It never feels good getting rejected. But it's an inevitable part of life, so we may as well try and get used to it! As with many aspects of our existence, our character is determined by how we handle ourselves when things are on the tougher end of the spectrum. And rejection is no different. If you handle rejection with grace, optimism and acceptance - you're doing pretty well for yourself. If you handle rejection by having a sook, stomping your feet and wailing 'life is unfair!' - then you've got some work to do.
Let's face it, we've all had those times where we didn't handle rejection with our head held high. Rejection can be hugely demoralising, embarrassing or frustrating. It can be such a traumatic experience, that people often go to great lengths just to avoid rejection completely. And whilst that seems like a good idea, it quickly starts to inhibit our progress as a human. For instance, if you ask someone out on a date, and they say no - you're burnt for ever and live out the rest of your life alone in the Himalayas. Or perhaps, after going for a job interview and then finding out you weren't hired - you declare yourself a failure and live off the spare-change of people leaving the grocery store til you're old and grey. All sounds rather dismal, doesn't it?
Handling rejection well, is a skill that will serve us well throughout our lives. Because nobody wins if we handle rejection badly. And if you avoid situations in which you might face rejection, you just won't live up to your full potential.
So, here are my top 3 tips on handling rejection in a productive way:
1. You either win or you learn.
Realising that their is no losing - does wonders. If you win, great! Good on you. But if you lose - ah bup bup - I mean, learn - then that's a win too! Learning lessons the hard way isn't fun, but heck, it sure will pave the way for greater things on your next attempt. Every failed job interview is a lesson in how to get the dream job in the future.
2. Give it 100%.
If you put in everything you've got, and still get rejected, then you can sleep soundly at night. If you approach someone you fancy, with authenticity and warmth, and still get rejected - then at least you gave it your best shot. If you go through life half-assing everything and complaining when you face rejection, then you're on your own buddy. Rejection is earned half-an-ass at a time.
3. The universe is on your side.
Optimism, faith - call it what you will. Trust that if you get rejected - some good will come of it. I remember so many instances where I applied for an incredible job - it would be my dream (for the week) to get this gig - and of course, I don't even get a call for an interview. Silent rejection can be the most brutal sometimes! And even though it cuts at first, you eventually move on. And I later discovered that the reason I didn't get that job, was because an even better job was waiting right around the corner. The universe has a funny way about it.
So next time you don't get a call back on an audition, or don't get a swipe right from your crush - remember, you can chose to throw a pity party for one or a positivity party for anyone who wants to join in.