“I think all great innovations are built on rejections.” ~Louis Ferdinand Celine, French writer

Rejection quickly becomes a repeated encounter on the path to success.

From insecurity and second-guessing, to anger, sadness and the compelling “want” to quit, the dismay and negativity that is brought on by rejection is a potent foe and potentially derailing when the pursuit of success demands confidence, determination and longevity.

By preparing one’s self for encounters with rejection — those hurdles that are certain to occasionally occur, if not often and repeatedly —  and accepting the trials and tribulations that are brought on by them, rejection can become a helpful procedural method to overcome misdirections and setbacks on our individual paths to success. Take what benefits you can from rejection and you can learn to love feeling rejected… or, at the very least, learn not hate it!

Like Hurdles On the Path

No matter what your pursuit, ambitions or end-goals, one is certain to encounter rejection along the way. Wait, did I really just say that? Am I actually suggesting that being denied or refused success must be anticipated in life? Well… are you going to tell me that it’s not?

Listen, rejection happens. Rejection should be expected because rejection is certain to occur in life, whether socially, romantically, academically or professionally. This is not to suggest that anyone should undertake a cynical, pessimistic outlook that foreshadows individual failures.

Embracing the fact that setbacks are going to occur in life — especially on the path of our dreams, individual goals, and ultimate successes — is a matter of anticipating setbacks and missteps that are certain to occur and adequately preparing one’s self for the most beneficial reactions to them. Encountering setbacks is like hurdling; if you know they’re coming, you’re better prepared to leap them and win the race. And, after all, what separates the daydreamers from the doers are the ways in which men and women react to those hurdles.

How to Start Shifting Your Outlook

We can react to rejection in many ways, but in this piece I want to focus on reacting to rejection by either “rejecting rejection” or embracing rejection. The reaction of “rejecting rejection” sounds wonderfully defiant and motivating in theory, but in reality, the mindset is ultimately more likely to give way to combativeness and reluctance to receive criticism. What initially seems like the perfect Renegade mantra is really a stagnant, regressive way of avoiding criticism.

To me, such a reaction to being rejected is to choose to willfully ignore (or at least significantly minimalize) those circumstances surrounding the setback that could actually be used by you to improve the methods and means you are using to achieve your goals.

Criticism isn’t always fun or pretty, but constructive criticism can provide us with the ability to improve, innovate, and finally achieve what we are set out to accomplish. By simplistically “rejecting rejection,” you risk forcing a mindset upon yourself that misses out on the positive benefits of constructive criticism, editorial processes and other such feedback.

It’s All About Adopting the Right Mindset

As in life, we can strive to condition the way our minds primarily react to all the negative that stems from rejection and ultimately learn to embrace it (rather than avoid it) and love it (rather than fear it). As we previously discussed, there are indeed many secondary, reciprocal, and other suck positive benefits that can result from criticism and setbacks. True Renegades use those as a competitive advantage to make their dreams come true.

The realistic anticipation of rejection allows for greater foresight and forethought as we look ahead and brace ourselves for encounters with any hurdles that lie before us. Foresight helps us restrategize and provide us with new dedication as we strive to see our goals to fruition. At least it should, in theory. But, what is a Renegade to do with all the negativity that naturally results from rejection? Of all that which stems from being rejected, the most daunting consequence is insecurity and all of the fear, anger, sadness and second-guessing that can quickly become a compelling force that burdens you with the desire to quit.

If your pursuits are motivated by the right reasons — positive motivations like your dreams; your passions; the want to help people, your country, or provide a secure future your family — the burden of wanting to quit will quickly subside. When motivated by reasons that are wholesome, selfless, and grounded in integrity and truth, setbacks brought on from being rejected become nothing more than a source for new motivation, reinvigorated passion and stronger drive to make our envisioned and desired successes come to us in reality. So go on, be a Renegade. Embrace rejection, learn to love it, and see where it can take you.