How to Turn Rejection into a Catalyzer
Rejection hurts. Whether in business or private, it can be truly painful, yet something we all experience throughout life.
However, it doesn’t have to hold you back!
While sometimes we anticipate a rejection coming, it can also hit very unexpectedly leaving us very uncertain. This is the worst form of rejection as we were in no way prepared and at times it can feel like our feet are swept away under us.
Depending on the degree of the rejection and how it is communicated, if we are not careful it can impact us more than it is worth. After the first feeling of frustration, unfairness or sadness, the rejection can as a domino-effect trigger feelings of disrespect, exclusion, self-doubt etc. leaving us ruminating and digging ourselves further down if we are not careful.
Yet there is always a choice and no matter how impossible the situation might seem at first, we choose how we react and move forward.
Once we have become aware of our feelings and reactions, and we have identified why we feel that way, we can start working with our brain to switch our mind-set. This way we can turn the rejection, that seemed devastating and hopeless, into a catalyser of opportunity to grow and move on!
So how do we do this?
We are all different and we surely have to find our own personal way of dealing with rejection.
Research has found that developing a strong positive mind-set helps us deal with setbacks, rejections and other negative emotions in a more constructive way and helps us gain confidence and foothold again in order to move on faster towards new paths and endeavours with courage and a smile.
Take a step back to process the rejection and acknowledge your emotions
There is nothing more energy consuming than to put a courageous smile on your face when you are still in an emotional turmoil.
It just doesn’t work. It is much better to accept that you need time out to gain distance and deal with the feelings the rejection has triggered.
Short-term this will be painful; yet long-term you will gain clarity and strength. You will get to know yourself and your boundaries better.
Ask for feedback
Sometimes it is not possible to get feedback and sometimes it is also not the right person to get the feedback from.
Yet if the situation allows it, the person is someone to respect and you think it could be useful, then it is always good to go back and ask for constructive feedback once you are open to it.
In the moment do not to object, just listen and say thank you.
Take the feedback with you, digest it, see if it makes sense and should be considered and then learn from it.
For example maybe without knowing it you had become too negative or self-centered at work. Then it is good to get such feedback, pause, accept, (apologize if necessary) and then counter-steer.
We are all here to learn and feedback is valuable for this. It is nothing to be afraid to get and it shows willingness and openness as well courage to ask in order to learn from it.
Learn from the rejection and grow with it
After having taken time out and asked for feedback (if possible), don’t spent time dwelling on the actual rejection and how unfair it is. It might be unfair and it might have been totally unnecessary. Yet accept that it happened and learn from it.
Find out why it happened and what you can learn from it:
- What is one thing that I can learn from the rejection (and feedback)?
- Which one thing can I do differently the next time?
Also remember that sometimes the rejection has nothing to do with you but with outer circumstances. Yet you can always learn – whether it is to deal with a situation differently or just to deal with your emotions and reactions differently. There is always room to learn.
Evidence that you are getting out of your comfort zone
On a side note, often when we think about it a rejection happens when we try to push our limits.
So in a positive light, the rejection also shows you that you are trying to be in charge and are getting out of your comfort zone to live your life to the fullest.
Whether the rejection was personal from a friend or a love or business-related like losing a project or losing out on a promotion, fact is that you dared to put yourself out there and that is worth a celebration!
Treat yourself with compassion
Say no to your inner-critic. Rather than putting yourself down thinking that you are not worthy, stupid etc., treat yourself with compassion. Find kind positive affirmations. If you haven’t worked with affirmations before, think about positive things that you are striving for and identify yourself with. Turn those into “I am’s” and work with them saying them out loud everyday. It might feel strange and intimidating in the beginning, yet with time – if you doing on a consistent basis – you will see your mind switching – slowly but steadily and your self-compassion and self-worth go up.
Focus on the good in life
Turn your focus to what you still have in life and show those people and things gratitude. This in itself will help you gain perspective and you might find yourself realising that the rejection was for the better.
If you feel that it is hard to find at times, then try to focus on this task every day to find at least three things to be grateful for and why you are grateful for them. The why is particularly important to anchor and give the statement meaning.
On tough days, such gratitude’s can be as simple as that the sun is shining so that you can go for a walk in nature.
Don’t let the rejection define you
Very importantly is to not think that something is wrong with you. Not everything is in your hands and your opposite might have his or her own reasons or things to deal with.
Keep the rejection in perspective and don’t let it get out of proportion.
Just because one company or one love rejects you, doesn’t mean that you are incompetent or unlovable. This is just how life sometimes plays games with us. Even if it is easier said than done, it is up to us to grow from it and rise again.
Don’t let one person’s opinion or one single incident define who you are.
Your self-worth should never depend upon someone else as more often than not it isn’t the true picture.
It is temporary not permanent.
The only constant in life is change. So whatever rejection you are dealing with, remember that also this shall pass.
You are in control and you decide how long you want to feel down because of it and when you are ready to take action and move on.
Most of the time you will realize that not everything and everyone is supposed to stay with us all life. Sometimes what seemed a great match or opportunity in the end just wasn’t for you.
If you are open to it new opportunities will follow – often leading to the better.
Keep going – stay proactive.
After you have processed what happened, it is up to you to grow, learn and take action in order not to dwell in the past and be kept back by negative emotions related to the rejection.
Don’t let it make you feel stuck, because stuck stinks and the longer you wait to take action, the harder it gets.
Considering the above suggestions, focus on the good in life and what you can influence. Just keep moving – step by step – with the lessons learned in mind and build yourself up to take action and move onward and upwards.
Next time you experience rejection, turn in it into you friend.
Walk with it briefly and use it as a teacher to learn about the areas of your life that might need improvement. Let the experience help you grow and use it as a catalyzer to create new opportunities and move forward wiser and mentally stronger than ever before.
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