Rejection-It's a Beautiful Thing!
Rejection: the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.
We all have experienced it. Due to its tendency to happen so early in life, it tends to be key in dictating our future, how we make decisions and respond to the outcome. They say that to overcome one’s fears, you just have to face them. So why is rejection so difficult to overcome? We face the fear of rejection every day and have experienced it hundreds of times. Yet, the fear still resides in us all no matter our age, background, or experiences.
Recently, I have had my share of rejection in every aspect of my life from dating, career, and friendships (even my loving and loyal dog Maggie). When I share my stories with friends and co-workers I often get the usual responses to encourage you to “stay up” in life despite the struggle you are experiencing. “Don’t worry, something better will come a long.” or “You are amazing no matter what you do.” You have all heard similar things. Even though people mean well, it doesn’t fix the sting you are feeling from rejection in the moments you are feeling them. It also doesn’t silence the fear of waking up to another day where you are vulnerable and have to face rejection again. But if rejection is part of life, I suppose we have only one choice- live with it.
Living with rejection is never an easy thing. But I have discovered three ways to make a mind shift and become resilient in the midst of rejection. I`m going to refer to some of my favorite authors and speakers that I have learned from as well so you can tap into their wisdom and face rejection like a rock star!
REJECTION IS 1/10
The first thing I have learned is that rejection is "1 for 10". What this means is that rejection is actually a very rare thing. If you think about all the times you’ve been rejected in your life, compared to the times where people have accepted you, or things have worked out, it’s actually quite a small percentage. Obviously, the more risks we take, the more chances we have at experiencing rejection. Which is why we often find ourselves lacking in the desire to take risks; but, taking risks is key to growth and development. The lessons you most remember in life, are the moments when you have been successful and things worked out. Rejection is rare and if faced will build a character of grit for most.
RECOGNIZE REJECTION IS TEMPORARY
The second thing I have learned comes from one of my favorite dating gurus author, speaker, and YouTuber Matthew Hussey. One thing I have come to internalize is rejection is temporary, and regret lasts for much longer. In one of my most recent rejections, I remember distinctly feeling a ping of disappointment hit me. But after about 10 minutes, the ping went away and I realized that really, what had happened was actually for the best.
During the times when the rejection “ping” is deep and intense, it's important to shift our mind and remember you have faced rejection before and overcame. Why should this time be any different? Don’t wake up and waste your life away because of a “ping” of emotion! Rejection is temporary. The regret you will feel from wasting your life and letting that rejection define you-will last forever.
NARCISSISM AND INSECURITY
The third and final mind-shift I will share that has helped me in overcoming the fear of rejection is to be careful with the line of narcissism and insecurity. Narcissism is a case in which we think that things shouldn't happen to us, or that the universe should bend and think the way we do. We think to ourselves that rejection should NEVER happen to us because we are too fabulous, too perfect, or too nice. We get frustrated about our rejection because of our personal beliefs. Alter your beliefs and attitude and you can avoid unhappiness in most situations.
On the opposite hand, we need to be careful of falling in our insecurities. Where we think that nothing good happens to us. That we aren’t good enough. Or that we don’t have anything to offer because we have been rejected. The balance between these two is what we call humility-and should not be taken for weakness. Real humility is not low self-esteem or avoiding compliments and confidence. It’s actually being confident enough in oneself to know that you do have a lot to offer and being okay with the fact that what you have to offer may not be for EVERYONE!
While rejection is never a fun thing, it does and will happen. But it should not define who we are or what we are capable of becoming. Another amazing speaker named Jia Jiang has a fabulous Ted Talk and blog about “rejection therapy”. Jia’s method of overcoming rejection is to desensitize himself from the pain of rejection by putting himself in positions to be rejected over and over again! He does this 100 times and video tapes his results. He also shares the valuable lessons he learns each time he is rejected. From reading his blog, watching his videos, and even trying the “rejection therapy” myself, I learned that rejection is not a thing that defines me, but rather a defining thing. What I choose to do in the face of rejection ultimately leads to where I will be and who I will become. Keep in mind that every time we think we are being rejected from something good- it most likely is us being re-directed to something better!
By: Anna Robbins