Rejection is one of the worse feelings in the world. It makes us feel sad, embarrassed, maybe even angry, or humiliated. And it can really damage our self-esteem and have us question our self-worth if we allow it.
Whether it was a job we wanted, a school that we applied to, or a person we liked, when we get rejected, we tend to go right to our own negative self-talk. You know, the voice that’s always talking in the back of our minds.
The voice that seems to amplify our biggest insecurities:
I am not good enough…
I am not pretty enough…
I am not smart enough…
I am not skinny enough…
I am not worthy enough…
And we make this experience entirely about this story. But the fact of the matter is that you are not alone in this. We have all been rejected at some point in our lives. Every single one of us. It’s just a part of life. The important thing is knowing how to handle rejection, so you don’t allow it to damper your self-worth and stop you from putting yourself out there.
Here are 4 tips to help you deal with rejection.
#1 Accept it and don’t take it personal.
Rejection can feel like a personal attack if we fear we are not good enough. But understand that people have different reasons for their preferences, and that guess what? They have nothing to do with you. Having this kind of mindset can help you see the facts instead of tuning into your own self-limiting beliefs.
Let’s say your crush turned you down for a date. Instead of reaching for a negative conclusion, try to think of this from a logical standpoint.
Remember that this person decided long ago, before ever knowing you, that this body type, this personality, this age, this look, etc. was their type. Period. You were not even part of their lives at the time. So, it has absolutely nothing to do with you or your value as a person.
It has everything to do with them. This person has an outlook on certain qualities based on their own experiences as most people do. And whether you feel they are wrong or superficial, it’s irrelevant.
#2 Applaud yourself for having the courage to approach this person.
That took guts! Revel in this act and not on the actual outcome. And think about another time in your life where you were terrified to do something and you pushed yourself anyway– maybe it was asking your boss for a raise, or maybe you needed stand up for yourself to a friend or family member, or to cut someone off who was toxic in your life, or maybe you left your career to start one that you were secretly passionate about. Whatever that thing was that you were afraid to do and did anyway? How did it make you feel when you pushed through and did it anyway? Pretty awesome right? That’s what you need to focus on! This deserves a pat on the back.
#3 Elevate your own value
Do something that makes you proud of yourself each day. Things that align with whom you want to be as a person. You can start by writing down all the accomplishments and contributions you have made in your life already and the ones you still want to make happen. What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of parent? partner? friend? sibling? What kind of change do you want to see in your community? Or, in the world?
Do things that stand up for these values. Make yourself proud!
#4 Don’t settle.
When you continue to be proactive in your self-development you will naturally attract the right kind of person, the right career, etc. into your life. But of course every once in a while, the wrong ones will appear too. As long as you are grounding yourself and doing things to elevate yourself, and your self-esteem, you will be able to spot the “wrong people” or the wrong job right away, and not allow them to waste time and space in your life. You will attract things that are good for you. You will attract things that are positive, real, and aligned to your truest self.
Accept that rejection is part of life. And it’s normal to feel upset about it when it happens. Don’t waste your time and energy trying to change it. Talk to friends about it instead if you can’t shake it. You might not even be seeing the facts because you are caught up in your mind’s story. And remember, there are always positives if you really look for them. For example, maybe you did not end up with that partner because you were not compatible, and it would have been a disaster from the start, maybe you didn’t get that job because you were meant to do something better, or maybe things didn’t work out with your marriage because you were meant to find someone that’s more aligned to you.
Look for the valuable insight instead of allowing yourself to feel like a failure and going back to your old thought patterns that tell you no one is going to love you, or no one is going to hire you, etc. And use rejection as an opportunity to become the best version of you. If you see that you could use some improvements, take some time to do some self-development or sharpen whatever skills you need for next time you go on that job interview.
Just remember to look for facts to understand the whole picture instead of letting self-limiting beliefs take over. At the end of the day, the only person’s approval you should care about, is your own.