“Real rejection is real motivation.” Maximilian Kikwembe, Swahili Apologist
I am strongly convinced that in life you will always hear more Nos than Yesses. In fact, that is the reality in life. Jesus is the testimony for this when He says, “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first” (John 15:18).
Aristotle asserts that, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” It is now your choice and be responsible for your take.
Rejection and criticism can be tough to deal with; nevertheless they likewise offer great chances for personal progress and growth. These are some ways that rejection and criticism can enable an individual to achieve their goals:
- Builds strength and resilience: It is indeed simple to get disheartened and give up when confronted with rejection or criticism. A person can, however, acquire resilience if they can conquer these setbacks and move on. When it comes to reaching their goals, this resilience can be a valuable advantage because it will better prepare them to deal with any difficulties that may come their way.
- Encourages self-reflection: While rejection and criticism can be upsetting, they can also serve as a catalyst for self-reflection. A person can learn from their missteps and improve their skills and strategies moving ahead by taking a step back and considering what went wrong or what they might have done better.
- Encourages self-improvement: Criticism and rejection can be an inspiration for change. A person can attempt to improve their ability to accomplish their goals by using the criticism they receive to pinpoint areas where they can improve.
- Boosts confidence: Although handling rejection and criticism can be challenging, doing so can also enhance someone’s confidence. A person can grow in confidence and be capable of focusing on even the most complex challenges if they learn how to handle rejection and criticism constructively.
- Rejection and criticism can also be used to help a person adjust and refine their goals. If they receive feedback that their first strategy was incorrect or unsuitable for their strengths, they can utilize this information to revise their goals and approach them more effectively.
- Ultimately, dealing with rejection and criticism might help you develop empathy. When a person has faced these hardships, they may be more sensitive to the feelings of others who suffer comparable challenges.
While there are numerous possible benefits to embracing rejection and criticism, there are also some drawbacks to consider. These are a few to remember:
- Reduced self-esteem: Rejection or harsh criticism can sometimes result in low self-worth, making it harder for a person to believe in themselves and their abilities. This is especially difficult when it comes to completing goals, as self-doubt can make it difficult to stay motivated and persevere in the face of adversity.
- Fear of failure: Coping with rejection and criticism can occasionally cause this feeling. A person may be reluctant to take chances or try new things if they have received several setbacks or negative feedback for fear of doing so again. This may ultimately hinder them from achieving their objectives because success frequently includes taking measured chances and being open to trying new things.
- Burnout: Constantly confronting rejection and criticism might occasionally result in burnout. A person may grow weary or overwhelmed if they constantly push themselves to accomplish their goals. This might lower motivation and impair productivity. As a result, it may be more challenging for them to stick with their plans and reach their objectives.
- Resentment: Facing harsh or unfair criticism can sometimes lead to attitudes of resentment, which can harm relationships and make it more difficult to attain one’s goals. If the individual believes they are being treated unfairly or attacked, they may lose faith in the people involved, making it more difficult for them to remain engaged and dedicated.
- Unhealthy coping strategies: Those who experience frequent or severe criticism may adopt unhealthy coping strategies to manage the stress and anxiety that result from it. For instance, they can start abusing drugs or alcohol, avoid social situations, or carry out other detrimental habits. As a result of these coping techniques, it may be harder for the person to accomplish their goals since they may become distracted or feel overpowered by their ill feelings.
However, here are the tips on how to deal positively with criticism and rejections:
- Stay calm and be composed: It is indeed crucial to maintain your calm and refrain from becoming aggressive when receiving criticism. Defensive behavior might worsen the problem and make it more challenging to handle the comments. Even if the criticism feels personal, take a moment to breathe deeply and try to stay fair. This can help to ease any stress and give you the opportunity to react more effectively.
- Listen carefully: Paying close attention to the criticism will help you grasp it and identify possibilities for growth. Attempt to grasp the critic’s point of view and avoid interrupting or ignoring their feedback. If required, ask clarifying questions and make an attempt to listen actively and attentively.
- Ask for feedback: If at all possible, seek detailed comments on your areas of improvement. This can direct your attention to the areas that require it and offer a clear path for progress. Though it may be tough to hear, keep in mind that criticism can be an opportunity for development. You can show that you’re dedicated to developing and enhancing your talents by asking for comments.
- Avoid taking it personally: It is also critical to remember that criticism does not represent your worth as a person. Separate your personal feelings from the criticism and concentrate on the precise behavior or action that is being critiqued. This can help you maintain your objectivity and avoid becoming defensive or upset.
- After facing criticism, take action to resolve the situation or alter your conduct. This can show others how committed you are to your own personal development and can help you turn a bad situation around. By responding, you can demonstrate that you are eager to take advice to heart and make the necessary adjustments to further your objectives.
- Do not dwell on it: While taking criticism seriously and using it productively is vital, it is also equally crucial not to dwell on it or let it overwhelm you. Recognize that everyone makes mistakes and receives criticism at some point in their lives, and that this is a natural part of the development and learning process. Concentrate on the positive measures you can take to grow and progress.
- Constructively apply the criticism: If you have gotten faced criticism, use it to make good changes in your conduct or attitude. Consider how you can use the feedback to develop and grow, then make a plan to implement those improvements. You may turn a negative experience into a positive one by taking feedback constructively and using it to become a better version of yourself.
Achieving success frequently necessitates dealing with criticism and rejection along the way, but the benefits of tenacity and persistence can be substantial. Whether it is gaining recognition for our work through prizes and awards, or simply feeling a sense of personal success and growth, overcoming criticism and rejection can ultimately lead to a deeper sense of contentment and happiness. We may overcome even the most difficult problems and attain the success and recognition we seek by remaining devoted to our goals, continuing to learn and grow, and remaining true to our own principles and priorities.
It is very important to keep in mind that criticism and rejection are inevitable components of any creative or professional endeavor and that they might present chances for development. We can transform criticism into a potent tool for self-improvement by accepting constructive criticism and use it to better our abilities and methods. We can develop the resilience and strength we need to endure the ups and downs of any journey by maintaining a positive and resilient mindset and surrounding ourselves with a supportive group of friends, family, and colleagues. In the end, there can be great rewards for enduring criticism and rejection, both in terms of attaining our goals and becoming better versions of ourselves.
This content is extracted from my book titled Believe, Begin, Become: Anatomy of Triumphant Success