Pushing Past Rejection

Pushing Past Rejection Claude HamiltonWhen was the last time you were rejected? Were you presenting an idea to your boss? Initiating a new relationship? Making a sales pitch to a client? No matter what the situation was, I’m sure it was rough. Being rejected is hard, and regardless of the other person’s intention, it always feels personal.

When I think about rejection, one particular experience comes to mind. I was just starting to build my business. I was full of enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. That day, I was looking forward to bringing a new trainee along to a couple of business meetings with potential clients.

At the time, I was still working as a diver. Diving is hard work. It requires a lot of physical strength and endurance, and I often ended my days on the job with new bumps, bruises and scratches. This time, the scratches were on my face, and because the water was dirty, they were infected. But diving had been a part of my life for so long that I barely thought about it. I met with my new trainee and we set out for our meetings, feeling keen and confident.

The first meeting was at the client’s apartment. But we didn’t get very far before he suggested we meet somewhere else. Since were already there, I pointed out that it made more sense to stay. I was startled when he responded with “Man, you know what? I don’t think there’s anything you have that I’m interested in.” It stung. I was new to the business and wasn’t used to rejection yet. But we set it aside and went to the next meeting.

This time, we barely made it past the front door. The man we were there to meet stopped up as we were walking up the stairs and told us that he wasn’t comfortable with us in his house.

It dawned on me then. With the infected scratches, my military haircut, my lean, muscular frame, I must looked like a hardened warrior—or maybe a criminal. Either way, my appearance was making people uncomfortable.

We left and I went home to bed, feeling overwhelmed. At that moment, it seemed so easy to just give up. I tossed and turned all night, running through the encounters in my mind and wondering if I should quit. But the next morning, my wife went off to a job where she wasn’t respected. It was worse than that, actually; she was constantly hassled by the guys who worked there.

That was all the motivation I needed. I wanted to get her out of there, and that meant I had to refocus, push through the rejection and keep working toward my goal. I accepted that there was a learning curve to my new path and I gave myself time to adjust.

When I look back now, I realize how much I would have lost if I had quit. Our life, our friends, our community and the lifestyle we’ve built—if I hadn’t pushed through, we might have missed out on all of it.

So the next time you feel like quitting, make it a learning experience. Look at what went wrong, and if it’s something you can fix or improve on, then do it. If it’s something that you can’t change, move on and try something different next time. If you’re working towards a goal that you truly want to achieve, never let rejection pull you down. You might be giving up more than you know.

16 thoughts on “Pushing Past Rejection

  1. Great story Claude! You are point on, rejection is only tough if you let it be. If you don’t keep strokin, you’ll never get there! Thanks for leading from the front.

  2. Claude,
    I think motivation is one of the toughest things to maintain at the best of times. Add any rejection and it is tough.
    The more I read and see, the more obvious it becomes that putting your focus on other’s success is the key. A kind word, a hand up and knowing we have our hands on the greatest opportunity of our time all help. Add the strength of a LIFE community to anyone who stays connected, then rejection is quickly dealt with.
    Seeing “turn rejection to energy” in another reply reminds me of Orrin’s CD. Gotta listen to that one again.

  3. That was another great blog Claude .I really like the word refocus .You are so on the mark when you point out all we have to lose when we give up .
    Thanks man

  4. Rejection can come in many different forms. Some more personal than others. Your comments came at a perfect time as I have just received a major rejection from someone I thought was a friend. Your words and your advice to push through and move on helped me let go of the hurt and move on. This business has helped me in so many ways. This is another one. Thankyou Claude.

  5. Thanks for sharing that story Claude. As parents, we know our kids are always looking to us to see how we handle things on a daily basis. I know that one of your sayings is “If you take the easy way out in life, life will get harder. But if you take the hard way out in life, life will get easier.” Quitting when you get rejected…that’s the easy way out. Lets keep showing the way for our kids by not quitting when faced with rejection. The feeling of rejection won’t follow you around for the rest of your life..but being a quitter will.

    Rock and Roll

  6. Thanks for your inspiring words, Claude!
    I dealt with a lot of rejection in my life, and for the most part, dealt with it wrongly. It wasn’t until I found information like what you talked about here, on re-framing things, that I have been able to handle it in more healthy ways.
    I now realized most of the rejection I faced was not due to anything I did or said or whatever. It was because of someone else’s need to feel superior than me, to quiet the ache of some pain I couldn’t see in their own hearts.

  7. Your blog on rejection brings back memories of a time when we were laughed at by someone we respected for believing in community building. Our determination and excitement for the future helped us get through those tough moments.
    Persistence and the desire to do the right thing always has it’s returns when we out last the short term rejection.
    Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Hello Claude, How did you know I get rejection. My wife rejected me and tried to dump me many times before I asked her to marry me. I didn’t really pay any attention to it as I liked being in her space. This business is the same. You have to keep saying and doing nice things to people until they realize you want the best for them. Like Orrin says try being nice. There are so many people unemployed trying to build an s type business and they are not aware of this B type business. I really like the Les Giblin book “How to have confidence and power in dealing with people”. Keep sending out these golden nuggets of information.
    David Nelson

  9. When was I last rejected? Great question, easy answer. Oh about 5minutes ago. You are right you know, how you respond to rejection will either make or break you.

  10. Great blog, Claude..and such a universal topic. Rejection and negativity are probably the hardest things any of us need to push past. We are blessed to have so much information and such great leaders to follow through the minefields of life. It’s awesome, too, that we have a community of encouragement and acceptance, that makes it easier on us to turn that rejection into energy. Thanks for leading the way!!

    Keep stroking!


  11. Hey Claude,

    Awesome blog! Everyone can use a little encouragement daily to keep going and never give up. Struggles will come no matter what we do but it’s whether or not we will let those struggles get the best of us or keep pushing through. Thanks for the great example you set for us!

  12. Well said Claude being in sales if rejection held me back I would have starved. Thanks for sharing these insights, never give up you never know who you will meet around the next corner.

    God bless

  13. Hi Claude,

    Great story for people to help understand too just keep going. I’ve had many rejections but one thing I’m not is a quitter. I can’t wait to share the stage with you and help people through our stories (ok not all of them) lol. If you can’t laugh you don’t surpass.

    God Bless

Leave a Reply