In any part of life, rejection can be painful. For entrepreneurs, rejection can be a surprising and painful blow. In fact, in my own experiences with entrepreneurs, I’ve seen that the ability to be generally successful in most things can make a sudden, major rejection become almost overwhelming.
Being rejected for a major deal or losing a big-time client is tough. It can make it tough for your business, too. But learning how to overcome rejection, again and again, will provide valuable growth and learning opportunities that you won’t get any other way.
Don’t Let Expected Success Override Facts
Rejection can be especially challenging for entrepreneurs who have experienced repeated success in most other areas of their lives. Confidence and optimism are must-have traits for entrepreneurs, but sometimes, they can become vices.
In some ways, this can be similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect, a form of cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate their own skills or knowledge, even in areas where they have limited competence. While successful entrepreneurs are rarely incompetent, they may overestimate their chances for success based on previous outcomes or their own self-confidence, rather than quantifiable facts.
When our brains anticipate a desired outcome, we can feel as though success has already happened. But this kind of anticipation can fuel false confidence, obscuring objectivity about how things are actually going. Visualizing success is a helpful tool to inspire our teams and stay focused on a goal. The key is to never allow your visualization to morph into expectation, or you could be setting yourself up for magnified pain if things don’t work out as hoped.