So much of how successful we are is determined by our ratio of persistence to rejection. Everything worth doing requires persistence, and everything done well requires the ability to handle rejection. The key to being successful (among other important things such as talent and intuition) is making sure your persistence outweighs your tolerance for rejection.
Every person who is successful, whether in a professional or personal capacity, has failed far more times than not. But I think most of us know that already. If you couldn’t take failure, you probably wouldn’t be at the point in your life where reading a blog post like this would even interest you. You’d already have resigned yourself to another life pursuit. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, I might add.
Two Money-Back Guarantees
But you’re probably someone who has found a way to deal with, maybe even learn from your failures. That makes you persistent. From what I can tell so far, there are two guarantees in life for even the most persistent people:
1) You will get shot down more than once.
2) You will get discouraged by rejection at least once.
Because let’s face it: no matter how good you are at letting things roll off your shoulder; no matter how much you can compartmentalize and keep from letting things feel personal; no matter how well you can deal with it, it’s impossible not to get a little discouraged from being denied over and over again. It’s happened to me countless times. I do my best not to take it personally, but every once in a while it all catches up to you and you think, “Damn… When will this ever go right?”
Liars And Robots
I’m not here to tell you when things will start going right. I’m not even here to tell you that they will go right. I’m just here to tell you that you’re not the only one who wonders that. Even the most successful person in the world has wondered that many times in their lives, and will continue to. (And if they tell you they were never once discouraged, that they never once wavered in their belief in themselves for a fraction of a second, well then they’re either a robot or a liar.) But the moment you let a time of discouragement put the brakes on your persistence, well, then it’s all over. It could be a good thing, it could be a bad thing. But it’s definitely over.
So take from this what you will. Sometimes shit sucks. But the only way to guarantee that something won’t happen is to let rejection kill your persistence.
Related post: Artistic Naiveté