One of the most painful feelings you can experience is rejection. There are few experiences that are more emotionally devastating.

We’ve all felt it, but some rejections are tougher than others. For instance, two people meet, begin seeing each other and then break up and that hurts. But most of the time they go on to find someone else and the pain fades.

But when you’re working, facing a hard, cold rejection is different. For one thing, it often means that you won’t be earning money. For another, it eats away at your confidence. I’ve had doors slammed in my face so loud the windows rattled. One time a guy grabbed me by the arm, escorted me out to the edge of his lawn and threatened, “Don’t you ever come back here again.”

You stride into every kind of situation when you knock door to door and enter the homes of strangers. You learn about rejection and how to work, and deal, with people. There are lots of ups and downs. For every pitch that landed a sale, there was the possibility that the next time wouldn’t be as profitable. Walking through all kinds of neighborhoods and facing strangers was not easy. Many times, I saw hows in disarray; more than once the lady of the house sported a black eye and bruises. Lots of times I knew that as hard as I tried the sale, that sale was just not going to happen, and there I was, back out on the hot sidewalk with many more doors to knock on.

But I pressed on. Whatever success I’ve known in life is not because I’m a genius. It’s because I wouldn’t quit.

When rejection hits—and I guarantee, it will—you have a choice. You can retreat and tell yourself repeatedly what a failure you are. You can use up a lot of time reviewing what went wrong and second-guess yourself. Doing these things will accomplish one thing; they will eat away at your already dented confidence. Instead, learn from these experiences. We all make mistakes. Accept it. Then keep going and don’t make the same error. Seek new ways to do things; think in different ways. That is called growth.

And  excuses don’t count. There is plenty of blame to go around, but to move forward, it is necessary to face your errors and admit them. George Washington Carver said, “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” I agree. It’s a convenient way out of an uncomfortable situation and never makes anything better or solves a problem.

SO, take a deep breath and don’t panic. Do not fear the worst. Exhale. Panic and fear will hold you back if you let them. And consider the words of Thomas Jefferson: “Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”

The preceding is adapted from The Winning Advantage: Tap into Your Richest Resources by Raymond Houser ©2018 Raymond D. Houser and published with permission of the author.