Bounce Back from Rejection

By Joyce Ryan

 Bouncing back from rejection can be tough, especially when the reasons are not always clear. Many people have self-esteem or guilt issues that make them assume they are at fault for the rejection. Here are a few tips to help build resiliency and bounce back quicker from rejections.

Bouncing back from rejection tip #1: Not all rejections are personal

Most rejections in adult life are not based on you personally. Often there is a self-blame reflex carried over from childhood, when the reasons for popularity can be so arbitrary. In grade school, it is actually possible that one will be excluded from the “in crowd” just for wearing glasses or being overweight. However, this is not a very likely reason for rejections later in life, like getting passed over for a promotion at work.

Bouncing back from rejection tip #2: Learn the real reasons behind the rejection

Finding out the actual reasons for the rejection helps you not see it as personal. If the boss explains that the promotion was based on seniority and the other person had been employed for twice as long, it makes it much easier to understand why the decision was made.

Bouncing back from rejection tip #3: Learn from the experience

Approach rejection as a learning opportunity, not a sign that you are a total failure as a person. Everyone is a work in progress. Nobody is a finished product until they take their last breath. Unfortunately, many people stop their progress by assigning a final label like “loser” or “failure” in the middle of their life. You are only a failure when you stop getting back up for another try. In step #2, you learned the reasons for the rejection. Take those reasons as lessons on what you may be able to improve for the next job or relationship.

Bouncing back from rejection tip #4: Face the feelings

Do not avoid the painful feelings that come along with rejection. Rejection still hurts, even when you know it wasn’t personal and that you could not have stopped it. Nobody likes missing out on that great job or being dumped by their significant other. Hiding the feelings and pretending nothing is wrong prevents you from healing and moving on with your life. You can get trapped in a cycle of fear, being afraid to take another risk because you cannot handle the feelings that may come if you are rejected. Be honest with yourself (and others, if they are supportive) about how you feel and let yourself have some downtime to feel sad or worried before you get back up to try again.

Bouncing back from rejection tip #5: Get back up and try again

Of course, you do have to try again. Rejection is painful, but it is also a part of everyday life. Very few rewards can be gained without taking a risk first. Learning how to bounce back from rejection and build resiliency from the experience is crucial to successfully adapting to all that life can throw at you.

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