April 28, 2017 10:16 am

For many of us, rejection is a painful and all-too-familiar feeling. If you’ve ever been picked last in gym class, dumped by a date, or heard “we regret to inform you” after a job interview, you’re acquainted with that sinking feeling of rejection. For inventors, though, it feels personal. When something as near and dear to you as your brainchild is turned down, it can be easy to get down on yourself. Often, this leads to spiraling thoughts of “I should have done better” or “if only I had done this differently.” However, with the right outlook and attitude, you can make something positive out of your invention’s rejection to learn and prepare yourself for your next at-bat. Whether a patent has been rejected, a product search company has dissed your idea, an investor has changed their mind about supporting you, or an acquaintance has said some nasty words about your idea, you can follow this advice to pick yourself up and learn from rejection.

Don’t Quit

Thomas Edison failed. To be precise, Thomas Edison failed more than 2,000 times before he invented the incandescent light bulb. Failure is a part of the learning process. It teaches us how to learn from our mistakes and apply those lessons to the future. Creating an invention isn’t easy. It’s not a short journey, either. It will take a lot of hard work and patience to make strides with your idea. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. It can be tempting to quit, but the experience you’ll gain from persevering can help you to be better in the future.

Learn from Constructive Criticism

Criticism can sting. It already hurts enough to hear “no” and when you also have to hear exactly why your idea has been rejected, it’s like salt in the wound. However, if you can learn to not take constructive criticism personally, you can improve your product, your presentation, and your plan. People who review your product are experts in their fields and they’re not going to sugar-coat their feedback. If they tell you there’s something wrong with your packaging, go back to the drawing board and see if you can improve it. If they tell you that you seem impersonal in your product pitch, practice it in front of an audience and let your personality shine. Feedback and criticism can be incredibly beneficial to you and your invention if you don’t take it personally.

There Will Always be Disbelievers – Prove Them Wrong

“Haters gonna hate” may sound like a silly sentiment, but it has its merits. It’s human nature – any time someone (you!) believes very strongly about something (your invention) others are going to try their best to tear you down. People are scared of passion. It’s not nice and it’s not fair, but it’s true. But, with the right attitude, you can be motivated by their negative comments and use your energy to improve yourself and your product. If you truly believe in your invention, let that belief encourage and empower you to prove your haters wrong. There is nothing more sweet than being able to prove wrong people who said you couldn’t achieve something.

Unfortunately, rejection is sometimes a part of the invention process. Learning from rejection can help you to improve not only your product, but also yourself. When faced with rejection, resist the urge to quit, don’t take criticism personally, and let the naysayers empower you to reach towards your goals.

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