We have all experienced rejection. It comes in many forms. Whether it’s a rejection from a friend, a lover or a boss, they all have one certain thing in common — they hurt.
It’s almost impossible not to take the rejection personally. After all, they didn’t reject someone else — they rejected you. That’s as personal as it gets.
Accepting rejection can be difficult. Some people bounce back rather quickly. Others have a very hard time recovering after being rejected. Some even experience problems like depression.
As personal and demoralizing as rejection can feel, it doesn’t mean it has to be a bad thing. There are a number of ways that rejection can be incredibly beneficial.
Below are 6 reasons why rejection is not a bad thing:
1Rejection pushes the reset button
Being rejected doesn’t come out of the blue. Whether it is a job or a relationship, you were working toward something for a period of time before you were told no. Your hopes were probably high going into things, and it’s likely that you thought you had a shot at whatever it was. Then, you are faced with the reality that you have no shot at all, at least not under the current circumstances. Now, you are back to square one.
This complete reset can be a good thing. It can cause us to change our perspective about things and start all over and hopefully, get to a better end than before.
2It can open new doors
When you are focused on a goal, you tend not to look at what else is around you. There can be a number of opportunities that you never see because your focus is solely on one thing. By being rejected, you are forced back to ground zero, and that can make you take a look around at the things you might have been too blind to see before. It could be the job you had never considered or the person that is the real Mr. or Ms. Right.
3It makes you evaluate (or reevaluate) yourself and your goals
You thought you had it all figured out. You worked toward something, wanted something, and thought you’re going to get that something. Then, you didn’t. You were told, “No, you aren’t qualified”, “No, you’re not the right fit” or “No, (fill-in-the-blank)”.
Is it possible that it wasn’t really the right something? Yes, it’s entirely possible.
Sometimes, we want something for all the wrong reasons. When we are rejected after pursuing it, we are forced to think about why that rejection occurred. Maybe, you need to work on things within yourself and improve your qualifications or maybe, you actually dodged a bullet. Either way, you now have the opportunity to re-evaluate what you really want and the best way to attain it.
4Rejection can inspire growth
Just as rejection can make you re-evaluate things, it can also force you to grow and change in positive ways. Say, they told you that you aren’t qualified or that you don’t have enough experience. This can give you the opportunity to refine your skills, fill in the deficits, and make yourself better.
5It creates strength
When you are rejected, you have a choice. You can wallow in self-pity feeling like the world is against you and no one understands or you can learn from it and move up and onward.
We can all probably agree that the latter is the healthier choice.
It’s, however, not the easiest. Being rejected for any reason is painful. Finding it within yourself to stand tall and see the positives can be tough. It doesn’t always happen right away. Consider it like strength training. Lifting 100 pounds takes time and work to accomplish. Finding the strength to learn and move on from rejection does, too.
6It can strengthen your determination
We have all heard the adage, “when at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. It’s a well-loved saying for a reason and it’s a good advice. You can be rejected for many, different reasons. That doesn’t mean you are unworthy or a failure.
Just consider anyone in the creative world. For them, rejection is a fact of life. Musicians, actors, and writers know all too well that rejection isn’t a reason to stop. It’s actually a reason to work harder. Rejection can be a matter of timing, distraction or even a misunderstanding. A lot of times, it really isn’t you; it’s them.
We have all experienced rejection, there simply isn’t a way to get through life and avoid it. It’s painful and certainly can make a dent in our self-confidence.
When rejection happens (because it will), take a moment to reflect on the fact that you are in good company. Every human being on this planet has been there before. Then, consider carefully your next steps. You will fare far better by planning your next positive moves forward rather than reflecting endlessly on how unfair life is and how misunderstood you are.
See Also: How To Handle Rejection As A Business
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7Author: Dr. Kurt Smith
Dr. Kurt Smith is the Clinical Director of Guy Stuff Counseling & Coaching, a Northern California counseling practice that specializes in helping men and the women who love them. His expertise is in understanding men, their partners, and the unique relationship challenges couples face today. Dr. Kurt is a lover of dogs, sarcasm, everything outdoors, and helping those seeking to make their relationships better.