Handling rejection

Handling rejection can sure suck in the moment and sting like a kick in the shins. It’s not the news you wanted to hear and it’s not what you were hoping for. The positive side of getting a no is that you can move onto other things. Easier said than done though, right? Fortunately, there are several ways to shift your views when handling rejections. It’s absolutely possible to carry on without being deflated and actually thrive and become stronger out of the ashes of receiving a no.

1. Don’t make it mean anything

So what? You got rejected. Who cares? Well you probably care, right? There was so much riding on this thing, this person, or that potential opportunity I submitted an application for. At the end of the day, you get to say if a no bothers you. 

When handling rejection, you get to determine if you get hung up on the no you got. It’s easy to tell yourself that things will never go well because you got rejected, or this always happens. You might feel like it’s totally your fault and you’re not capable of being successful next time. We assign so much meaning when handling rejection that it holds us back. Make sure you remind yourself that you’re capable and this isn’t the end of the world.

2. At least now you know

The suspense may be killing you and at least now you’re aware of the verdict. Not getting the job you were hoping for or handling rejection when someone you were dating tells you they are no longer interested, has its positives. Mainly, the benefit is that you now have resolution and clarity. It’s an invitation to keep going on other dates or to apply for jobs at different companies. Maybe start a company of your own. 

The point is, now you know and you can move on to find other opportunities. You’ll have closed the loop on that potential path you might have taken. If you’re applying to something like a potential business accelerator, you can apply again the next time around. It’s important not to give up when handling rejection. Get feedback if possible on what caused the rejection to begin with and look at what could be there for next time.

3. Everyone has been rejected

You’re not alone in handling rejection and you’re probably leaving the house much if you’re not getting rejected at least every once in a while. It happens to everyone and you shouldn’t take it personally. Rejection can happen at any time and at any age to anyone in the world. Handling rejection a natural part of life and the only thing certain in the world is uncertainty. 

When handling rejection the key thing is that you don’t give up on your goals. This opportunity may not have worked and accepting that will allow you to move on. This isn’t the end all be all and you can pick yourself up again and again. Handling rejection is part of the process and a positive attitude is powerful. When handling rejection, there’s nothing useful about staying in a state of frustration and resentment. The sooner you accept the rejection instead of wishing it was a different outcome, the quicker you can move on to bigger and better things.

4. You have what it takes

You are powerful and you’ll find something even better. There are plenty of other opportunities out there and there’s no need to put all your eggs in one basket. So what if something didn’t work out? It doesn’t mean you can’t learn the skills and gain the experience to be successful the next time around.

When handling rejection, it may feel like a personal slight against you that you got a no. Rejections happen for a number of reasons and most of the time, they don’t have anything to do with you. There’s often something going on in the background that you’re not aware of. They are missing out on working with you, dating you, investing in you, or whatever else it is. Success truly is the best revenge. When handling rejection, don’t let a no bring you down and respect that at least you got a no instead of the silent treatment.

5. It’s one moment in time

Time will heal and it’s important to not take rejection too hard. Don’t beat yourself up over it. This feeling doesn’t have to last forever. In fact, you get to determine how long you get hung up on a situation when handling rejection. You now know, you can choose other things to do and continue. It’s a chance to move on. When handling rejection, you can get closure and start looking for another path to reach your goals.

Let’s say you went on a few dates with a person you like. They then share that a relationship with you just wasn’t the right fit for them. You could mope about it and say, oh no one likes me, or you can respect their honest candor. They are being straightforward with you and that’s something to be appreciated. No one wants to pretend to be in a relationship they don’t actually like and it’s an opportunity for you to find the right person to be with.

6. You don’t have to carry this with you

Quite literally, you don’t have to give the rejection another thought if you don’t want to. When handling rejection, you can choose to let it go and it doesn’t have to define you. In fact, if you’ve been rejected and you’re reading this, it’s already in the past now. If you’re looking for a sign, this is it. You can move on and you don’t have to bring resentment or frustration with you, the next time you go for a job interview or when you put yourself out there for something.

