We humans can do anything, but the fear of rejection is so powerful that it can make us step back from life in case we get hurt. That’s completely understandable, however we miss out on so much by doing that.
Rejection can come in many forms – personal and professional, subjective and objective – and there isn’t much delineation except the setting in which it occurs.. To an IT healthcare professional like me at the workplace, it could show up as a project abandoned, a team member suddenly disengaged, a plan hopelessly complex, a budget undermined by economic fallout, or an idea with no buy-in to support it. For some its at personal, say to a couple that wants to adopt, a rejection letter can be discouraging and devastating news. To a writer, rejection can come in the form of submitting your precious work that you slaved over to a publisher and being told it didn’t quite make it.
I struggle with rejection, and I am no stranger to it. It’s impossible to be a human in this world and not experience rejection. One of the hardest form of rejection is social rejection. It hurts much more than any other form of rejection because it feels like definitive proof that there is something undeniably wrong with one. We often think that something is wrong with us, and that has just been confirmed by someone else. All of the doubts and confusion that have been floating around in our brain finally becomes real.
This often happens in life, the fear of something being more compelling and prevailing than the thing we are actually afraid of. Those risks that come with a hefty chance of rejection, take you and your life somewhere extraordinary. It’s how the magic happens.
So let’s not pretend that rejection doesn’t sting. It does. However hard we hit the ground, we always manage to get back up, dust off and keep moving forward.
Should you perceive a rejection as a critical warning where adjustments behavior, direction, and strategy are required, an Attitude and Mindset of curiosity is the most essential tool. So here’s how to stop rejections holding you back and you can clear the path to the things that are too important to let slip away first:
Look at what it will give you
There’s more to gain that what you’re going for. Whether or not you get what you want, there will be other things you’ll get from trying. Every time you confront it, the easier it will be push through it next time. And there will always a Next time.
Focus on what is important
We as humans are wired for survival, which means we tend to be risk averse and this pulls our focus more towards what we have to lose, than what we have to gain. Whatever you focus on is what will become important. You can fix potential rejection, and gently shift yourself towards what you have to gain. All the reasons not to take the chance just don’t matter, because the only one that matters is this: “That risk you’re about to take might be the thing that takes you somewhere extraordinary”.
It gets you closer to what you want
There is a saying that “The right things will always find you, but sometimes you have to fight for them”. Someone or something is waiting for you. Take the chance, because this might be it. If it’s not, know that you’re a step closer to what you’re looking for, and what’s looking for you. Keep going until you find it and know that whatever risks you take and whatever rejections you go through, none of it will matter when you find what you’re looking for – which you will eventually.
Let yourself be Vulnerable
The thing is, even though we may feel we’ve moved on from painful experiences, they can still be triggered in our everyday lives and interactions. We can instantly be transported back to those vulnerable points of our life, and our behaviors and thoughts can still be products of that time. Its okay to own your vulnerability, for the beautiful, messy, very human quality it is, and know that it’s one of the best things about you.
See Rejection as an Opportunity
One of things I have learnt is that part of finding out what’s right for you is finding out what isn’t – and the only way to know that is by checking it out. Sometimes you have to move towards things so if nothing else, they’ll move out of the way and free up the space for the right things to find their way to you. With rejection comes new opportunities that you couldn’t have seen coming.
Just change your perspective to -What if rejection is not an ending but beginning of something new. – a new path, a new career, a new city, a new chance to love and be loved right back. Take the chance – you’ll either end up with what you want or one step closer to it.
The biggest threat to getting what you want is your decision to stay safe, but it won’t do much more than that. Somewhere between the fear of failing and the courage for it not to matter is where the magic lives. Remember that rejection almost always gives you a good story to tell. Own it, because it’s yours – and use it to bring the best of you – the positive, funny, brave, resilient parts of you that might otherwise stay hidden.
So my dear lovely people always be proud of your brave, fierce, open heart and listen to it – it will take you to where you need to be.
For her, writing is a way to express and connect with others. Experience has taught her that people can do amazing things with the right information, everyone has a story to tell, short bios are the longest to write 😊, nobody has it all figured out and the best people to be around are the ones who already know this.