Mine Brilliance Out of Rejection

Every year for the past nine years, a business agent has pitched my presentation to one of the industry’s premiere organizations. This is a stage that has been graced by the top one percent of all speakers, thought leaders, and authors in the world; this opportunity would be considered the “TED Talk” of my particular sector. Once you speak for this organization, the rest is history.

This year’s rejection email from my agent was short but encouraging: “I’m so sorry. They did not select you this year. Their terrible loss!!! I will suggest you again with my next proposal next year.” I wrote back, “This is exciting news. I am so happy you told me that they didn’t select me. Now I am going to take my game to the next level.”

Rejection is a gift more valuable than gold because it can shift you from average thinking into brilliance.

My friend, Willie Jolley, says a setback is a setup for a comeback. Rejection sets you up to come back more brilliant than ever. Rejection does not keep you from brilliance–it pushes you closer toward it!

Brilliance is nothing more than a mindset. You are pre-wired to be brilliant. How you show up to life is directly related to the results you are getting. If you aren’t happy with your finances, your family, your business, your job or your health, there’s only one place to look–in the mirror.

Are you looking for a new breakthrough? Are you ready to take your organization or career to the next level? Are you seeking a new challenge or aiming to shift into a new role? Embrace rejection — it will push you outside your known capabilities and reveal new opportunities for excellence. The key to embracing rejection is to focus on mining the brilliance out it.

Mining brilliance out of rejection requires audacious living. The posture and disposition of audacious living is to possess a daring attitude of confidence with a high disregard for conformity, conventional thinking, or a common existence. Embracing rejection means breaking out of your own mold and fighting against accepted norms. These are the tools you can use to chip away at the surface of rejection until you see brilliant new thinking underneath.

Embracing rejection requires a shift in your thinking. Many people view rejection as a sign that they’re going in the wrong direction. Faced with rejection, they turn and go right back the way they came. Brilliant individuals view rejection as an unexpected fork in the road, shifting them in new directions toward greater success.

To fully embrace rejection, you must celebrate it! Reframe the way you think about rejection. See it as a gift—a blessing in disguise. Find ways to appreciate those who have rejected you. My rejecters have done me a favor; they have saved me time, energy, and money. What have your rejecters done for you?

You may be thinking, “Embracing rejection may work for some people, but in my job, rejection has real consequences and could set me back.” This is surface-level thinking. On the surface, rejection ALWAYS seems like a setback. However, what sets brilliant thinking apart from average thinking is your ability to see past this initial setback and mine the rejection experience for the real gold–the opportunity to shift into your own brilliance.

You may have heard the advice “embrace rejection” or “think differently” before. This may not seem revolutionary to you. What is revolutionary is the transformation in your life when you commit to applying these ideas. I know firsthand—the results of your efforts will transform your life! Don’t believe me? The proof is in the pudding. Meaning, try it for yourself, and find out!

I experienced plenty of rejection after I wrote the book Release Your Brilliance (Revela tu Brillo). I received 13 rejection letters from major book publishers before I sold the rights to the book. Instead of interpreting all those rejection letters to mean my book wasn’t worth reading, I viewed those letters as signs to keep moving in different directions until I found the right publisher. I sold the rights to HarperCollins, an amazing and well respected publisher.

Release Your Brilliance went on to become seventeenth out of the top 100 books being read by Corporate America, according to 800-CEO-READ, and it is now available in multiple languages! Several corporate clients have ordered thousands of copies of the book, and at a convention for an international organization where I spoke on the topic of success, the bookstore sold out of it! I am so thankful for those rejection letters that shifted me closer and closer to HarperCollins.

Others have also mined their rejections for brilliance. There are countless stories like that of the famous basketball star Michael Jordan, who was cut from the varsity basketball team in high school. He could have accepted that rejection and decided he wasn’t good enough to make basketball his career. Instead, he looked for ways to improve his game until he was the most brilliant basketball player he could be. Now he is more than a famous athlete—he is a household name.

It is up to you to mine the brilliance out of your own rejection experiences. Do you want to transform yourself? Do you want to shift into brilliant new ways of thinking? Are you drawn toward excellence? Well, in what areas of your life are you facing rejection right now? Refuse to interpret that rejection in a conventional way. Reframe the way you think about your rejection, and be grateful for it. Then you can start to mine it for the brilliance that is waiting to be unearthed!

The organization that rejected me for the ninth time did me a huge favor, because I wasn’t ready. I needed more seasoning. Thank you, Rejection, because you are an amazing teacher who invites us to look within and decide how we will soar to the next level.

Shifting your thinking and embracing rejection requires intentional focus on creating new mental habits. It took me years to mine my rejection and shift into a brilliant career that I crafted for myself. Many of my readers ask me to teach them the steps I went through to shift into my own brilliance, so I did exactly that–I wrote down the steps. I created the Shift Your Brilliance System so that you can learn in a matter of weeks what it took me years to accomplish. The system will teach you to make massive shifts in how you approach your life that will result in massive shifts in your results.

I realize that you may have also had to deal with rejection for things far more drastic than being refused by a publisher. Things haven’t worked out the way you expected and wanted. Understand that not everyone is going to appreciate you. There will be people who will reject your genius and overlook your potential.

Those people and situations are your gold mine; in them you will unearth the opportunities that are ready and waiting to shift you to a new level—all you must do is mine the brilliance out of your own rejection.

About Simon T. Bailey
Simon T. Bailey
Simon T. Bailey travels the world speaking to audiences about how how to build a bridge from their current reality to their brilliant future. He is the author of the best-selling books Shift Your Brilliance: Harness the Power of You, Inc. and Brilliant Living: 31 Insights to Creating an Awesome Life. When he’s not working, he enjoys rooting for the Buffalo Bills (hometown team), going to movies and eating hot apple pie.