On Learning from Setbacks.
Rejection can be tough to handle.
As medics we are not always that great at dealing with it.
From medical school to foundation years and beyond, there is often a comfort which arises from doing what we know – passing exams, accruing knowledge and stepping into jobs which are pretty much guaranteed. As long as we stick to the well-trodden path, there’s rarely much to truly upset the balance of things.
And so getting yourself out there when breaking into another sector can feel daunting. Suddenly you feel exposed and vulnerable. And in the push to get your idea out there, rejection is part of it.
Interestingly though, rejection (or perceived rejection) can then become an opportunity to be creative, to improve, take on feedback and a chance to look inwards and really ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing.
Because if you are not fully aligned with what you are doing, it might be hard to stomach the next bit of advice that one of my mentors recently gave me, when discussing a recent setback:
‘It’s a numbers game. Expect 100 rejections before you get your ‘yes’. Toughen up, it’s part of the process’.
But instead of taking it as an absolute, approaching rejection with a curiosity and a creativity can take you on an interesting journey and can even start to be fun.
For me part of ‘toughening up’ process involves the re-examination of the ‘why?’. If you are confident in the ‘why’ of what you are doing, it then becomes easier to craft your own ‘yes’ around the setbacks and rejections.
And it gets quite fun.
And so when you hear ‘no’ unexpectedly, I would encourage you to get creative.
Take on all feedback. (If you get rejected without feedback, ask for feedback)
Tweak and improve.
Upgrade your current version.
Burn the midnight oil.
Do your homework.
Craft your own yes.
It does pay off. And often in amazing and surprising ways that you may never have imagined in the first place.
Dr Aisha Malik
Founder, Doctors In Business
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