“Freeing ourselves from the expectations of others, giving back to ourselves – here lies the great, singular power of self-respect.”Joan Didion
Rejection can be very difficult to deal with.
I know this personally because I have faced these kinds of situations in different circumstances, both personal and professional.
Needless to say, rejection is capable of bringing us down and demoralizing in an extremely significant way, especially when we are directing our efforts and pinning our hopes on a positive outcome.
After all, nobody likes to receive a nice “No”, however courteous and polite.
The awareness we should assume in this perspective is that rejection is an integral part of the growth process – in work, in relationships, in life.
Over the years I have learned that it is not possible to avoid rejection (in all its possible forms) if you really have the goal and desire to grow as an individual.
Rejection, in fact, helps you to discover your weaknesses and your areas for improvement, allows you to learn more about yourself each time and, ultimately, gives you the opportunity to grow.
The only way to avoid rejection is to remain indoors alone in your box, in the safe haven of your comfort zone, avoiding, in fact, facing life in all its beauty.
This is not the way you wish to live, I am sure – You are capable of much more.
Certainly a refusal is always not easy to digest, but through some simple strategies you can learn to deal with it and manage it better.
1 – Don’t take it personally
When you approach someone, to a greater or lesser extent you are opening yourself up to the world, so any rejection gives you the feeling that at that moment it is you as a person who is being rejected.
This is why when we are rejected we inevitably tend to take it personally.
For example, when I get rejections about things that are really important to me, I somehow feel hurt on a personal level.
The instinct is to ask myself if there is something wrong with me, if I am not worth enough or if I am not up to it.
All of this runs the risk of making me doubt myself and jeopardizing my self-esteem.
It is clear that this approach ends up turning out to be counterproductive.
So, when faced with a refusal, try to take a different perspective and consider that “No” as a refusal to your request and not to your person.
Your request is simply an expression of your person and your thoughts, it is a distinct entity that cannot be superimposed on your totality as an individual.
If your request is rejected, it is not you who is rejected, but the request.
Certainly another of your requests can be accepted.
Understand that it is very rare for a rejection to be addressed on a personal level.
Normally a refusal is received when the needs or requirements of the other do not match your request, not with you.
By calling yourself out of the equation “refusal of my idea = refusal of my person”, you will realize that most of your emotional responses to a refusal are mostly unjustified and unnecessary.
2 – Get ready
Being able to anticipate a rejection and keep myself ready to face it helps me in two ways.
First, preparing for rejection allows me to set limits far higher than what I would normally accept.
Since I am ready to receive rejection, I am also more willing to push myself beyond my natural boundaries and my comfort zone, with the aim of expressing my full potential and thus increasing the chances of getting a “Yes”.
Furthermore, preparing for rejection allows me to better manage it when it occurs because to a certain extent I can decide in advance the moves to be adopted accordingly.
All this obviously does not mean adopting an attitude of defeat, resignation or pessimism in advance.
On the contrary, being ready for a rejection still means giving all of yourself to better prepare for success and to be quick to restart in the face of a “no” or a defeat.
3 – Check what you can check
If we simplify reality by dividing it into two halves, we can place external events on one side and internal events on the other.
The first group will contain everything over which our power of control or intervention is extremely limited or even completely null: natural events, actions and behaviors of other people, the surrounding environment and so on.
In the other group, however, all those elements related to our intimate and personal sphere, such as thoughts, emotions, beliefs and actions, will converge.
In order to be able to better manage the situations in which one of our ideas or proposals are rejected, it is essential to know how to acquire the ability to influence what is in our sphere of control, that is to say all the aspects that are part of the second group .
Using our time to influence what is not under our control determines exclusively frustration and a sense of helplessness, where trying to keep under control what is actually influenced by us also makes us able to manage in the most appropriate way the situations of discomfort, defeats and, in fact, refusal.
Regardless of what happens outside, we can always intervene, to a greater or lesser extent depending on our abilities, on our state of mind and on the way we react to external events.
4 – Learn from rejection
There is always a reason, shared or not, behind every refusal.
In some cases our idea may have weaknesses, in other situations it may not satisfy the needs of the other, perhaps we have exposed it badly, we have the wrong approach, there is a basic misunderstanding or a diversity of views.
In short, the reasons behind a refusal are always there, however different they may be.
In any case, whatever the reason behind a rejection, you can treasure it.
If you can figure out what went wrong this time, you can work to improve it and make your idea or proposal more solid for the next occasion.
This will help your growth extremely significantly.
This perspective can be applied to any situations in which one is discarded, rejected or rejected: job interviews, business proposals, romantic relationships, and so on.
Your ability, in such circumstances, is to look at the situation objectively and openly, keeping yourself ready for criticism and to change what went wrong.
It’s up to you to ask the other for feedback on what went wrong and what can be improved.
Every defeat is a fantastic opportunity to improve.
5 – Understand that rejection means growth, not regression
Normally, rejection arouses negative emotions and feelings in us because when we are rejected we feel we are taking a step backwards and our goals seem closed to us in a dead end.
We have the feeling, in essence, that we are stuck, that we are not growing and that, on the contrary, we are certain that we are regressing.
We feel that we have wasted our resources and our time on an initiative that ended in nothing.
The reality, I believe, is just the opposite.
I believe that being rejected or rejected represents an unparalleled opportunity for growth.
Rejection is the best opportunity to understand your weaknesses, what others want, what the perspective of others is and how you can help both yourself and others to achieve their goals.
Learn to live side by side with rejection, it will become your best ally for growth and success.