Updated: Apr 29, 2020
What actually is ‘rejection’? If ‘rejection’ is an interpretation of or a situation, does it even exist? Hear me out… How you feel is dictated by how you think, this is something I experience with my patients daily. We use this to stimulate personal development. If multiple interpretations exist surrounding every situation, surely you can choose how you feel towards that situation.
This being said, rejection is a sequence of thoughts that can be interrupted. Let’s take a typical example, you ask someone out and they say no. If your thought process is “they said no, they don’t like me, that was totally rejection” you create a painful emotional thought process. It hurts. The same with if you don’t get the job you want, or if an article you have written gets critical feedback. “It’s my fault, I am not good enough.”
On the other hand, there are two sides to every coin. How else can you approach the situation, or process someone else’s feedback? “Maybe they are interested in someone else, why would I want to be with someone who wants to be with someone else?” Suddenly, conceptions surrounding rejection have disappeared. C’est vrai, rejection no longer exists for you.
I call this process ‘rejection recovery’, like any time of healing it can take time. No one expects you to read this article and magically change forever. This is the start of an evolution, your own personal revolution. It is very possible to adapt your mindset. It is also very important to remind yourself not to take these situations so personally. So many of these circumstances have nothing to do with ourself, try and see the other side of the coin.
I have three simple steps for you. Whenever you feel yourself spiralling into your ‘rejection relapse’ I want you to re-read the following steps.
1. Other peoples opinions do not shape you
Shit happens. Always has, always will. We can’t control what happens around us but we can control how we interpret it, how we deal with it and how we react to it. Someone’s interpretation of you, negative or positive, says far more about them than it does about you. Their interpretation of you or a situation do not define you, do not let them change your opinion of yourself. You are still the same person you were before this incident happened.
Every time someone is rude or treats you badly they present you with an opportunity to realise you no longer need their approval. These moments allow you to place boundaries and build your own self-esteem instead of worrying about pleasing them. These improvements to your boundaries and to your self-esteem lay the perfect foundations for you to welcome the right relationships, be it personal or professional, on your own terms.
2. Rejection is equal to evidence
If you live within your comfort zone you are unlikely to put yourself in a position to receive any rejection. If you are living your life fully you are truly experiencing people, places and things. You are pushing yourself. Enjoy the feeling that not everything will go your way. See this as a ‘mental fitness’ experience that enables you to build your mental strength. Rejection is your proof, do not be afraid.
3. Do not become your own rejection
Build your mental strength, as you would your physical strength. Practice not allowing yourself to feel defined by others. Do not make generalisations about yourself. Romantic rejection does not make you unlovable, professional rejection does not make you unemployable. Think about the great people throughout the history of human-being whose ideas have been rejected until years after their existence. The first person to hazard a guess that the world might be round probably faced a fair bit of rejection.