Dealing with rejection

BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong - The Philippine Star

Feeling unworthy and down because of the unfair comments and criticism hurled against you? We don’t like it, but sometimes these things happen. Do not hit back. The way to process this is to ask: Why would you allow others who do not know your value determines how much you are worth? You don’t. So, keep your peace, focus on doing what is right and do it well, and the results would prove them wrong without you having to say a single word. #PassionPurposeProductivity

You may wonder why a hashtag is attached to the material because this is what I have posted in my digital spaces. In a world of social media ranting and bashing, young people have suffered immense cruelty and bullying, and many do not know what to do or how to deal with it. And this is why while I was rummaging through some old books of mine, I find that this old material still makes sense today. However, I have freshened it up a little and added some commentaries on it.

How do you deal with rejection? It can make you or break you. Consider the following stories:

A man who went to a psychiatrist and complained about an inferiority complex: the doctor listened to him for a while, then gave him a good news/bad news diagnosis: “The good news,” said the doctor, “is that you don’t have a complex. The bad news is that you are inferior!” How is that for empathy?

I still remember the teachers I had in high school who blatantly told me in my face, “Francis, you are the dumbest kid in school, and you will never amount to anything good in life.” I guess there will always be insensitive people who make it their career to reject people. But what they do not know is that rejection can sometimes damage the person for good.

Let me tell you a story about Little Joseph.

Little Joseph had polio. Someone finally took him to Sunday school, but the teacher neglected him. Later, the young people subjected him to ridicule and avoided him because of his crippled condition. He dropped out of class and carried an extreme hatred for the church and the Lord Jesus Christ. But he continues his studies in school. When he finally earned his doctorate from Heidelberg University, a man slipped his arm around him, saying, ‘Joseph, I think a lot of you; you and I could do much together.’ The young fellow responded warmly to this welcome attention and encouragement, and in time Joseph Paul Goebbels became the propaganda minister for that man: Adolf Hitler! And the rest is history.

We ought to be careful with people who are undergoing extreme difficulties in life. They need all the encouragement we can give. Our employees need it, our kids long for it, and our spouse craves it. It is our responsibility to help people up so that they can recover from their temporary setbacks.

But suppose we are on the receiving end of rejection? Suppose nobody appreciates what we do? Suppose we’ve done everything, but somehow, life’s accidents happen, and by the way, they are bound to happen! Then remember the story of Kristi.

When Kristi Yamaguchi fell to the ice in the 1992 Winter Olympics, the crowd groaned. Everyone thought the fall had destroyed all her chance for a gold medal. Now that’s widespread rejection. But Kristi quickly got to her feet, flashed a smile, and resumed her performance. She received high scores from the judges, despite the mistake, and she won the gold medal. It happened because though she fell, she didn’t stay down – she got back on her feet.

The pandemic has caused a lot of headaches, heartaches, and losses. Do not be too hard on yourself. There is no value in dwelling in your corner feeling sorry. You will have to pick yourself up and recover. There’s just one thing you have to ascertain. That you pursue the right things in life, and when you do, then every setback you experience will be a stepping stone to something better the next time.

I like the commercial I heard that says: “Let your comeback be stronger than your setback.” It is a cute line, and I like it. But I am dead serious with what the Book of Proverbs says (Prov 24:16): “for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.” And that is experience speaking.



(Francis Kong’s highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership Master Class Online will run this June 22-24, 2021. Develop leadership skills that translate into personal, career, and business growth. For inquiries and reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 or and for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)


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