Updated: May 14
There was a phase in my life where I was constantly getting rejected in every area of my Life. Be it via heartbreaks or getting turned down for job opportunities or friends not showing up in times of need; rejection can crush your self worth and make you feel dejected and demotivated. You might feel like the World has ended for you and you no longer will be able to have all that you have always dreamt about. But, there is always light after darkness. With the following tools, I manage to lift myself up whenever I feel rejected:
1. Understand Why it Hurts
According to Science, rejection can activate the same parts of the brain as when we are physically hurt. This goes back to our Hunter gatherer days where getting along with others in the group was essential for our survival. Any rejection or ostracizing from the group could mean death by our own community or via struggle for survival alone in the tough Jungle. This hardwired our DNA to look for acceptance. Thus, any form of rejection can trigger a threat for our survival in the subconscious which results in making us feel low, gloomy and depressed. Heartbreaks in particular can have more devastating effect than other forms of rejections because in romantic pursuits, our subconscious longs for procreation; rejection in this case triggers in our subconscious that we won't be able to find our ideal partner for procreating, hence diminishing the chance of survival of our DNA! In order to overcome these survival triggers, what we can do is become aware of our negative self-talk whenever a rejection occurs. Then we can say to ourselves, that we won't die out of this rejection! This reassurance to subconscious when done repeatedly, can lower the feelings of gloom and despair!
2. Review Why You Got Rejected
Reviewing the reason for rejection can help you look at your situation objectively. If you were rejected for a job opportunity, try to understand where you might have fallen short of their requirements? What could you have done better? This doesn't mean beating yourself up for the shortcomings! Just understand objectively, if given a chance again, how would you approach it differently? If you didn't get a call from your romantic interest after your 1st date, try to understand whether you two felt connected? In future would you be willing to ask someone out with whom you feel more connected? What steps you can take to learn how to deeply connect with people you like? When you objectively review and ask these questions, you get concrete action steps as answers. Instead of feeling bad about yourself, you feel empowered with the right steps you can take in the direction for your goals.
3. Feel the Emotions
It is ok to feel bad about getting rejected. We live in a society which values putting up a tough face, always smiling, always being happy and suppressing our real emotions and feelings. The ones who can pretend to be positive , upbeat and happy are applauded. And, the ones who feel sad and low are shamed to believe as if something is wrong in them. Feeling low is part of human nature and we should allow ourselves to feel that. If crying helps then cry it out. If talking helps, talk to someone you love or trust. Even a life coach can be of help in this regard. One way you can process your emotions is through writing. Write about your feelings and you will certainly feel better about the rejection!
4. Rejection = Redirection
Rejection when taken to our ego can hurt but when it is taken as a Redirection, it can help you to make a positive meaning out of it. Whatever meaning you assign to your situation, that is how you will feel about it and yourself. If you were rejected from a promotion, the meaning you can assign to it is "I'm not good enough for the job", "There is Politics behind this", "Maybe the right opportunity for me has not come yet" etc. So if you assign a negative & self depleting meaning to your rejection, you will feel bad about yourself and will be in a victim mode. But if you assign a hopeful and self affirming meaning to it, you will feel empowered. In this example, you can say, "Maybe I have more things to learn for this role", "I should explore opportunities beyond my current role and company for more experience and expertise" etc. If you were Rejected in a romantic relationship, instead of feeling bad about yourself, you assign the following meaning to it, "Maybe our good time together has come to an end for the better for both of us", "Maybe someone more compatible with me awaits me" etc.
5. Indulge in Self Care
Lastly, practice self care activities. Do things that make you feel calm & at peace. If you enjoy walking, dancing, listening to music, cooking, art, traveling, hiking etc, just take out time and do it. Any activity that energises you at the same time makes you feel at peace with yourself will help you overcome rejection. Spend time with people who love you and uplift your spirits. Read or listen to inspirational people. Do activities that increase your self love. Read this article which might help you to be Happy Alone!
Dealing with rejection can be hard, but when you look back, all the rejections you have been through in your entire life, you will realise that all that happened for your own good and growth. How do you deal with rejection? Comment below and share your tips.