Getting Over the Pain of Rejection
by Kevin Hogan
Rejection is like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat...twice.
She says, "no." That's the first in the head.
It means you asked her for the sale, the deal, the date. You put yourself on the line. You became vulnerable and then boom!
Whether she said it with the sweetest of words or the most intense anger ever witnessed on the planet really doesn't matter.
You have been excluded.
Nothing hurts worse.
Your innate drive to belong is crucial to your existence...to your sanity.
And your reptile (in the brain) is told, "No little reptile, I'm sure you're very sweet. I bet your product is excellent and your services are awesome but we really aren't interested/can't do it now/would prefer not to/can't I'm busy."
Your reptile is now seriously hurt and in even more serious pain. That rejection shifts and shapes the reptile's behavior. It will react in some way and it probably won't have a good ending. What's worse? The reptile has a long memory.
We'll talk about all of these aspects of rejection as we go on in this series of articles. Today I want to you to see the value
of intentionally reshaping the reptile within.
The reptile returns to it's daily duties of eating, sleeping, rolling over and it basically doesn't "think" too much about the rejection. But the pain it feels is very real and it's triggered at various times throughout the day. Then a problem happens. You start "thinking about it" at the cognitive level. You begin to assign meaning to the rejection and then you can't get it out of your head.
The rejection is now super glued to your frontal lobes. The pain is like you just got stabbed. The humiliation goes beyond the moment, often for years, often forever.
But future rejections can be fewer and farther between. Rejection has ONE upside. You can get past it, and future rejection can hurt a lot less.
The biggest part of the rejection equation is "how bad you want it/her."
If it/she isn't important to you, then the rejection and pain to come will be very modest and short lived.
If it/she is a dream, if you can taste it, if your self-worth is wrapped up in the outcome...the forthcoming rejection is going to hurt very, very badly.
Remember this part, because the one extremely valuable part of rejection comes from this piece of the equation.
The Anti-Rejection Pill
One of my most intense memories of rejection happened 11 years ago.
I've told this story to audiences but I don't think I've shared it in Coffee before.
It was a cold but sunny Manhattan November day in 2002. I was having lunch on my birthday with The Penguin Editors at a place so trendy I never would have found my way in without direction.
I'm not a trendy guy...
I was totally pumped that day...and I rarely get all that enthused about anything. (OK, the night at the Playboy Mansion was cool...but in general, I don't let my emotions of excitement run away with my brain too often.)
Back in November 2002? I was fired up. I had seen McCartney a few times in the prior weeks. Hartford, Chicago, Minneapolis, Las Vegas. I guess that was like a "drug high" because it wasn't me accomplishing really, but it was the fulfillment of a "dream." I always wanted to see McCartney and he hadn't done a tour in a decade. I figured I'd never see him. He was 60 and he just wasn't doing gigs anymore...until he did.
I had written an awesome book which was the best thing I'd done since The Psychology of Persuasion. I was overly confident that Penguin would grab the book. Why wouldn't they? They'd be crazy not to. I had already put more material out about persuasion than anyone on the planet, and it was only 2002.
I was coming off some seriously cool gigs of my own all over the world. I had already signed the contract in my mind.
It seemed impossible to me
that they would not take my new book, The Science of Influence. One editor loved me
and the book. I'd been in touch with her via email and she was sold before I got on the airplane. The other editor at lunch that day didn't like me. Not a bit. She was The Grinch Who Stole My Birthday.
I wasn't her cup of tea. I rubbed her the wrong way.
But...it's also her fault that the book went on to do what it would do...with another publisher (John Wiley & Sons)
Remember this word: Vengeance. We'll be back to it.
The senior editor had another author in mind for a "persuasion book" they wanted to publish. It turned out she (the sr. editor) was cold but mechanically polite while the other editor and I made plans for the book. For whatever reason, they were going to publish only one of the two books.
I'd never heard of my "competition," a young woman who hadn't written anything about persuasion...but I knew a lot of people hadn't heard of me, either.
Both editors should have said, "Yes, Kevin, of course!"
But they didn't.
"We'll talk about the book in the Tuesday Meeting."
That's code for, "no."
My jaw must have dropped.
It was brutal. My happy birthday turned out to be the opposite. A few weeks later they'd send me a formal rejection letter. Several years earlier I had specialized in getting rejection letters.
The decision to go with the other author had to be personal because the other author wasn't going to sell any books. (And she didn't.) It was personal and I took it personally.
Remember this is where the vengeance piece comes in later.
I screwed up in the conversation. I was so excited to be there I wasn't standing on the ground. I let my emotions take over the moment.
..and the book was not going to be a Penguin book.
Nine months later, I read the other author's book. It was elegantly written. Sentence structure was
Strunk and White perfect. Layout was brilliant. Not a spelling error,
a grammatical gaffe nor a stylistic imperfection. She had big New
York names endorsing her book.
My book had none of those things.
I went and kicked the sour grapes can....I was depressed for about
two days and then said,....
...and six months later, the biggest seller of business books in the world, John Wiley and Sons, called and asked if I wanted to do a book with them. I did. It went on to be one of the most read books of the 2000's.
Eventually, the book would go on to be the eighth most downloaded book in the world for 2009. Everyone has read the book. It did good.
Don't tell anyone, but I hate rejection. You hate rejection, too.
So what is the antidote for the pain?
How do you avoid being rejected in the first place? What does it mean when rejection hurts so much?
When you want something bad and it/she doesn't want you, it hurts bad.
You want the really cute girl? (Really cute publisher, really cute job, really cute deal...)
You want the "yes" to the big deal or the great job?
It's yours. Really. It's yours IF you become familiar with talking about your rejections
and what you did in their wake.
It's the difference maker.
It's the Anti-Rejection Pill. The Antidote.
Rejection is the direct cause of a big percentage of achievements from a lot of life's winners.
You're going to channel that incredibly negative and painful "rejection energy"
into a healthy, rational, intense, ethical, dose of vengeance and
interesting things are going to happen....
No, I didn't go back to New York and smack the Editor at Penguin.
That gets you nothing but applause from the guys in the street.
That's just stupid.
To win, to beat the person who rejected you, you have to gain REAL revenge. You go out and make IT happen in SPITE of someone elses defective opinion of YOU.
Today, I want to show you how to literally do that for you, for
the rest of your life....
Beating the primal feeling...: Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
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