We know that trying new things and meeting new people are integral to achieving our goals. But we also know that all these new things can lead to a lot of rejection. Rejection is hard! How does one motivate oneself to keep going even when faced with so much rejection? For me, I keep myself excited by playing a little game.
The Trick to Make Failure Fun
Do you know how to play football? Basically the goal of the game is for the team to advance the length of the field. Each team gets four attempts (called “downs”) to move the ball forward 10 yards. Generally, if the team doesn’t advance the ball 10 yards in three downs, they’ll kick/punt the ball to the opposing team. Then the advancing offensive team gets a breather and the opposing advancing team is on the line.
Basically, my trick to handle rejection is to think of my journey as if it were a football game. For example, I apply for three jobs in three days and then, I give myself a breather. In my mind, I punt it away.
Why This Works
It’s a fun, silly way NOT to see my journey as a string of endless rejections. It can mean using a 3 days on and one day off schedule just to give yourself a little break. It could mean getting a treat after three consistent times.
If I get an acceptance along the way, I keep on trucking along! To me it’s like I got that first down. I hold that acceptance in my mind and reset the counter. It makes me feel like I’m advancing towards my goals even if the win is a little bit trivial at times.
If I get a rejection, I can reconfigure my strategy, lick my wounds, and rest. It gives me the energy to tackle the next three-in-a-row with more vigor.
Focus on Small, Manageable Tasks
The only thing we can control is our own actions. And this method helps me just to focus on the repeatable tasks. Too often we set extreme goals – like one hour every day for an interminable future. We wonder (rightfully) if we have the discipline to continue doing something indefinitely.
Three times in a row doesn’t seem like that much, but getting started is the hardest part and continuing is the second hardest. Of course, if you have more discipline or are getting tons of success you can keep going. But if it turns out to be really tough from the get-go, don’t let the failure derail you.
Remember to Tweak
They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So even when we get the habit down, we do need to reevaluate our approach often.
This method gives you a built-in time to regroup. Three times without any result? Ok tweak. Three times and some success? Evaluate to see what went well and double down on that.
Don’t Focus on Results
Often we procrastinate because our project seems so overwhelming. We can’t control the results, we can’t even control how our next step will be received. We can also get caught up worrying about what happens if this is our next big break. We can fall into a spiral of worry.
- Don’t focus on playing a concert in front of millions of people. Try to get good at one guitar chord a day for three days straight.
- Don’t focus on how long it will take to become a millionaire. Think about moving $10 to an investment account every day for 3 days or some other little activity.
This emphasis takes the focus off the result.Remember that even great football teams go three and out sometimes. Then they take a break, regroup and try again. It gives me a bit of grace to deal with a string of rejections but also keeps me pumped up when I succeed. I can just envision myself trucking along the field until finally, hopefully, one day, I’ll get my touchdown!
The Trick to Make
Productivity Frugality Failure Fun
You can use this trick with basically everything that is un-fun. Do one small thing consistently three times, and then reward yourself. I don’t think we celebrate things enough. There are so many doom and gloom things in our lives these days. If there’s anything worth celebrating, then we should take the time to lift ourselves up. It encourages us to keep going.
Trying new things isn’t easy and we need all the encouragement we can get. It’s an amazing thing you’re doing trying to improve your life – don’t forget to pat yourself on the back along the way.
Conclusion – How to Make Failure Fun
What do you think of this method for facing rejection?