By Sharon Jeon
Rejection is never fun, whether it means missing out on a coveted job or being snubbed by a clique or a crush. In fact, it just plain hurts! While defeat can throw you off balance, it can also lead to valuable self-examination that bolsters your resilience going forward. After all, whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Follow these tips to lift your spirits the next time you feel defeated.
Let it out. Staying strong and composed is nearly impossible if negative feelings are eating away at you. Tell a trusted confidante how you feel. Explain that this situation is difficult for you, and that you would appreciate gentle but honest feedback. Once you have her ear, express your anger, frustration, or anxiety.
Remove yourself. Try to be objective and pinpoint what really happened. What would you tell someone else who was in your shoes? Can you see new insights when you take yourself out of the equation? Share these observations with your confidente as well. She will be able to appraise how realistic your understanding of the situation is.
Go within. Make a genuine effort to see your part in not getting what you wanted. Don’t deny the answer that arises. Lying to yourself may make you feel better temporarily, but if you don’t admit the truth, you may very well make the same mistake again with a different cast of characters.
Get creative. Sometimes the best way to relieve the stress of a tiff, a break-up, or a pink slip is to put your pent-up energy to good use. Channel your frustrations into painting, journaling, or even just walking. Turn any negative energy into a positive output by indulging in some “me time,” or try volunteering to get out of your own head.
Look ahead. You’ve felt your feelings, you’ve looked at the situation objectively, and you’ve taken responsibility for your part. It’s time to move forward. Both good and bad experiences provide opportunities to learn, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there—apply for another job, ask for a retest, or widen your social circle. With each new opportunity comes another chance to succeed.
Pay it forward. You did it! You weathered defeat with perspective and poise. Now it’s your turn to help someone else whose mood has been dampened by rejection. Share your insights with her, and celebrate your own ability to move through your struggles. Your confidence will deepen even as you lift another person out of her own rubble.