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Authors: Mark McGuinness

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Mark McGuinness - Resilience: Facing Down Rejection

BOOK: Mark McGuinness - Resilience: Facing Down Rejection
3.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Mark McGuinness - Resilience: Facing Down Rejection
Mark McGuinness
Lateral Action Books (2012)
Business, Stress Management, Psychology
If you want to achieve something original and meaningful with your life, you MUST learn to deal with rejection and criticism. If you're an artist of any kind, your work will be rejected by editors, curators and other gatekeepers. And each time you put it in front of the public, you expose yourself to criticism.
If you're an entrepreneur, you face rejection by (potential) customers, partners and investors. Those same people won't hesitate to criticize you if they are unhappy (justified or not).
If you're chasing your dream jo,b you'll receive your share of rejection letters. And once you land the job, taking flak when things go wrong is part of the deal.
If you're an athlete or sports player, it's a battle to get on the team. And you'll hear about it from all sides—your coach, your teammates and (so-called) supporters—if they think your performance isn't up to scratch.
If you're a campaigner for change, you face inertia, resistance and hostility from everyone with an investment in the status quo. No wonder most people choose not to rock the boat.
Between them, rejection and criticism can rob you of your dream. Many people set out on their chosen path full of hope and inspiration, only to turn back because they couldn't deal with the emotional impact of crushing rejections and vicious criticism. If you want to avoid joining the legions of also-rans, you'll need to find practical, effective ways to deal with rejection and criticism.
Anyone who says "Don't take it so personally" doesn't understand what it's like when you are hit by a major rejection or biting criticism. At least to begin with, it's almost impossible NOT to take it personally (for very good psychological reasons). To deal with rejection and criticism, you need to acknowledge the pain—and find ways to bounce back from the impact.In short, you need to develop resilience.
Mark McGuinness explains why your reactions to rejection and criticism are completely understandable—and how to deal with them effectively. Through stories from his own experience, as well as those of famous people who faced rejection and criticism on the road to their success, he will show you that you are far from alone in suffering from rejection and criticism.And he draws on years of experience as a coach to give you practical advice that has been road-tested with hundreds of people facing similar challenges to you.
You will learn:
  • Why rejection and criticism hurt so much
  • Several ways you may be making rejection worse (without realizing it)
  • How to keep going in spite of multiple rejections
  • Why your inner critic is (potentially) your best friend
  • When to ignore the critics—and when to listen
  • Whether (and how) to respond to insults and abuse
  • Why success is harder than it looks—and how to deal with it
This is not a theoretical book. It's packed with practical tips and techniques you can apply to your own challenges right away.
Whether you're just setting out, in the middle of your journey, or dealing with the unexpected challenges of success,
will show you how to keep moving forward.

Resilience by Mark McGuinness


Learn to succeed in the face of adversity
Why I had to write this book


1. The guardians at the gate
2. The bigger the dream, the bigger the fear
3. Why do rejection and criticism hurt so much?
4. Make it something worth dying for
5. Why you need to build resilience
6. A simple but powerful way to develop resilience


7. Rejection comes first
8. It’s normal
9. Get used to it
10. Roll with the punches
11. Wallowing is for pigs
12. Seven guaranteed ways to make rejection worse
13. Don’t think about the black box
14. Are you still in the game?
15. Is the prize worth the price?
16. You gotta laugh
17. Find your tribe
18. How to fix it next time
19. Play the numbers game
20. Narrow the odds
21. The day I tipped the scales in my favor
22. Make rejection irrelevant


23. Dare to be a tall poppy
24. Is constructive criticism a myth?
25. Why we get criticism out of proportion
26. How to turn criticism into a crisis
27. Get some perspective
28. When to ignore the critics
29. Who do they think they are?
30. Your harshest critic
31. Why your Inner Critic is (potentially) your best friend
32. Eight ways to sharpen your critical thinking skills
33. Criteria i—What game are you playing?
34. Criteria ii—How good are you?
35. Your heart, your ego, and your reputation
36. When it gets personal
37. How to deal with incompetent criticism


38. What does success look like to you?
39. How much do you want it?
40. Fear of success
41. No, you don’t need confidence
42. Building momentum
43. “You’re lucky”
44. How to handle praise
45. Be kind
46. Happily ever after?
47. The fascination of what’s difficult
48. Leap before you look

Now what?

49. Time to get started
50. Let me know how you get on…

Facing Down Rejection and Criticism on the Road to Success

By Mark McGuinness

Published by Lateral Action Books 2012

Cover Design: Irene Hoffman

Copyright © Mark McGuinness 2012
All rights reserved


Learn to succeed in the face of adversity

This book will teach you practical ways to develop the
you need to face down rejection and criticism and succeed in your chosen path.

