Rejection is a natural part of life. Everyone will experience it in some form. You may face rejection when applying for schools, at the office, in friendship, and on the dating scene.
That feeling of rejection is often so emotionally intense and difficult to manage, that maintaining confidence can seem impossible.
Although rejection feels impossible to manage in the moment, you can learn to stay confident and not let rejection get the better of you.
Here’s 10 tips to help you regain confidence in a rejection ridden world:
1 Normalize it:
Remind yourself that rejection is a part of life and often an inevitable one. Many times, intense emotions around rejection come from thoughts like “why me?” and “Everyone else has it better.” Getting out of this line of thinking is key. Remembering that you are not alone in this experience helps lesson the catastrophe of it, allowing you to better manage the experience and stay more confident. Simply remember that everyone faces rejection.
2 Get out of black and white thinking:
Black and white thinking is when you get stuck in all or nothing, never or always type of thoughts. When it comes to rejection black and white thinking might look like “I will never get that (i.e. job, partner, etc.).” It can even go further into “I will never find happiness,” or “I will never get what I want.” These thoughts are the antithesis of confidence. Therefore, it’s important to remember that this is just one job, two things, or three people. It is not the end.
3 Don’t define your life by rejection:
It is easy when facing rejection to think that you have nothing and forget the other aspects of your life. People tend to get tunnel vision around the rejection, ignoring all the positive things they have. If you find yourself falling into this spiral, take time to think about all the things going well and what you do have. Yes, I’m basically reminding you to count your blessings even on that rainy day.
4 Identify your emotions:
Rejection is not an emotion, but it can come along with many emotions. Anger, sadness, fear, and shame are common emotional responses to rejection. Confidence is about feeling capable of moving forward. It’s impossible to do so without regulating your emotional experience. In order to do that, you need to identify and label what the emotions are so that you can actually process and deal with them.
5 Reach out to friends and family for support:
As mentioned above, rejection can come with a lot of emotions. You can stay confident but still feel negative emotions. Part of managing these emotions is to look to others for support. Find space to vent your feelings and get validation. Speak to your therapist, trusted friend, close family member, or put your feelings to paper by journaling. This will help keep your emotions in check and allow you to move on with more confidence.
6 De-personalize it:
Rejection often negatively impacts confidence because it becomes deeply personal. People often look at rejection as “proof” of their flaws. Rejection is used as a tool to say, “something is wrong with me.” That is why is it is vital to look at rejection as a matter of fact situation and not a reflection of you. There are so many reasons why you can be rejected, it does not mean there is a flaw within you or that you did something wrong. Additionally, one person’s opinion does not reflect the ultimate reality. Depersonalizing rejection in this way will allow you to face rejection with more confidence instead of spiraling into self doubt.
7 Find a lesson learned for the future:
In line with the above tip, rejection does not mean you did something wrong. However, you can still find a lesson for the future. Use the rejection for self-growth, problem solving, and planning how you may be able to do things differently in the future to get the outcome you want.
8 Have a positive mantra to repeat:
It’s not pleasant to hear that NO. It can easily cause your self talk to take a sharp turn south.Repeating a positive mantra helps you stay confident and not get lost in the negative thoughts. Some examples are:
“I am strong and capable.”
“I can handle this.”
“I deserve to find what I am looking for”
9 Remember that it only makes you stronger:
Rejection is often the worst feared outcome. Once you experience it, you can work through it, and it will only make you stronger. Managing rejection builds resiliency. It makes it less scary to encounter it in the future and allows you to pull strength from knowing you’ve dealt with it before and still came out the other end.
10 Check the facts:
Don’t jump to quickly into “I was dumped.” People have a tendency to catastrophize and can jump the gun on determining the outcome.
For example, immediately leaving a job interview saying “I know I didn’t get it.” Not hearing from the person you went on a date with for a full day and thinking “They’re never going to call me again.”
A natural part of life, is that we don’t always get immediate answers. Already assuming rejection only makes you more exhausted. If you ultimately do get rejected, it will be even harder to manage because you are already drained. If in the end you aren’t rejected, you emotionally stressed yourself out unnecessarily. Make sure you don’t start managing wrongly perceived rejection. Wait until you have the facts that rejection is the outcome and then use these tips to power through.
We all learn lessons in life. Some stick, some don’t. I have always learned more from rejection and failure than from acceptance and success.
Check out these forum topics for more real talk about love, life, and rejection.
How do you deal with rejection? What is your most feared rejection? Would love to hear comments and thoughts below.
Alyssa Mairanz is a verified psychotherapist and contributing Author at OKclarity.com.