My first agent decided not to represent my second book, The Secret Laws of Attraction: How to Get the Relationship You Want. Ouch! I really liked her, too. In the years since she handled my first book, she has become a big, hot shot agent. Darn it all! It doesn’t matter how much success you’ve achieved (Coach Yourself to Success is an international bestseller), rejection of any sort, for any reason, still hurts. My heart actually ached.
The best way to get over rejection is to have a very good Plan B in in place. That way, you can immediately get moving, which minimizes the pain.
Here is a simple strategy in 6 steps for dealing with rejection:
1. Mope around for a bit.
I remember a very good seminar leader. The seminar leader said that it is a joy to be angry when you are angry and a joy to feel sad when you are sad. I gave myself permission to wallow and be disappointed for one full day. Have your own pity party.
2. Find out why.
One of the most brilliant coaches I ever met, the late Thomas Leonard, said that you should try to find out what the “no” means. (Don’t do this if you are still angry or moping around.) For example, let’s say your date said he/she no longer wanted to see you. So you ask why. Then they might give you some useful information. For example, “I don’t want to be with someone who has children.” Or, “It’s your awful bad breath.” Then you can realize it isn’t personal. Or you can take some constructive action.
3. Take immediate and positive action to forward your original goals.
In my case, I contacted a publishing consultant,. I had a good chat with her and sent her the proposal to get suggestions. You might immediately go out on a date with someone else or send out your resume to another company. You’ll feel better having taken positive action to get back in the ring as soon as you can.
4. Keep a reserve of options.
If you are only dating one person and they reject you, that really hurts. But, if you are dating a number of interesting people and one rejects you, it may sting a wee bit. But you’ll soon be over it. The strategy is to have a Plan B, C and D lined up. This way you can take step 3, above, as soon as possible.
5. Trust in the grand scheme of the universe.
It is true that when one door closes, another opens up, but sometimes it isn’t obvious where that new door is. Ask yourself, “How is this rejection a good thing?” For me, ultimately I had faith that there would be a great agent who loved my work and wanted to work with me on this project (Plan B). If not, I would make oodles more self-publishing (Plan C).
6. Bolster yourself.
Ask for support and encouragement from people who love and respect you. Tell them very specifically what you’d like from them (words of encouragement, flowers, cards, to go out for a coffee and a long chat, etc.).
Thank you to all my readers who have sent me terrific emails about how my books helped them to change their lives for the better. It inspires me to keep writing! If you have any other words of encouragement, please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.