No one likes rejection. I know I don’t. I personally can’t stand the embarrassment of hearing no or that I don’t fit the bill. It’s extremely hard to swallow putting yourself out there, just for someone to tell you no – especially if you were struggling to put yourself out there in the first place. In any case, thinking about how you can bounce back after rejection isn’t always at the forefront of your mind.
I’ve tried to avoid rejection my entire life. I’ve sacrificed the possibilities of great opportunities because of rejection. Shooting shots were never a thing for me because of my fear of rejection. I would deny myself simple comforts, just because I didn’t want to hear no. It’s been an immense problem for me for a longtime.
Then I had a rude awakening. Rejection will happen even without taking enormous risks. This made my fear less crippling. I mean, you still won’t catch me sliding in any DMs, but I’ve learned that it’s one thing in life you have to deal with whether you like it or not.
What helped me the most was thinking about how to react to rejection as gracefully as possible. You know, taking your Ls in silence. Because the only thing worse than being rejected is being consumed by your rejection. I think it’s ten times more embarrassing to completely fall apart after being rejected. So I’ve tried my best to put my best foot forward in my bounce back after rejection.
Take time to mourn your loss
The first step to getting the rejection out of your system is to mourn it. Sit in it, experience it, and feel it. Don’t be in denial about it. It happened. Process your L. The quicker you realize the thing you wanted to happen won’t, the faster you’ll be able to move on. So your best bet is to look rejection in the face and acknowledge it, so you can eventually get past it.
Rejections can feel very personal, but try not to take them personally, even if they were meant that way. This makes them easier to digest and move past. Taking things personally, never benefits you. The rejection will take up space in your head and fester. This might make you bitter. Take your L like a champ, so you can move on gracefully.
Be your own biggest critic and own your faults
Rejection is a great way to maintain your humility, or at least learn some. It makes you look at yourself, and I mean really look. Rejection has you questioning every aspect of your entire existence. But that might not be the worst thing.
If you know your faults, no one else can surprise you and shame you about them. You can own them and feel comfortable that you already know about them. Not all ‘flaws’ can or need to be fixed. Some just need to be accepted. If you feel like you need to fix it, go ahead. If you don’t feel that way, don’t. If it’s not something that will hinder your development or something you think should be fixed, leave it. Leave it, but own it. It makes rejection for that ‘flaw’ much easier to digest and accept. Be your own biggest critic, so no one else can do it for you.
Putting more focus on your strengths helps you bounce back after rejection
It’s always easy for you to see what’s wrong after being rejected. So instead, try to see what’s right. Look at what you have or what you can do. Self-pity won’t help. Look at what you have to work with.
Reflect on your strengths and the things you love about yourself. It makes the rejection pill easier to swallow. See why it’s their loss. Make a list, and make it as long as you want. There’s nothing wrong with valuing yourself and making that value high. It builds your confidence. You won’t be dwelling on your past rejection, you’ll be focusing on your next opportunity.
Get back on your feet
Okay, enough of the wallowing and re-evaluation. It’s time to get back up. Never stay down from a rejection too long. Try to recover as quickly as possible.
When you bounce back after rejection quickly, you show your rejecter you aren’t phased and won’t dwell. Show off your resilience a bit. Even if you’re still phased by what happened, fake it till you make it. Don’t waste your time and energy on what won’t be. Channel it into what could be or what is.
Get busy and before you know it, you’re doing great and you’ll be glad you got rejected.
Don’t let rejection be the end of your world or the thief of your drive. Let it drive you and strengthen you. It’s a hard pill to swallow that leaves a bitter taste, but take your medicine like a champ and let it strengthen you.