Handling rejection is an inevitable part of life we all experience in our relationships, our careers, and our hobbies. The trick is to learn how to embrace it. If you commit to having an open mind, you can turn any rejection into a positive opportunity for growth. Here are five tips for handling rejection and viewing these experiences in an exciting new light:
Decide Your Own Worth from the Start
Whether you're about to start looking for a new job, using an online dating site, or embarking on a new hobby, make sure you love yourself first. Start by giving yourself credit for having the courage to go for it, and remember that you're the one who decides your own worth. Others might judge you, but it's your own view of yourself that matters most in determining your level of success and happiness.
Remember Value Is Subjective
If you or something you created isn't accepted, loved, or embraced the first time around, it doesn't mean you're not valuable, talented, beautiful, or lovable. For example, if you didn't get hired after your first three interviews on your job hunt, take some time to sit down with a pen and paper, and write out the things you learned to do, or not to do, after those interviews. You should feel encouraged by the fact that you've gained valuable knowledge about how you can improve before you get back to it.
Be Open to Feedback
Allowing others to tell you what they do or don't like about you or your work can feel incredibly intimidating. However, being open to feedback actually dictates whether you grow and improve. Wouldn't you rather go through a bit of discomfort if it meant you could count on getting stronger? Criticism, whether constructive or not, helps us expand our awareness of how other people see us, and gives us the confidence to reshape the way we approach the world and offer our talents.
Anticipate Setbacks and Prepare Your Responses
Knowing that rejection is inevitable is half the battle, but the other half is planning a classy and constructive response in advance. Be ready for a few dates and relationships to fail, and then make a game plan for what you'll do if you get turned down. For example, make a deal with your best friend to embark on an impromptu beach getaway trip if either of you suffers from heartbreak. And while you wait to get an interview at your dream job, go ahead and apply for several other jobs as backups so you feel less defeated if you don't get the gig.
Allow Yourself to Be Scared
Fear is typically a sign that you're out of your comfort zone and about to do something you care about. Remember, it's normal to feel scared before you ask someone out, ask for a raise, audition for a team, or compete to win an award. Try looking at your fear as a helpful friend that is pushing you to grow. Feel your fear and go for it anyway. Regardless of the outcome, you'll be proud of yourself for trying and will feel more relaxed the next time around.
Every rejection offers a chance to grow from your mistakes or differences in opinion. If you learn to be open to it, it will set you up to be the strongest, most confident, and most polished version of yourself you can offer to the world. By being friends with rejection, the world will quickly become your oyster.