If you are on your journey of achieving a goal of yours – be it in your career or personal life and/or relationships, chances are you, too, have already dealt with, or are going to deal with some form of rejection.
There are many ways to deal with rejection. When I brought the concept of rejection up in one of my recent posts on LinkedIn, many of my colleagues responded with their suggestions for how to deal with it.
Here is how some professionals handle rejection:
- I take it as a sign that it could be time to change course.
- I go right through it! No denying the pain, no pretending to be OK. I remind myself: Expert skateboarders fall way more than the amateurs. And there’s nothing quite like a good hot tea to soothe a wound.
- I remind myself: It’s not personal! It rarely is.
- When I feel calm, I try to find out if there’s something worth learning about the rejection and go forward from there…….
- I look at rejection as bringing me one step closer to acceptance. Nobody gets accepted 100% of the time so the faster you get rejected the requisite number of times, the faster you’ll get accepted.
In exploring the way I ideally like to deal with rejection I have come up with the following 6 practical steps to help both myself, and the clients I work with and serve, deal with rejection.
Acknowledge what is.
As I noted above with what one of the experts mentions with regards to dealing with rejection, the first step is to acknowledge and accept what is. There is no value in denying that you got rejected. Sure, it may distract you from feeling hurt, but ignoring or whitewashing the fact that you got rejected will only push your real feelings away, having them fester and then stir up once you get triggered in a circumstance you feel safe in (usually with the ones you love the most.) Best to acknowledge and accept what is so that you can move forward from the experience in a healthy way.
Acknowledge your courage.
It takes courage to take action, especially when you know that there is a possibility that you will get rejected. Acknowledge your courage. You took action. You could have sat there thinking or worrying about what could happen if you were to get rejected. This worrying and thinking could have very well left you at inaction and much further away from your ultimate goal. Acknowledge (and even celebrate) the fact that you are taking action and taking the steps to help you reach your goal(s.) It shows how committed you really are.
Ask yourself, ‘Now what?’
Once you have courageously and honestly accepted what is, you have positioned yourself at the starting point to be able to move through the experience of getting rejected. You are now more open to asking yourself the question(s) that are required of you to be able to take the necessary steps to move forward. By asking yourself ‘Now what’? in an open, honest, and non-judgmental way, you will recognize that this rejection is simply a hiccup on your journey to your ultimate goal (whatever that goal is.) When you are honest with yourself, you will understand that your ultimate goal is much larger than this experience of being rejected. Getting rejected isn’t going to stop you from getting where you want to be. Asking yourself ‘Now what?’ will remind you that you are not going to allow this experience of getting rejected stop you!
Remember WHO you are.
Knowing and remembering WHO you are will help you to realize that you are so much more than this experience of being rejected. This work of you defining yourself by WHO you are, as opposed to what you are is at the heart of the work that I do with all of my clients. I help my clients to recognize that they are not their accomplishments (or their failures). That is not a true definition of who you are. Those are simply expressions of how you are (or are not) manifesting your qualities. The things that make you who you are – that really define you – are your qualities. Get to know and understand yourself via your qualities, as opposed to your accomplishments. Doing so will give you a much more accurate definition of who you are. It will also give you the confidence you require to handle these sort of rejection hiccups. Take note: If you start getting incredibly hard on yourself every time you get rejected and have a hard time crawling out of that, take it as an indicator to you that you are allowing yourself to be defined by what you do or by what happens to you, as opposed to defining yourself by who you really are. When you define yourself by who you are, you might get hurt by rejection, but you won’t let it bring you down and hold you back.
[If you would like assistance with learning how to become a person who defines him/herself by who you are and build a firm foundation for healthy self-confidence, let’s talk. You can contact me here.]
Ask yourself: What is my ultimate goal?
In Step 2 you asked yourself ‘Now what?’ This question’s purpose is to help you start thinking about moving forward. Asking yourself what your ultimate goal is will help you to clarify and remind yourself why you are taking steps and taking action in the first place. Reminding yourself of your ultimate goal will also help you recognize once again that your ultimate goal is much bigger and more important than this experience of getting rejected is. Take a step back, remove yourself with this rejection experience and re-align yourself with your ultimate goal. Doing so will help you get back on track.
Make a choice.
Now that you have acknowledged what is, acknowledged how courageous and committed you are, reminded yourself that this rejection is not going to make you throw in the towel, reminded yourself who you are, and have realigned yourself with your ultimate goal, it is time for you to make a choice. Make a choice about what you are going to do next. Make a choice about what your attitude is going to be moving forward. Make a choice about what your next steps are going to be.
With a recent rejection that I experienced I have made the choice to keep going, to look for other ways to help me reach my goals, to not blame myself or think of what I could have/should have done differently. I have chosen to move on and to be fierce about it.
How about you?
What will you do next time you get rejected?
I hope that it does not become a regular experience for you. In fact I hope it never even happens to you! But if it does, I would want you to be prepared. You can even prepare now just by choosing to have an attitude of being focused and committed no matter what.
What do you think?
In support and admiration,