Reject Rejection

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Principle #18 in Jack Canfield’s book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” is “Reject Rejection.” Jack often talks about this in relation to asking for help. However, rejection can come in many different forms.

I remember the first time I took the Security+ exam. I failed it.

For me, this was a huge rejection. That inner voice could have easily started saying things like:

  • You can’t pass this exam!
  • Who are you to think you deserve this certification?
  • What are you thinking?

I rejected all of those thoughts. Instead, I reapplied my efforts and took the exam again. (I passed the second time.)

If you’ve failed any certification exam, you should reject those thoughts too.

Fail! Fail! Fail! or Reject Rejection

I remember talking to someone that failed a certification exam. He told me that when he finished the exam, the screen flashed:

You failed.

You Failed!


I sincerely doubt that the results were displayed this way. However, I do understand that he might remember it that way. It’s just a matter of what you focus on.


No matter how a failure result is displayed to you, it can feel devastating.

Along the same lines, CompTIA has increased the difficulty of the Security+ exam. This has resulted in more people failing it the first time they take it. This can feel like a rejection. However, you can reject this rejection.

Reject Rejection and Try Again

As an example, one person recently emailed me with this:

I took my Sec+ test last Tuesday and failed with a 720. Do you have any recommendations to help improve my test score? I’m scheduled to retest Thursday. Thanks!

I love that he took 100% responsibility for the results. He wasn’t blaming. He wasn’t complaining. He was simply asking what he could do different to pass the exam the next time he took it.

Here’s a snippet of my response:

Sorry to hear you didn’t pass, but you’re close – probably only one or two questions away.

I’d look at your printout and see what area you are weak on and go back over those topics.

Hopefully you have a study guide that includes a map of the objectives to where the objectives are located in the book. If you have the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide, that map is in the introduction.

Also, whenever doing any practice test questions, your score isn’t what is most important. Instead, the most important goal is to understand why the correct answers are correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. This way you’ll have a much better chance of interpreting the live questions and answering them correctly no matter how CompTIA words them.

I was extremely grateful to hear from him about a week later.

Thank you for your assistance and tips, I successfully passed the Sec+ exam today. I’ll be sure to recommend your textbook and GCGA Premium website to my peers.

It reminded me of the quote from Winston Churchill:

Success is not final,

failure is not fatal:

It is the courage to

continue that counts

Reject Rejection Everywhere

The same concept applies in any area of your life. No failure is final. No failure is fatal. Any time you hear a “no,” you don’t need to accept it as the last answer.

I remember doing a fun exercise in a Jack Canfield seminar. All of us roamed the room and asked people the same question asking for support (such as will you help me publish my next book). Each of us were told to say “No” nine times and say “Yes” on the tenth request.  The result was that all of us heard multiple “No’s” and then we heard a “Yes.”

This is the same in real life. You rarely hear a yes to your first request. However, if it’s something you really want, you’ll keep asking and eventually, you’ll hear a “Yes.”

About This Post

I’ve been learning from Jack Canfield (of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) since 2008. I credit much of my success (including authoring or co-authoring more than 40 books) to applying principles in my life that he teaches. I’m currently going through his book “The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be,” covering one principle a week.

Here’s a link to other musing’s on Jack Canfield’s Success Principles.

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