“Rejection just motivates me to keep trying and to try and get better.”
If it were only that simple. The truth is, rejection can really crush your soul.
And it hurts more if you’ve invested months and years in a project and then it gets rejected. Add to that the struggle to pay rent and keep a relationship together while you pour your soul into your work.
If it’s social rejection you’re dealing with – it can keep you from trying anymore. The same with dating. It can hurt so badly that you just want to give up.
So how can we cope?
Go ahead and take it personally, up to a point, then move on.
There’s no way you can’t take a rejection personally, so you might as well admit it. It hurts.
“Sit with your emotions”, as they say in psychology, or “process the emotion.” This just means, don’t fight it or deny it, let it sink in – feel it authentically, then move past it.
You can’t let rejection crush your soul, or you’ll never be able to try again. Look at the big picture. Consider the odds. Especially when looking for work these days. The odds say, you’ll always get more “no’s” than “yes’s”.
That applies whether you’re looking for potential mates, making friends, or trying to get ahead professionally.
Every writer out there gets hundreds of “no’s”, but all it takes is one “yes” to get the book published.
Keep rejection in perspective with everything else in life.
Your rejection didn’t happen in a vacuum.
If you think back, you’ll remember facing rejection all through your life. You didn’t always get your way. You lost football games. Some other person stole your date. You survived.
You’ve probably survived social rejection before at one time or another. We fall into cliques. It’s not easy to change your social circles. Don’t forget; you’ve dealt with rejection and bounced back.
Everyone has experienced a break up. Maybe more than once. Try to remember how you found another partner.
Almost everyone has been laid off from a job. Career rejection can be overwhelming. You might go months without a paycheck, but you can always find another job.
Remind yourself of all the rejections that you’ve survived.
Visualize your ongoing success.
Visualize yourself dusting yourself off and trying again. Picture yourself being resilient.
Break it into smaller steps. Imagine yourself meeting somebody new. Picture yourself talking with her. Start slow. Imagine asking her for coffee.
Visualize getting the gigs you want. Visualize getting more clients, or selling more products. Visualize selling your book or screenplay.
One by-product of visualizing your success is a relaxed sense of professionalism.
When you expect to succeed, it helps build confidence. Expect some rejection, too. Expect resilience.
Look for potential lessons in rejection.
Sometimes criticism can be enlightening. If it’s worthwhile criticism, you’ll want to pay attention to it. Be open to learning new things.
If somebody breaks up with you, consider hearing them out. Maybe you did something you can correct next time. You could learn from it.
If someone criticized your work, make sure they actually know what they’re talking about. If it’s true, do something about it. Work smarter.
When you do hear criticism, especially in your career – try to get a second opinion. If two or more people agree, consider what they they’ve told you. How else are you going to get better?
Rejection can remind you to maintain an overall attitude of growth.
Remember, as a friend, or a spouse, or partner, we are always growing. Every time we make a friend or ask someone out on a date, think of it as a learning experience
We are always evolving – all of us. We learn from experience and put that knowledge to use. Try not to be overwhelmed by failure. We learn from our mistakes.
Instead of putting so much pressure on yourself to succeed at every new goal, think about goals as opportunities to do better. Remember, there will always be more opportunities.
Some people are absolutely devastated after a series of rejections. Keep everything in perspective. The next time you may succeed because of something you learned.
Remember, everyone has a fear of being judged.
Everybody is petrified of failing.
Sometimes taking large risks will result in large mistakes. You might be better off taking smaller risks. Taking smaller risks can lead to small victories.
If you’re having issues with social situations, try just talking to the guy sitting next to you. Try sitting at the table with others. Spend time having coffee with someone you want to date.
When you have a small success, celebrate it. In fact, celebrate your ability to move outside your comfort zone – whether you succeed or not.
Celebrate the fact that you tried something different.
- Did you write a blog?
- Did you make some phone calls?
- Did you add yourself to Yelp?
You’ve been getting out of your comfort zone! Celebrate the small stuff.
If you have received a string of rejections, and it just has worn you down to the point where you’re just no longer excited about your social life, or your career, I suggest therapy.
I work with people who’ve encountered social rejection, with people who’ve experienced difficult break ups, and with people who are having trouble with professional success.
If you’re overwhelmed with a series of rejections, and want someone to talk with, call me free for a phone consult.
If you decide you want to meet in person, come to my free first one- hour session.
I try to make the process as easy for you as possible, because I know how hard it is to reach out.