It was Sunday morning when I got to know Jim Gaffigan. Well… I got to know him by reading the Parade Magazine in our local paper. I already knew that Jim (we’ll use a first name basis) was both hilarious and likable, but I found out that he’s quite insightful too! I recommend the whole article, but let me snapshot one quote that really stuck out to me.
“Rejection has been a really important gift in my life.”
A gift? Really? Did someone hear him wrong? After thinking about it for a while, I came to this conclusion: “gift” is the perfect way to look at rejection. I think Gaffigan hit it right on the head. Most people don’t see the positives associated with rejection. Why would they? They were passed over. They didn’t get the part in the play, or they were benched in the ballgame. Where is the gift in that? But there’s more to it. It’s a combination of how you see it and then how you handle it. Rejection can either break you, causing you, perhaps, to give up, or it can be a catalyst for you to work harder on bringing out your best. It can be a rededication where you demonstrate your persistence, focus, and determination. Walt Disney faced rejection many times when he was starting his career in Hollywood. This is what he said about it, “All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
How can you turn rejection around into a gift?
- Give yourself permission to feel down. Disappointment is very human. Accept it, feel it, and then move forward.
- Rejection is not Personal. Remind yourself of who you are and the value you have to offer… and a rejection will strengthen you.
- Share these moments with your trusted friends. Let them be your sounding-board. They will give you straight advice. And they will be there to support you.
- See the endgame. You may have lost a battle, but the war is far from over. Look at all the people who have accomplished great deeds and then look at how often they were rejected. But they continued because they always saw the big picture, the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Cheer. With every journey of value, you will run into a series of “no’s” before you finally find that person who is willing to say “yes.” Cheer because you are one step closer to your goal.
Perhaps Gaffigan wasn’t the first of his comedic cohort to make it, but he sure has had a long and fun ride since he decided to hang in there. It indeed turned out to be a gift. You can read the full interview from Parade Magazine >>here<<