How to Deal With Rejection

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This morning I’ve been rejected by six different businesses who I’ve asked to hire me for the day (as part of my Hourly America quest to work a different job in every state). Alyssa and I are doing our best to keep a schedule, and sometimes when we can’t find a job, it makes things difficult and stressful.

Sometimes when I call people, I can tell simply by the way they answer the phone whether or not they are interested in hiring me. If they pick up the phone and are unwelcoming and short, I know before I get started on my sales pitch they simply aren’t interested. It blows me away how in today’s world people can run any kind of business without expressing love on a first impression, but that’s a rant for another day.

Granted, I’m not the kind of person to bash their business on Twitter for rejecting me. However, I have received a decent amount of publicity for my trip and plus, I’m a really hard worker. I really believe if they had given me a chance I could help their business. I definitely don’t deserve to be tossed aside.

But something I’ve learned on this journey is, at some point rejection is inevitable. More importantly, the higher you aim and the more of your heart you pour into your work, the more you will get rejected. I’m not sure why it’s this way, but it is.

People will reject you for many reasons:

  • Maybe they don’t understand what you’re doing.
  • They don’t know you, nor do they want to know you (maybe they’ve been burned before and lost their trust)
  • Sometimes people can be sour or just having a bad day. We’ve all had those days where we are tired of dealing with others.
  • Caught them at the wrong moment.
  • They don’t like you or you give off a wrong first impression.

I could list a thousand reasons why people give rejection. However, at the end of the day being rejected is simply the opinion of one person. In today’s world, we could post a status or tweet online and easily receive a hundred comments. We could read 99 of them and they are all glowing with positivity, however, if we see one bad comment we will immediately focus on that one and begin to wonder what’s wrong with us. I’m not sure why we are programmed this way, but this mindset can be overcome.

Here’s how:

1. Acknowledge that rejection if purely the opinion of one person.

That’s all. One person’s opinion of you does not change who you are or why you are doing something. For instance in my case, I know that I have a great motive for my quest to work a different job in all 50 states. I know where my heart is, but sometimes when a business turns me down, I want to question if I’m doing it for the right reason. I have to buck up and tell myself to keep going, because for every person out there who doesn’t believe in what I’m doing, I can find a person who does believe.

Lesson: Even if nobody believes in you, you have to believe in yourself.

2. Sometimes people are just having a bad day.

Have you ever popped off at somebody you love, and immediately been sorry and even confused as to why you did so? Of course, we are only human. Sometimes a person may reject you or be rude, and it’s just because they’ve had a really bad day.

Lesson: Put things into perspective. You never know what is going on in a person’s life.

3. If a person is discontent with his or her life, there is a chance they may try and tear your dreams down.

We’ve all heard this before, but it’s still something that we have to constantly remember during the course of any journey. If you’re breaking out of the norm and trying to do big things, a person who has “settled” in their life might try to pull you down. If you want to get out on the dance floor and act crazy, then don’t let the smug, laughing person at the bar get under your skin. Why not? Because they were to scared to get up and dance, so they laughed at you for being brave and doing what they couldn’t.

Lesson: Be brave. Before you ever let a person’s critique go to heart, look at what they are doing with their own life. If they are sitting it out on the sidelines, acknowledge that they have no idea what you are going through, nor did they have the courage to act.


Rejection is a part of life, and I just want you to remember that the more you attempt to be great and do things differently, the more people will notice and reject you during the process. Don’t be afraid, you are not alone.

I’ve been fortunate to have met a guy recently who has really been an inspiration for me in the area of rejection. Jia Jiang has been rejected (intentionally) more than anyone I’ve ever met. Check out his story, it’s very inspiring.