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My 4-Step Process for Handling Rejection

Lifestyle, Mindset

If you regularly follow my content, then you already know that I’m typically talking about how people can get more out of their lives — how to more intentionally and more effectively achieve your goals. 

At Cardone Ventures, our shorthand for this is “10X,” which in our vernacular essentially means going above and beyond in everything that you do, even the targets that you set for yourself so that you can achieve more than you realized was possible. It’s a strategy, a mentality, and a lifestyle, one that has quite literally changed my life and everyday I see it have the same effect on the people that we work with, too. 

This is the sort of stuff I focus on from a content perspective, because it’s positive in nature. I intentionally work at being a more positive person because I believe that focusing on negativity leads to more negative outcomes. Secondly, like I said, having a big vision, setting clear goals, and taking action really, really works in terms of getting what you want out of life. 

But what do you do when you don’t get what you want? I tend to not focus too much on the disappointment and failure that we all can experience because, well, it’s painful. But that doesn’t mean that these experiences aren’t also instructive. There’s always something to learn. There’s always a bridge to your next plan and your next achievement. So let’s focus on that by discussing my four-step process for handling rejection. 

Step one: Accept what has happened

Listen, I’m not telling you to not be pissed. Be angry. Feel your feelings. I’ve set many goals that I wanted so badly and were so real that I was practically already living it. When opportunities tied to your goals turn into rejection, you’re justified in mourning its loss, but don’t wallow. Accept this new reality as quickly as possible.

Personally, I don’t want to spend more than a few hours processing these things because I know that if I’m spending multiple days on being upset, that I’m really just wasting my time. Reality has moved on. I know that I need to move on, too. 

When I’m in need of specific insight that I can’t garner on my own, I move on to the next step.

Step two: Seek specific counsel

Now, regardless of whether or not the goal we’re talking about here is a personal goal or a professional goal, the point of seeking specific counsel on the subject remains the same: to get perspective that is constructive and hopefully even actionable. 

What I’m getting at here is that I’m not seeking out advice because I want to be told how great I am and how this is all for the better. I’m not looking for someone to blow smoke up my ass. I’m looking for unvarnished feedback, so that when I’m setting my next set of goals, I won’t make the same mistakes. 

It might be a little uncomfortable, but ultimately things will work out better because I’m willing to hear some hard truths. Once I’m there, it’s time to move on to step three. 

Step three: Set a new target

You don’t need to race into this, but you do need to be very intentional about when you’re going to have your new goals established and I do this as quickly as possible. 

You can use your anger and disappointment in combination with what you’ve learned about why you failed at this most recent goal to fuel your next, bigger and more incredible goal, but just be certain to not let your anger blind you so that you continue to make the same mistakes you did before. 

You didn’t waste your time when you were going after that last goal. You learned things. You probably learned a lot of things. Make those learnings and experiences a central part of your new goal, and go after it with everything you’ve got. Now is not the time to give up. 

Step four: Remember that you know how to flourish and prosper

This is an incredibly important thing that I’ve learned from my friend Elena Cardone. She reminded me: the only thing that you know how to do is flourish and prosper. 

No matter what is happening in your life, you have an opportunity to come out of that experience a stronger, badder, better, and more prosperous person. 

So, if you’re experiencing disappointment today, keep in mind that in the next several years this moment might not matter at all in terms of the disappointment you’re feeling, because you have the opportunity to use this moment as something that drives you forward in helping you flourish and prosper. 

Want to learn more about how you can change your perspective and learn the skills that will help you 10X your life? Check out to see how you can spend time with the entire CV team. We want to see you succeed. Register now!