(4 Minute Read)
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It’s in our DNA
We have all faced rejection at some point in our lives. Whether it was affection from another individual, a job application, or even getting 5 minutes of someone’s time. Yuval Noah Harari, the author of the best-selling book, Sapiens, spent years figuring out why humans fear rejection so much. Here is what he found.
At the hunter/gatherer level, humans used to hunt in groups as that was their best chance of survival. To be rejected from the group was a death sentence because a single human left in the wild to fend for himself was just too impractical. Dr.Harari concluded that this fear of rejection has been ingrained in human DNA since then which is why humans fear it so strongly.
Here is the good news: It’s 2017. You will not die from rejection anymore.
Your Parent’s Advice
There is this truth across books, movies, and sales presentations – that anyone in business or any industry must be comfortable with disappointment and rejection. This lesson has been cast down on millennials by our parents and grandparents who believe they went through much harder times. They grew up in times of war and poverty whereas we were handed the easy path.
Fortitude – “Courage in the midst of pain or adversity”
You’re Not As Special As They Told You In Elementary School
In the real world, you will quickly realize that most of what was taught to you by your parents and grandparents are true. You are going to start to lose in ways you hadn’t before. The competition for jobs will be fierce, strangers will be less friendly, along with much more. Guess what? That is okay!
What is not okay is fostering an attitude of losing or being accepting of disappointment. You must remain as hungry as ever. Especially starting out in the workplace or in your new business, you must be so hungry to get that “yes” and to not be deterred by the rejection. Set a standard for yourself and don’t drop it for anyone else.
Finding Balance in all of This
Remember, getting too comfortable with rejection can be a dangerous cycle. Whether you are brought down by a mishap at work or something in your personal life, it is important to ensure you bounce back.
Here is how you find balance in rejection:
- With every rejection: seek a lesson from it.
- There is always more to learn from a loss than a win
- Life is short, don’t take things too seriously
- Give back: things like charity work and donating can free your mind from the constraints of society
As Yuval Harari found, you will not die from rejection anymore. It is an outdated characteristic engrained in the human DNA that you can overcome. Whether you triumph through victory or face rejection, consistency is the differentiating factor that will allow you to navigate through whatever life throws at you.