When you set out to achieve something original and worthwhile with your life, sooner or later you will have to deal with rejection and criticism.

Maybe you’re an artist, putting your vision out there for the world to see.

Maybe you’re a performer, baring your soul on the stage, night after night.

Maybe you’re an entrepreneur, exposing yourself to the verdict of the market.

Maybe you’re a sports player, in a brutally competitive arena.

Maybe you’re an employee, striving to achieve great things in your career.

Maybe you’re a campaigner for change, in the face of inertia and hostility.

Whichever path you’re on, there will be two constants:

  1. You will apply for opportunities and be rejected, perhaps many times.
  2. When you do succeed in getting your work out there in public, you will be criticized—sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly, and sometimes viciously.

Like most people, you’ve probably had experiences of procrastinating or shying away from putting yourself forward, out of fear of rejection or criticism. That’s only human. But that approach won’t get you where you want to be.

If you’re serious about making your dream a reality, at some point you are going to have to expose yourself to rejection and criticism - and find ways to face them down and move forward regardless. You will need to develop
- the ability to bounce back from failure, disappointment and hostility, and keep going.

This book will teach you how to do just that.

Based on my experience of helping hundreds of people get past rejection and criticism and achieve their goals, it gives you the ideas and actions I’ve found to be most effective - and least painful - in dealing with them.

Step by step, I’ll walk you through the process of understanding the true nature of rejection and criticism, and give you practical things you can do to build your resilience.

I’ll also highlight some of the hidden pitfalls of success, so that you avoid them and achieve goals that you find truly worthwhile.

I suggest you start by reading through the entire book, focusing on the first section of each chapter. That will introduce you to all the most important ideas, and give you an idea of the territory you’ll be traveling through, the obstacles you’ll face, and how you can tackle them.

For some of you, this may be all you need. You’ll be happy to take the ideas and run with them, applying them in your own way.

Once you’ve finished your first read-through, go back to a chapter covering an area where you feel in need of help. Look at the second part of the chapter, which will give you action suggestions for tackling that particular challenge.

You probably don’t need to act on every suggestion in the book! But I’ve included specific practical advice for every stage of the journey, so that if and when you need it, you have it.

Whatever you do, DO SOMETHING with the ideas in this book. Doing nothing, or doing the same old thing, will just get you the same old results.

If you’re challenged, stuck, or simply afraid, your best way forward is always to try
new and see where it gets you.

Why I had to write this book

The idea for this book was staring me in the face for years before I saw it.

Since the mid-nineties, I’ve been coaching people who have big dreams and want to make them happen. Many of them have been artists or creatives of some kind. Others have been entrepreneurs, or people taking an original approach to a range of careers.

My coaching work grew out of my practice as a psychotherapist—I noticed that a certain proportion of my clientele didn’t really need therapy, but they were struggling with the mental and emotional pressures of trying to achieve something original in a world that kept putting obstacles in their path. As a writer and poet myself, I found it easy to relate to these clients, and decided to offer a specialist coaching service for creative professionals.

Fast-forward to 2012, and I am coaching clients all over the world, co-ordinating time zones, and conducting sessions via webcam. I am also teaching a free creative career course,
The Creative Pathfinder
. Delivered via email, over 8,000 students are currently enrolled. It covers a different topic each week, such as creative thinking, time management, networking, marketing, managing money, motivation, and communication skills.

At the end of the 26-week course I ask the students a question:

“Which three lessons have been most helpful?”

The answer surprised me, for the most popular lesson is the one I added to the course last, almost as an afterthought:
Dealing with Rejection and Criticism

Not only was it the most popular lesson, but students have sent me messages saying: “You could write a whole book based on this lesson.”

When I first saw these replies, I realized two things:

1. Over the previous sixteen years of coaching hundreds of clients, rejection and criticism were two of the most common challenges I had helped people with. But I’d never thought of ‘rejection and criticism’ as a distinct issue; it was just part and parcel of the work we did together.

So when I read the students’ answers, it was like the moment in a Magic Eye illusion when the image pops out in front of you, as if from nowhere.

2. It struck me that I could indeed write a book about handling rejection and criticism. I had a lot to say on the subject! For one thing, I’d had to deal with my own share of rejection and criticism, as a self-employed coach, public speaker, and writer. And having spent thousands of hours helping clients with the same challenges, I had noticed common themes and solutions. Things I’d heard from clients over and over again. Things I’d said to clients over and over again.

BOOK: Mark McGuinness - Resilience: Facing Down Rejection
3.77Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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