How To Recover From Rejection And Build Strong Resilience

“Rejection is the one constant of human experience.” Howard Jacobson

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Rejection Recovery Resilience

The world has always been a challenging place, and perhaps now more than ever, as people try to cope with fast paced and unpredictable change. Times of uncertainty bring about difficult times, and oftentimes limited resources, leading to rejections.

Resilience is the quality that will help you survive. Building your resilience involves developing and maintaining habits of thinking and doing that help you not just survive in difficult times, but to come through the adversity knowing yourself better, and being wiser and more focussed on what is most important to you.

This gives you the ability to recover, to bounce back from tough times and to display tenacity.

Vince Vaughan’s Story Rejected for His Height: A Case Study

I listened to Vince Vaughan in conversation with Tim Ferriss on the Tim Ferriss podcast. He spoke about how he used to be rejected for his height, saying that he had to find a way of using it, so that he wouldn’t be defined by it. He spoke about it being second nature for actors to be turned down.

He spoke about the time and energy spent preparing for auditions, and when it didn’t pan out how at first he would be down, and would take four or five days, and not do anything, and say this is not working and would lose his energy.

He went on to talk about finding a process where you allow yourself to feel disappointed. It’s important not to turn off those feelings; but it is important to understand how to do that as quickly as possible so as to then become productive again, and start doing the things that are going to give you a better opportunity. He said the sooner you can get back to your own growth, and what can enhance it, the sooner the chance of having what you want in your life becomes greater.

He said the opportunities of being exposed to failure in auditions inoculates you in that you develop a tolerance for rejection that allows you to capitalise later. He went on to say that the other side is once you’ve had a level of success, can you maintain the motivation you once had?

Develop Your WorkLife Story Chapters

Rejections are hard, that’s a fact. Don’t accept the first rejection ever — or the second, or the third. You have the option of whether to accept rejections and walk away and try something else, or you have the option to retry. It’s important that you give yourself options, and the timeliness of those options are for you to decide on at your own pace — whether to walk away and try something else, or whether to retry. You’re not in competition with anybody but yourself.

When actors audition for roles, they can never second guess what the casting agent is looking for. They’re given the script often with little direction. They prepare their character portrayal, and deliver their performance based on what they can glean from the script. Whether or not they get the role, if they can walk away knowing they’ve given a performance true to their interpretation of the character this is good enough.

That said, they will also consider what they can learn from the experience with regard to what they could have done differently or better. That’s because there’s always something to learn about ourselves in every situation, and we should always try to learn.

Vince’s story is one of the stories featured in my book: How To Recover From Rejection And Build Strong Resilience, from The School Of WorkLife Book Series.

The stories I write are based on real WorkLife challenges, obstacles and successes. In some stories I share my own experiences, and with permission stories of people I’ve worked with, whose names have been changed to protect their anonymity. Other persons and companies portrayed in the stories are not based on real people or entities.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.