Using rejection as motivation

It’s going to happen at some point in your life.

The rejection might come in your personal life, or maybe your career, but either way, you’re probably not going to be happy about it. I always wondered how one stays motivated for long stretches. How does one stay positive when one gives it their all and falls short?

From a business perspective, you need to become obsessed; you must be obsessed with your business and getting better. I used to wonder what that means. Only now, I am starting to understand.

Obsessed means it’s all that you think about regardless of what you’re doing. Obsessed means you’re excited for a voluntary study group which spends most of Sunday enforcing code fundamentals. Obsessed means you would rather do something related to your goals than go “have some fun”. Obsessed means you become addicted to learning.

So yes, I have started to show signs of obsession. I make voluntary choices not only because I know it will push me in the direction I want to go but also because it’s what I honestly want.

And that’s a good thing. Because it’s what I think I’ve lacked in the past. I’ve lacked that hunger. Obsession was a key to fueling motivation.

Last week I realized I wasn’t going to get an interview for a job which seemed like a “perfect fit”. Yep, it’s like getting shot down by a girl; it’s like not closing that sales deal; it’s like when an investor doesn’t see the merit behind your idea.


A big fat rejection stamp, in case you’ve never seen one

In some ways, it’s hard not to take it personally. Sometimes when people say no, you know what they’re saying is “No, I don’t think you’re good enough.”

How can you not take that personally? Honestly, I disagree with just shrugging it off and acting like it doesn’t affect you. My advice is to actually take it a bit personally and let it fuel your motivation.

Use it to stay modest and humble. If you’re going to be really successful at what you do, you need no’s. You need a lot of no’s. If you aren’t getting a lot of no’s, you are not really getting yourself out there.

Use the no’s as a chance to improve and get better. Figure out what you did wrong or what you can do better. Put it on yourself. Do it so that one day you’ll be in a position to have more choices. One day the company that turned you down will be asking you to work for them and you will laugh because they had a chance to work with you.

It’s okay to get a bit angry and frustrated. Do it to show them it was their mistake. Make them regret their decision. Don’t let it control you but let it continue to steer you on course. Don’t give up.

I am a real life example of using rejection as motivation. It’s not a shock to realize that this story here is related to how the last year has unfolded.

Every no should steer you closer to a yes. So, go get your no’s.


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