There’s no need to dwell on things when handling rejection. Worrying about things you can’t change won’t do a thing except cause more problems for you. Focusing on what’s wrong gives that attention to that part of your life and it’s not productive. Being negative also takes away your power and diminishes your energy and hope. Not carrying resentment about something that didn’t get accepted or happen, allows you to focus on what’s next instead of the past. You can be resilient in handling rejection without getting salty about it.

7. There are so many reasons why you might be rejected

It could be because of what someone had for lunch that day. If you’re talking to a VC they might be in a bad mood from a previous meeting. Or the person you’re interviewing with, for a job got in a fight with their partner that morning over breakfast. 

It may be that you didn’t meet the criteria or someone else was more qualified for the opportunity. Maybe it was that someone else had a deeper relationship with the decision makers. Part of handling rejection is to see the bigger picture and understand you’re not always the center of things. The world doesn’t owe you anything. Sometimes things don’t work out it’s important to build your skills in handling rejection so you can move on. 

8. You can ask for feedback

Find out what was going on and how can you improve the next time around. When handling rejection, look at what’s missing that could have changed the outcome. You can ask for feedback from someone you were dating who told you they want to be friends. Create the space for them to be real with you and be receptive about what they tell you. 

Getting feedback in the process of handling rejection doesn’t mean you have to take on every bit of all feedback and recommendations. If something comes up again and again and you find a theme around why you’re getting rejected, that might be something to look at. At that point, then it might be time to examine that area of your personality or approach. In general, while handling rejection, it’s a powerful skill to be able to receive and interpret all types of feedback without getting defensive.

9. Let it out

Sometimes it helps to just get it out as part of handling rejection. The sooner you face your feelings, the sooner you can move on. Admit if it hurts or if it’s frustrating and you can talk with friends or colleagues. I know for myself that I used to hold onto things silently and not share with anyone when I got a rejection on something. When handling rejection, keeping it inside ended up holding me back and amplifying and extending the stress of the initial rejection. Even if I didn’t want to share the news of rejection with someone, I started making it a point for myself to share it anyway.

It’s crucial to let go of feelings that don’t serve you in life, especially when handling rejection. It’s completely valid to feel things like anger, frustration, and resentment in the moment of rejection. At the same time, some people might not feel those things and have a different set of emotions. The important thing is to not hang onto feelings that don’t serve you or let them influence your actions against your goals and core values in life. If you’re resentful towards someone or something, the only person who will be negatively affected is you. It’s like drinking poison and expecting it to work on the other person. The world doesn’t work that way and handling rejection this way will only impact you in a way you don’t want.

10. Now you can do something new

Apply somewhere else and start thinking of a new approach. Handling rejection isn’t about the fixed steps. It’s the experience that comes from the journey you’re on and your ability to roll with the punches. This is an opportunity to learn and grow. You don’t have to let rejection get you down. It’s all mental and you get to say how long you dwell on rejection. Now that you have time to focus elsewhere, you can get to work on taking actions towards something new. 

So what’s the best way of handling rejection? To give you an example, for the time being, this is the end of the chapter with that job opportunity you wanted. Just because that job didn’t work out, doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful and amazing career. You might move on from the individual you wanted to date. If that person you were dating doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a remarkable, fulfilling relationship with someone else. It’s achievable that anyone can become masterful in handling rejection.

Giving up and giving in is the easy way out. It’s also not productive although it might seem like a convenient path. Rejections will try to set you off course and it’s human nature to get emotional and take things personally. By default in life, we get stopped over time when things don’t work out. You will have to deal with and become good at handling rejections if you want to live a big life. Rejections are temporary and you can continue to stand up for what you believe in and go for your dreams. Even if you might have to pick yourself up again and again to reach your goals.

– Matt Grigsby

Comments (2):

  1. Athena Kim

    May 31, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Thanks for sharing your insights. A lot of things resonate with me. For me, bringing self-compassion and kindness with tender care and attention helps most vs having the intelligent mind’s thoughts with logic handles the emotions and physical sensations that are triggered and arisen in me. Somatic experience practice for embodied healing and recovery work with mindfulness meditation has helped expanding the capacity for me to hold discomfort and overwhelming physical and emotional pain.

    Sending you goodness and wishing you to live with ease.

    • Matt

      July 18, 2019 at 11:18 pm

      Thanks, Athena and so glad this resonates. Same to you!


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