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Coping With Rejection

So you really wanted that job or to be accepted onto that course but you haven’t succeeded.  It isn’t the end of the world.  You can pick yourself up and get back on your feet with a sensible, step-by-step approach.


Find out about:
  • The importance of truly experiencing the feelings
  • Having time out
  • Talking about it
  • Dusting yourself off to start again
  • Dwelling on success stories
  • Learning from it all




You may think to yourself ‘Of course I feel the rejection – I wish I didn’t!’  However, the truth of the matter is that you are probably trying very hard to feel better and to push that horrid feeling of being a failure, not good enough and unwanted into the background.  That’s understandable, but it doesn’t help.
Let the total experience of rejection wash over you.  You may feel so bad you find it hard to catch your breath.  You may want to cry – if so, let it out.  Possibly you may believe that it’s unfair and you may be angry.  So rage and punch a pillow, if you like.  Be aware of all your feelings, however uncomfortable they are. Accept those emotions even if they seem irrational.  That’s how you feel, and it’s important. You can even write it all down, to help unravel them.


When you are emotionally hurt it can be very similar to being physically injured.  Your energy may be low, you may have aches and pains and just want to curl up in a corner and go to sleep.  So do just that.
After your rejection give yourself time to recover, just as if you’d been ill or in an accident.  Pamper yourself, rest, have treats and take time out.  This doesn’t mean that you give in to self-destructive behaviour such as drinking or eating too much – just be kind to yourself.
The length of time you spend ‘convalescing’ will depend on how great the rejection.  If you’ve just lost a favourite option but have plenty of other opportunities, one evening will be plenty before you dust yourself off and start again.  A major rejection that totally wipes away your vision of your future and demands an entire life overhaul could take at least a week of mourning before you can expect yourself to even contemplate the next step.


Share your experience and trauma with sympathetic and helpful friends – don’t even think about toughing it out.  Pride is not your friend in this circumstance.  Don’t keep what’s happened a secret or pretend you don’t care.  You need the help and support of others, not just because sharing helps, but also you may receive valuable advice from friends who’ve been there before.  With any luck you’ll get some practical help, into the bargain.
If you aren’t sure who to tell, don’t worry.  Our team of expert Readers are just a call away, and they have a store of encouragement and wise advice to buck you up.


Embracing your emotions, having time out and talking should all help to get you, naturally, to a point where you begin to recover.  If they don’t, then give yourself a severe talking to.  Ask yourself if your emotional awareness has started to become wallowing.  There is no room for self-pity.  Remind yourself that everyone has had to cope with rejection at some point.  You will live to fight again – and win!
Start to plan the next step in your life.  If you can’t see very far into the future, plan the next few days.  You don’t have to have everything in place quickly – it may take months before you really feel your life is back on track.  In the meantime you can have smaller goals – read books, do on-line courses, try a part-time job doing something you’ve never considered.   Open your mind to new ways of looking at things.


Keep away from anyone pessimistic.  Read accounts of people who failed catastrophically yet went on to become billionaires, people who were thwarted in their vocation only to be a fantastic success in something else, people who failed exams yet went on to write best-sellers.  
The world is full of such stories.  In fact most successful people have failed at some point, some several times.  What has happened to you may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.


You may feel your rejection wasn’t your fault, but examine this carefully.  It may indeed be the case that you were unfortunate, that competition was too great, or that you were misled.  But there is no such thing as an accident.  The Cosmos has made this happen for a reason.
Ask yourself if what you wanted was quite right for you after all.  Ask yourself if you made any mistakes.  We all make them and as any successful person will tell you, you must learn from them.  What could you do better, or differently?  How can this experience prove constructive for you?
One thing your rejection will hopefully have taught you is how to cope with rejection!  It didn’t destroy you.  Remember this as you face the world and do not fear another knock-back because you have the resources to cope.


You’ve seen the importance of opening yourself to the feeling of rejection, ‘convalescing’, talking about what happened, turning around and making plans, saturating yourself in success stories and learning from the experience.  Now you are ready to take steady steps towards a new goal and you will be strengthened by what happened.



PUBLISHED: 01 August 2018


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