One thing that hurts our identity in a big way is experiencing rejection. When we feel rejected, it can cause us psychological pain, which can affect us over time, if it is not addressed.
It is important that we know how to overcome rejection because it will:
- Affect our emotional well-being.
- Affect our thinking.
- Erode our confidence and self-esteem.
- Cause us to question our sense of belonging.
It is never a good thing when we experience rejection. We should always remember that we haven’t been the first person to ever experience rejection and we certainly won’t be the last. It is always up to us to do something to overcome the emotions we feel whenever we experience rejection.
One of the more painful experiences of rejection I felt in recent times was when I wanted to publish my first book, Hoops and Freedom. Mind you, at that time, I really didn’t understand the publishing world and I didn’t know what I was doing when it came to publishing my book.
At that time, I thought writing the book would be the hardest part, but it turned out to be the easiest part. The hardest part was getting the book out to the readers I wanted to reach. I did what I thought was the most obvious thing and that was to contact publishers asking them to publish my book. I’m pretty sure my approach was not the recommended process and it wasn’t a surprise that every publisher I contacted rejected my book. And some of them did not even bother with a response.
I also contacted distributors asking them if they’d be willing to distribute my book if I self-published it. They all also rejected my book. That experience of rejection after rejection really affected my confidence to the extent that I didn’t write again for over six years. During those six years, I had to learn a lot of things about writing, publishing and marketing, which I may not have done had I not experienced all those rejections.
There are things we can do and techniques we can apply to overcome the effects of rejection quickly. Here are five things to remember during times we feel we have been rejected so we can get over it quickly and shift our attention back to what we want.
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself. It is very easy to play the victim and have our own pity-party. We should remember that there are others who are in a worse situation than we are. This is where we can apply the law of relativity — our experience is neither good nor bad until we relate it to something. Our job is to relate our situation to something much worse and ours will always look good. All it takes is a mental switch so we can look at rejection from a different perspective.
- Clarify your intention or motive. A rejection is feedback that ideas or values between two or more parties did not align, which means an adjustment has to be made. This could be an adjustment of our intention, which will automatically change our approach or actions we take when communication our ideas or values. The more clarity we have, the easier it will be to get the right messages across.
- Get back on the saddle. Sometimes all we can do is accept that something did not work out and recommit to doing something different or trying a new approach. Whenever we don’t get the result we want, it is strengthening our character and our resiliency. It is not the first time we have been rejected and it probably won’t be the last time. All we can do is to pick ourselves up and continue moving forward.
- Look for the hidden reward. Within every experience we deem bad or negative, there is also something beneficial in it. Maybe we are required to do something different or better, and what we had done isn’t good enough for the current situation. Rather than getting all upset by it, we should be appreciative for the opportunity to try something different, which may end up being better for everyone.
- Let go of the idea of rejection — it doesn’t exist. This is probably the most important lesson — rejection is actually a myth. For example, when I wanted my book published by a publisher, prior to contacting them, I had no publisher. After I contacted them and they said no, I still did not have a publisher. Nothing changed! My life did not get worse — it stayed the same. So the idea of being rejected did not apply because I wasn’t in a worse situation than before. The more we play with the idea that rejection is a myth, the more we will realise that it is something we create internally, and we always have the power to change it.
Rejection is often self-created which means we have to take full ownership for the thoughts and emotions we have as a result of an experience we deem as a rejection. If we apply the ideas mentioned above, we’ll get over our rejection a lot quicker. If we don’t, then we’ll find ourselves affected in some way, which will ultimately affect the way we act and the results we create. It’s time to put rejection behind us once and for all.
Question: What is another way to overcome the pain of rejection quickly?
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