J.K. Rowling and 6 more stars share their wisdom on the pain of rejection.

We've all been there.

You get fired days after starting a great new job. That promotion you're pulling for goes to someone else. You’re turned down for a job even after acing the interview.

Rejection comes in many forms, so the list goes on and on.


When you’re still reeling from the sting of rejection, it’s hard to see any kind of positive outcome. Instead, it’s easier to let yourself get pulled into a whirlpool of negativity, doubt, and self-criticism.

But it’s important to realize that rejection happens to everyone, especially those who eventually succeed.

Want some examples?

Here are seven inspiring quotes from successful people that will help you bounce back from rejection:

1. "I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat." — Sylvester Stallone

GIF from "Rocky."

In the mid 1970s, Sylvester Stallone was a broke and unemployed actor. With a mere 100 bucks in the bank, he sat down to write the now classic film "Rocky."

When it became a success, his fortunes changed overnight. In the bleakest of circumstances, he had the drive to keep going rather than give in to defeat.

2. "Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life." — J.K. Rowling

Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images.

By now, we all know that J.K. Rowling once lived on welfare as a single mother in Scotland. At her lowest point, she sat down to pen the "Harry Potter" series. The manuscript was rejected several times before getting published but went on to become a blockbuster success.

3. "I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." — Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is an undeniable basketball legend. But as a young, up-and-coming high school athlete, he didn't initially make the cut for the varsity basketball team. He used this early rejection as motivation to become the iconic athlete we know today.

4. "Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength." — Arnold Schwarzenegger

Photo by Lennart Preiss/Getty Images.

Arnold Schwarzenegger pushed past his early struggles as a poor Austrian immigrant to become an accomplished movie star, body builder, and, yes, politician.

5. "Rejection is the greatest aphrodisiac." — Madonna

Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for J/P HRO.

Madonna was once a struggling musician living in New York City when her early songs were rejected by Millennium Records. But she forged ahead and two years later released her debut album, which has since been certified five-times platinum.

6. "By the time I was fourteen, the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing." — Stephen King

Photo by Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images.

As a young writer, Stephen King faced constant rejection. His manuscript for "Carrie" was famously rejected dozens of times. But he kept writing to eventually become one of the best-selling fiction authors of all time.

7. "Failure is another stepping stone to greatness." — Oprah

GIF from The Oprah Winfrey Network.

Before Oprah became the queen of daytime, she worked as an evening news anchor in Baltimore. But her bosses were unhappy with her on-air performance, and she was she was fired. She soon found another job as the host of a daytime television show, and the rest is history.

Each of these now mega-successful people managed to come back from the extreme lows of rejection.

Their stories show that even though rejection happens to us all, it’s often just a natural stepping stone to success.

Now go out there and use their quotes as motivation for your own success story!

GIF from "The Waterboy."

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

I saw this poster today and I was going to just let it go, but then I kept feeling tugged to say something.

Melanie Cholish/Facebook

While this poster is great to bring attention to the issue of child trafficking, it is a "shocking" picture of a young girl tied up. It has that dark gritty feeling. I picture her in a basement tied to a dripping pipe.

While that sounds awful, it's important to know that trafficking children in the US is not all of that. I can't say it never is—I don't know. What I do know is most young trafficked children aren't sitting in a basement tied up. They have families, and someone—usually in their family—is trafficking them.

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While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


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