Dealing with Rejection: Strategies for Success

dealing with rejectionEveryone handles rejection differently. Some laugh it off. Some cry it out. Some turn to chocolate… If you’re feeling particularly hard hit after rejection, take heart.

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The Pain of Rejection

Humans are social animals. It can be brutal to feel rejected by a parent, friend or even a group of strangers. The sensitivity we feel in the face of such adversity is the basis for our humanity. If you were immune to it, you’d be nothing short of a psychopath. It’s important to give yourself time to feel—even if it’s painful. Feeling some of the downs along with the ups is the essence of life. But if rejection is putting you in a downward spiral, it’s time to take control. An emotional funk that goes on for too long can rob you of the joys of day-to-day life and for some people it’s a trigger for depression.

If rejection has got you feeling like a failure, it’s time to reframe your perspective. Failure is simply a stepping-stone on the road to success. Most people who achieve success do it after a long list of setbacks. Success is not about not encountering adversity, it’s about how you deal with it. With that in mind, it’s definitely true that your attitude will determine whether you become a pro or remain an amateur. Whether an agent has rejected your novel or the girl of your dreams has chosen your best friend, every bump in the road is an opportunity to learn how to do it right the next time. Learn everything you can about what went wrong. If you lost out to a guy with major mojo, learn how to double your confidence so that rejection no longer knocks you down. The point is: you can’t change how other people react to you, all you can change is how you react to them.

The Story of Success

J.K. Rowling was rejected by twelve publishing houses before becoming one of the bestselling authors of all time (and the first author to become a billionaire.) Steven King was rejected thirty times. Oprah Winfrey’s incredibly difficult childhood shaped her: ultimately allowing her to become one of the greatest empathizers and entrepreneurs of our time. Henry Ford’s first two car companies failed. In the beginning, Jay-Z couldn’t sell records. Vincent Van Gogh couldn’t sell paintings. Michael Jordan was cut from his high-school basketball team. Are you noticing a pattern here? It’s not that successful people don’t fail. They do. But successful people don’t let their failures define them. They let their vision define them. If you’ve been letting a lackluster review get you down, get out of it. You don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea, just be the best you you can be, and If you’re feeling like you hardly know yourself anymore, take time to rediscover yourself and what you offer.

Rejection in Love

The rejection of love can be particularly harsh—especially if it seems to be happening repeatedly. But it’s never hopeless. Love is often a question of timing. If you’re reeling from a difficult rejection, now is a great time to invest in yourself, so you can become the person you want to be. From maximizing your online dating profile to being the magnetic person in the room, taking a course is a great way to take ownership for what you can improve. It’s way better to be in control than to feel like bad luck just keeps happening to you. If your online dating profile isn’t getting many hits, check out this course in Online Dating Hacks. If you want to be more cultured, sign up for a course in Art History. If you’re worried about your looks, learn to apply makeup like a pro or lose weight without dieting. Take a class from a charisma coach or just boost your confidence. The point is: if you want to succeed, you’ve got to do something. Rejection is just part of the game of love. If you need some help getting over someone you still love, there’s a course for that. Very few people end up with the first person they love, but everyone loves someone who’s willing to go after what they want out of life.

Coping Mechanisms

Here are a few tried and true strategies to help you cope when it all seems to be too much.

Phone a Friend

If you’re still having difficulty getting over a bad break, that’s what friends are for. Have a good chat, a good laugh, or a good cry with a good friend who can help you regain some perspective. Support groups can also help for certain types of rejection. But generally speaking, it’s probably best to avoid posting your feelings to public forums like Facebook, you know, because no one sounds their best in the aftermath of a setback.

Take a Break

If you’ve just missed out on a professional opportunity, there’s nothing wrong with taking a small break in order to re-group. Spend a bit of energy doing something you know you’re good at. Rebuild your confidence one day at a time. The same goes for dating. Focus your energy on your family and friendships and the love of your life may simply fall into your lap.

Really and Truly: It’s Not You, It’s Them

Try not to take rejection personally. If you’ve been passed over for promotion, ask your boss what you could have done better. If you’ve gotten up the nerve to ask out a girl in the checkout line, don’t assume she said “no” because she doesn’t want to go out with you. Assume she has a boyfriend or a thesis due, or any other number of valid reasons for not accepting your invitation.

Confidence

It may not be easy to feel confident in the face of rejection, but the number one thing that attracts people to someone is confidence. Take stock of all the things you do well. Remind yourself of times when you were brave, bold and heroic. Make of list of things you think someone could love about you. Chances are, you’ll discover there’s a lot to love and all you need to do is love yourself enough to invest in your future.

Humor

Whenever possible, try to laugh at the situation. The more you can joke about the ridiculousness of rejection, the more likely you’ll be to get over it Being able to laugh at ourselves is an important element of our humanity. If a botched romantic bungle has left you high and dry, why not enroll in G-School to improve your sex life?  At the very least, it should be a nice distraction. Better yet, learn how to be a comic master with this comedy class.

Get Fit

Hormones can play a big role in how we handle stress. Studies show we are much more capable of dealing with stressors, like rejection, when we engage in rigorous physical activity. Try this five-star rated Fitness Course for a fraction of what it costs to join a gym. Get onto a proper nutrition program at the same time, to maximize your results.

We all have down days when things aren’t going right, and it’s all a bit overwhelming. You’re not alone, and if you need a bit of help to regain perspective, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Psychological research shows that the best way to cope with rejection is to take control and take action. Don’t let someone else define who you are. Take the initiative to become the person you want to be or simply love yourself for who you are today. (Learn how to get healthy self-esteem with this course on self-love.) Make yourself a list of what you are going to do to get the results you want starting right now. Don’t stop. At the end of the day, the only way to know you’re going to succeed is when you can see the wreckage of former failures in the rearview mirror.