We’ve all been rejected at some point. Whether it’s a job interview or a simple request of a friend, rejection is never a pleasant experience. For some of us, it can be completely discouraging. Perhaps you’ve put a lot of time and effort into preparing yourself for your job interview. You’ve gotten your hopes up, cautiously told people close to you, and despite all that, when the time comes, you get rejected. It’s tough to feel anything except disappointed when this happens, and yet it’s so important to do everything in your power to reframe rejection. Why? Because, simply put, rejection is a fact of life.
So, what to do? If rejection is inevitable, how do we go about carrying on in the face of it? Rather than allowing every moment of rejection to be a major setback, I make the suggestion of reframing rejection when I’m serving my clients. Throughout my many years of professional experience, I’ve encountered my fair share of rejection. If I had let each time truly get to me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. With that said, I wasn’t always happy to accept turn-downs, rebuffs, and refusals. Thankfully, after years of practice and experience with accepting difficult rejections, I’ve come to understand them for what they truly are: opportunities.
With this in mind, here are my top four tips on how to start reframing your viewpoint on rejections.
1. Acknowledge and respect your emotions
It’s only natural to feel a full range of emotions in the wake of a high stakes rejection, and it takes practice and, above all, experience to overcome this initial reaction. Disappointment, anxiety, guilt, inadequacy, and sadness are all normal reactions to rejection.
Remember that these are not only normal feelings to have after a rejection, they are also valid. No matter what your instinctive response is, don’t be afraid to acknowledge and respect your initial reaction. What’s most important is how you act after this reaction. Over time, you’ll be better at regulating your emotions around rejection, and you’ll shift into the action phase faster.
2. Learn how to reflect and regroup
Once you’ve worked through your emotional reaction to the rejection, it’s time to move into a more analytical mindset and make a new plan. Your goal should be to eventually view your rejections as a simple factor in the complicated equation of your life.
With enough time to recenter after the initial news, you’ll approach the situation more neutrally. It’s vital that you understand how best to personally regroup after a rejection. You can figure out where the situation went wrong, whether it’s something you could have handled better, or if it was a matter of circumstance that was out of your hands completely.
3. Use it as a jumping off point
It might sound cliché, but it’s the truth: we have to make mistakes and face adversity in order to learn. If everything we attempt is a success, we’ll never be forced to change our approach, therefore we’ll remain stagnant and unadaptable.
That’s why I tell my clients to regard rejection and obstacles as the opportunities that they are. We’re forced to grow in moments of loss and difficulty, and that’s the hidden blessing of these challenges. By considering rejection as the opportunity for improvement that it is, you can not only learn to take it in stride, you can also improve your chances for the next time you go out on a limb.
4. Be tenacious
Once you’ve allowed yourself to feel your emotions, convened with yourself, recentered, and finally analyzed the situation to see how you could improve, it’s time for the most important part: giving it another shot. In today’s world, it’s impossible to succeed without at least some difficulty, and that’s why being tenacious is one of the most important skills you can learn. It’s tough to be noticed, let alone recognized, and often the person who works the hardest winds up being the most successful.
Rejection is not an enjoyable experience, however with time and practice, you’ll shrug it off and carry on with ease. You need to have a hunger to succeed in order to persevere, and it’s often this drive that makes certain individuals stand out in a sea of people.
No matter how you’re putting yourself out there, you’re bound to face rejection from time to time. What you should remember above all else is that the simple act of being rejected doesn’t define you. Rather, it’s what you do after a rejection that sets the tone for the rest of your journey through life. You can shrink away from the risk and compromise on your wildest dreams, or you can make yourself grow and become more resilient along the way.
With decades of combined experience in business, entrepreneurship, and life coaching, I’ve run the gamut of relationships and reactions to rejection. This has led to a deep understanding of how most of us perceive being turned down, and how we can tweak this reaction in order to serve us and our goals. If you’re still wondering about how to reframe rejection and carry on in the face of it, don’t hesitate to contact me today!