The Rules of Rejection

Move On, So You Can Move Up

Excerpt from the Book, Empowered to Win by Pastor Julian Young

There aren’t many things that intimidate us more than the sting of rejection. I’m not sure what it is, but something about being rejected makes us feel like we aren’t good enough. Let me tell you, I have had my share of rejection notices. Between being an aspiring speaker, author, and leadership coach, I have experienced some disheartening times as well as some encouraging ones. However, I have found the greater my rejection, the more worthy are the successes that follow the rejection. That’s what helped me understand the law that is at work in rejection—the law of rejection. This law states that rejection never just pushes you out, it always pushes you in a direction.

Rejection doesn’t have to define us, actually it can refine us. I have compiled a list of “rejection rules” that I believe every leader needs to know and understand. When you learn to apply these rules, no negative outcome is set. You have the power to add an alternate ending to your situation. What that will be is up to you.

Here are six things you should consider when experiencing rejection and turning any obstacle into opportunity:


Have Multiple Streams Working
Rejection is always the toughest to deal with when you fail to have multiple opportunities you are pursuing at one time. When you put all your eggs in one basket only, you are left with a sense of hopelessness when it doesn’t work out. You can save yourself from the onset of hopelessness when faced with rejection if you are willing to add a few more streams of opportunity to your success plan.

Oftentimes, what we feel is the actual “big thing” is really just preparation for the big thing that’s on the way.

Having more than one door open when trying to win in life keeps you busy, inspired, and most of all, prepared for BIG victory!

Take it Personal
I get how this sounds. But the reality is, if you are going to turn your obstacles into fresh opportunities, you have to realize the rejection is for YOU. Sometimes we aren’t actually as good as we think we are at something. Rejection is nature’s signpost to us that we need to step up our game. That, my friend, is personal.

My first real publishing contract came after one of my greatest rejections. It challenged me to step things up. I recommend you do the same.

Read Your Rejection Notice
What I love most about the blast of rejection is that it never just pushes us; it always pushes us into a direction. The question you have to ask is, “Where is this pushing me?” For that reason, I like to refer to rejections as “ejections” giving notice to us that a new season is ahead and a new path is opening up.

Don’t be in denial about some rejections. It may be time to do something else.

Check Your Motivation
Rejection also makes us revisit our “why”. That’s our reason for doing something. If the right things don’t drive us, it typically comes to the surface when we have been rejected enough times. So I encourage you at this point to ask yourself three questions:

Why are you doing this? Why does it really matter to you? Are you willing to live with the consequences of failure?


Classroom or Repair Shop?
You get to choose: either you are going to learn from rejection or you are going to be destroyed by it. In the classroom, you can heal and God can teach you. In the repair shop, you lose time, and there are more expenses and more pain.
Take time to determine that you are going to learn as much as you can from this. Adjust your attitude and tell yourself, “Class is in session, and I’m going to learn as much as possible from this.”

Rejection is Not the End
Far too many people make the mistake of thinking that after one rejection it’s over, when in fact this could be the beginning of new and innovative ideas and concepts.

You may be on the verge of solving a real world problem through your rejection. Managing rejection is a form of stewardship in life. And when you’re certain that it’s not the end, there are no limits to what can happen next in your life.