3 Productive Ways to Deal with Rejection
Rejection can come in many forms and can affect people in different ways. The one piece of advice I try to give myself, and others, is to not take it personally. This is easier said than done for many people though. Putting yourself “out there”, whether it’s for a job, a relationship, a friendship, or even just speaking or writing your opinion for others to judge – can be incredibly scary. The first time I sat down to write my opinion on a topic, I did so anonymously, not taking any personal credit for the blog piece, and allowing it to either sink or swim without my involvement. When it received positive feedback, it increased my confidence to take credit for my next article, and the one after that, and to keep writing.
However, a negative comment, or a rejection, isn’t really the end of the world. The fact of the matter is that it can be constructive, if you take it that way, and it can help you grow. It can open your eyes to a weakness that you didn’t see in yourself, or your efforts, previously. You can now work on strengthening your weaknesses. Rejection may lead you in a new direction that you might not have gone on your own. There is power in rejection, if you look at it the right way.
Being rejected from your dream college, or employer of choice, may lead you to a more entrepreneurial path than you would have taken initially if the safe path had worked out. Being rejected by a friend or relationship may allow you to open your life to new people that you were not expecting to connect with previously.
The problem with rejection is that it can discourage you. It can keep you from trying again, or trying something new. The feeling of inadequacy or shame that you get from rejection can be harnessed to drive improvement in your life, if you let it. There is not one person on this earth, who hasn’t failed at something they truly wanted to succeed at, but the pain does subside and a new route can be uncovered.
So what can you do when you are feeling the weight of rejection? Here are some ideas:
- Get back out there. Try something else or try again with an improved plan. Take some action.
- Understand that the rejection isn’t a reflection of you, personally. Some things are a good fit and some things are not. You are not a fit for everything.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. The odds may not always be in your favor, but if you keep trying, you are more likely to increase your likelihood of success.
It’s hard in the moment of rejection to feel like there is a silver lining to that experience, but often times there is – if you take a step back and look for it. What strategies do you use to deal with rejection?