When trying to accomplish any major goal in life, rejection and obstacles are inevitable steps that every professional has to encounter not once but multiple times in life. The key is to learn from your mistakes and persist through it until you succeed. However, this is easier said than done. The critical differentiators between success and failure is the ingredient of the person, who befalls the same. It is not aptitude that creates the difference but attitude, as has been recognized in numerous highly cited research works (Shao et al. 1988, Jennifer et al. 2006; etc).
I have personally encountered numerous professionals who are actually extremely competent but find it hard to deal with failure and perceived rejection from the social and professional network due to the same. Counseling helps in more ways than is perceived in making or breaking these otherwise highly competent people.
Success of course is the ultimate souvenir and the only testament to your efforts. However, dealing with rejection is critical to avoid burn-out and maintain self poignant efficacy and confidence to go on. Coping strategies include using emotional or instrumental support; self-distraction; denial; religion; venting; substance use; self-blame; and behavioral disengagement.
Of these, using social support (for emotional, instrumental and terminal goals), denial, venting, behavioral disengagement, and self-blame coping had negative effects on individual satisfaction and ends up in boosting sub-lingual dissonance within the mind. As more and more professionals used these coping strategies in dealing with the day’s most bothersome failure, the less satisfied they felt at the end of the day and subsequently their performance felt the effect of a dissonant mind in the long run. This creates job churn or disengagement from organizational citizenship behavior or even group affiliation.
In contrast, positive reframing (i.e. trying to see things in a more positive light, looking for something constructive feedback from first hand experiences), factual acceptance and humor coping had positive effects on satisfaction. It has been observed that professionals using these coping strategies in dealing with failures, became more satisfied and less stressed they felt at the end of the day (Stoeber et al., 2006). The finding that positive reframing of relatively bitter experiences in the professional sphere was helpful for professionals having extremely high perfectionist goals and long term self-improvement commitment is particularly important. This establishes that even people high in perfectionistic concerns will have a tendency to be dissatisfied no matter what they achieve, are able to experience high levels of satisfaction if they use positive reframing while attempting to cope when dealing with perceived failures. The same also applies for all professionals even if they are somewhat in the “cross the fence” stage where they are yet to taste success majorly.
Do let us know, if this helps you in dealing with stress from fears of failure and rejection.