejection and criticism sting, but they don’t have to halt your next great beginning.

How to take the sting out of rejection


In this episode, Leary and Armin talk about rejection and its cousin, criticism.

The Inspire Me segment quote is from the 18th century playwright, Joseph Addison:

“There is no defense against criticism except obscurity.”

Three things you need to know about rejection and criticism:

  • They come with every great new beginning. If you’re not experiencing it, you may be playing it too safe. And, ironically, playing it safe is a form of self-rejection.
  • They are indiscriminate. Everyone experiences rejection and criticism but when we face it, we often think we’re alone in it.
  • They don’t need to bring defeat. Unless you let it. The size of your commitment is what it takes to stop you.

Leary and Armin discuss four ways to take the sting out of rejection or criticism:

  1. Develop an optimistic explanatory mindset. Those who see potential in the future and don’t take criticisms personally are more successful because they are more likely to persevere.
  2. Don’t tie your identity to what you do. You are more than you produce. Your work may not appeal to everyone, but they don’t give you the final grade. Only God does.
  3. Find the win. Even the most vitriolic critic can teach you something, even if it’s to merely a commitment to strengthen your resolve.
  4. Get feedback on how you receive feedback. We’re often not aware of how we receive criticism and, if not received well, we may be inviting even more.

In the Challenge Me segment Armin challenges us to ask someone that knows us well to give us feedback on how well we receive feedback. He suggests asking two questions that may help get the conversation rolling:

  • What could I do to make it easier for someone to give me feedback?
  • Is there anything about my behavior which signals to others that I don’t want feedback?

Resources mentioned or related to this podcast that may be helpful to you:

  • To Sell is Human, Dan Pink, an excellent book about selling, suitable for anyone. Read Leary’s review here.

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