Some people like to gloat about their successes. Me, I like to brag about how often I've been rejected. And with the number of times people have shut me down, I have a lot to talk about.
Unfortunately many people don't share my brazen approach to utter failure. They look at their own failure and rejection as a Scarlet Letter to be worn shamefully which is a bunch of bull!
As far as I'm concerned, if you’re not getting turned down, you're not really trying. And the only thing you should ever be ashamed of is not trying.
Rejection Represents Potential
Let me start by explaining what's so great about rejection and why you should take advantage of every opportunity to seek it out. Rejection delineates the limits of your potential. Said differently, until you get rejected, you don't really know how much potential you have.
I learned this lesson not in the office, but in places like gym. For the longest time I thought the limit of my bench press topped out around few pounds. To me that seemed like a lot of weight to keep off my chest, and so I assumed that my potential stopped there.
One day, a friend of mine challenged me to push more weight. We slapped more pounds on the bar he told me to give that a shot. In this case, lifting the bar wasn’t my only concern, I was afraid of crushing my whole body in the process!
Two things happened when I took that leap. First, I pulled and strained just about every muscle north of my waist (I was sore for weeks). And second, I benched those extra pounds.
So I did what any ambitious person would do– I put on more weight. I was ashamed that I hadn't tried it sooner. Until I pushed myself to utter failure and rejection, I never really knew just how much was possible.
My Goal – Utter Rejection
Since that moment in the weight room, my goal has been to get rejected as often as possible. I've come to embrace rejection as the only goal that is worth fighting for. Anything less than utter rejection means I've left something behind or gave less of myself to my goals. Nowadays I want to get rejected in everything that I do.
I want to get rejected when I get any new assignment, any new goal to be achieved. I want to present targets that are far higher than anyone can expect. My fear is not the word “no” when it comes to the targets, it’s the word “yes” while wondering if I tried enough to stretch at the targets.
I want to get rejected when I present to my bosses. I want them to think that my plan is overly optimistic, and that my financial projections are far too aggressive. I fear only two words from my boss – “reasonable” and “conservative”. If I’m ever called either of these things I'm going to storm out of the room ashamed.
I don't fear the failures that others would fear. I fear the implications of what acceptance leaves on the table.
Rejection Builds Great Companies
If you want to trade war stories with me, don't sell me your success stories. Success whispers little about who you are. Utter rejection and the ability to bounce back is what really make a leader.
What makes the leader mindset so much different than that of your average worker is that a leader not only embraces risk, they embrace rejection. For every documentary that you read about the birth of a great company, there are endless stories about the failure and rejection the entrepreneurs faced to reach that destination of greatness.
Great companies are built on rejection. They are built on the resilience of the founders who took and endless barrage of punches to the chin and kept on fighting. Seeking rejection as a goal to find greatness is the only way to maximize the potential of what you really are and what you seek to achieve.
A good reading material....taken/inspired from someone's speech....