There’s no way around it, over it, or under it, rejection is a part of life. The way you confront and handle it can play a huge role in your personal and professional development. Here we look at five ways to push forward when all you seem to hear is no.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Being rejected is uncomfortable, whether it relates to a job, a date, or not getting enough likes on that social media post you were sure would go viral. Go into every situation hoping for the best but knowing the odds. Things are not guaranteed to go the way that you hope or maybe even prayed they would. Know at the onset that not getting what you want is not the end of the world. In fact, it may actually be a good thing because sometimes what or who we desire is not necessarily the best thing for us.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn
Adversity can be one of your best teachers. Instead of finding reasons to blame other people or circumstances, let the disappointment sink in and acknowledge the hurt. It’s okay to even shed a tear or two, but don’t allow it to keep you from moving forward. Dig deep and ask yourself, “What was this experience here to teach me?”
If it’s a professional situation, were you as prepared as you could have been? In your personal relationships, are you choosing the same person in a different package, yet hoping for a different outcome? Be honest with yourself and use the experience as a launching pad to be better and to do better…because you’ll know better.
Protect yourself at all times
At the beginning of every professional boxing match, the referee will issue a warning to the opponents. These words are important to a fighter’s safety and success in the ring, and as it turns out is also great life advice. Life is not always Instagram pretty; it can sometimes feel like a boxing ring that you have to fight your way out of.
Research shows that rejection triggers the same area in the brain as physical pain. Repeated rejection can sting like a barrage of body punches and take a toll on the strongest of individuals. During these times, it’s okay to take a time out. Honor your mind, your heart and your spirit by pressing pause on the job search for a few days or commit to being relationship-free for an extended time. This break is an opportunity to hit the refresh button and will allow time for a different perspective or approach to manifest.
Call on your tribe
Who you are surrounding yourself with is vitally important to who you are striving to become. We should all have a tribe of supportive, encouraging people who won’t allow you to dwell on the negatives and what ifs. Your tribe will draw out the best in you and challenge you to keep going. They will remind you of your strengths and hand you back your confidence when you put it down. Asses and inventory your tribe often; everyone should not and does not deserve this honor.
Don’t hate the player
If you choose to follow only one of these recommendations, this one ranks number one. Self-compassion means treating oneself with kindness and care, like we would treat a dear friend. This one quality brings a wealth of positive consequences ranging from greater life satisfaction, emotional intelligence, optimism, less anxiety and depression. Be kind to yourself because “to love oneself,” wrote Oscar Wilde, “is the beginning of a life-long romance.” And that is a great place to start.