Can we just cut right to the chase and say that rejection is probably one of the worst feelings a person can feel? I mean, really? Is there any worse feeling? Rejection. Feels. Terrible.
And it feels so terrible because we often take rejection personally – we believe that when we are being rejected it means there’s something fundamentally wrong with us, and because our deepest desire as human beings is to feel like we are actually good enough, rejection doesn’t really help us in that cause.
But, the truth is, we’ve all been rejected, and we’re all going to get rejected again at some point. And if you can honestly sit there and tell me right now that you’ve never experienced rejection I’m going to feel very concerned. Concerned because it means you have never put yourself out there, or taken any risks, or made yourself vulnerable in any way, shape or form. And I can’t imagine one could feel much too much joy, excitement, real love, or satisfaction in a life lived this way.
And although rejection is SO hard to take, you need to know that rejection is actually a good thing. It means you are putting yourself out there. You are being bold, you are taking risks, you are showing up in life and saying “Okay life, what do you have for me? Let’s do this thing!!”
So next time you get rejected remember these 3 things:
As much as you think rejection is personal, it’s not. It’s preference.
Because someone does not prefer you as a lover, employee, or blogger of the year, it doesn’t mean there is something fundamentally wrong with you. It means for whatever reason you weren’t the right fit for that person or position. And chances are, if you really think about it, and after the sting of the initial rejection has subsided a bit, you might actually realize they, or it, wasn’t the best fit for you either.
Rejection gives you some time and space to re-group, re-focus and re-evaluate what’s important to you and what you want to do about it next.
If it’s about being rejected from a relationship, you get to decide if you want to try the casual dating thing, be single for a while, or with all your new found free time, go out and get good at something else (in my case, after a terribly messy and long-time-coming breakup in my early 20’s, I decided I was done being the guilt laden girlfriend of an overly needy mama’s boy and decided I was going to become a really good swing dancer. And so I did. And funnily enough, met my now husband of 9 years the first night I went out to the swing dance hall).
If it’s about being rejected from a job, you get to decide what the next step is and what direction you want to take your life. Do you want a career change? Do you want to go back to school and upgrade? Do you want the same position in a different and maybe better company? Do you want to take time off to travel? Do you want to move down to Costa Rica and open a B&B? You may honestly have some options now.
Rejection gives you the time and space to look at any squeaky wheels that may need a little (or a lot) of grease:
We all need to be intentional about looking at ourselves and honestly reflect on any areas that may need a tweak or tune up. And as I said before, although rejection is not personal, there may be some areas of your life that need a little work in order to become a more desirable job candidate, grad school applicant or emotionally healthy, responsible, and respectful romantic partner or friend.
And learning more about and growing in who we are makes life so much more interesting.
Not to mention the fact that the more knowledge, expertise and experience we gather the better the job we become qualified for. And the more we focus on our own mental health and personal growth and development, the happier we feel with ourselves and the more meaningful our relationships become.
So yes, rejection sucks. There’s no arguing that. And after any said rejection we need time to grieve. Time to crawl around on the ground and say “WHY MEEE!!!!” or “IT’S SOOOOO NOT FAIR!!!”
But once we’re done with all that, it’s time to call a best friend, a sister, a brother or your mom or dad. Whomever is really good at letting you yell and cry and tell you why the rejecter is the one who is missing out. The person who is going to remind you of how amazing you are and how this rejection does not define you.
And then, once your ego is a little more intact, you are going to move forward and not let this rejection have the final say because you know, I know, and we ALL know that you are so much more than another person’s subjective preference.
If you found this valuable, please share it. And if you do, let me know so I can thank you.
I’m Julia Kristina MA, RCC, an I’m a CBT, Mindfulness, and Positive Psychology registered (aka licensed) therapist and life coach out of Vancouver BC.