Have you ever experienced rejection? Whether it’s in love, with friends or at work, it sure feels bad. Didn’t get that promotion you thought was as good as in the bag? Had the ‘it’s just not working’ conversation with your other half? Not getting what you want can leave you feeling hurt and hollowed out and wondering if there’s something wrong with you.
But isn’t rejection part of normal life? Everyone gets turned down at some point for something or other. While you may feel disheartened at the time, it’s how you deal with the situation that can help you bounce back sooner rather than later. In fact, how you handle rejections may well be the key to ultimately achieving the goal you are after.
We’ve put together 5 top tips to help you cope with rejection.
1. Don’t take it personally
While it may feel like a personal blow at the time, it’s important not to let the rejection penetrate your inner defences. Say you didn’t get the job or the girlfriend – it was your request that was denied, that’s all. Try not to personalise it and seek fault within yourself – you’re not responsible for the choices others made. Whatever they decided is no judgement on you as a person or any indication of your self-worth. Respect the fact that they rejected something that wasn’t working for them, and move on.
2. Get a new perspective
Every time you experience a rejection in your personal or professional life, try to reframe it as something that focuses attention on the situation or the issue in question, rather than something that attacks you as a person. Instead of feeling that “they rejected me”, why not simply think of it as something “they said no” to or even that “it just wasn’t meant to be”. That way, there’s no blame to be attached and the rejection isn’t framed as something negative about yourself.
3. Practise some self-care
If you’re in the doldrums because you just got fired, dumped or turned down, it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. Make an extra effort to think positive thoughts, give yourself a pep talk and tell your inner critic to be quiet. Better still, back up your kind thoughts with kind actions. Why not take your mind off the rejection and do something you love? Go for a cycle ride or join a gym, treat yourself to a new hairstyle or redecorate the bedroom, meet up with friends or go on holiday – whatever makes you happy!
4. Use the opportunity to improve
Sometimes, a rejection can be just the wake-up call you need to make positive changes in your life. Rather than focusing on your sorrow or misery, why not use the ‘negative feedback’ as an opportunity to reassess your current situation and find ways improve? Whether you decide to go back to work after a failed marriage, or enrol in professional development courses up after redundancy, try to view your rejection in a constructive way as an instrument for learning and personal growth.
5. Accept it for what it is
Finally, once you understand the rejection you received for what it is, there’s no point dwelling on it. Stuff happens, things don’t always work out the way you think they should, and that’s OK. Don’t let the ‘thing’ control your life for any longer than necessary – it’s time to break free, let it go and get on with your life, not stay tethered to the past.
If you’ve experienced a rejection and are finding it hard to move beyond the hurt, counselling may help. At KlearMinds, our expert counsellors have helped many people overcome a range of concerns over the years. Take the first steps to lasting change and call 0333 772 0256 or email us here.
Ancient Greece may not be the first place you think of when considering the concept of resilience, which is basically the ability to bounce back from negative situations, but it is the home of Stoicism.
Stoicism was founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in early 3rd century BC and teaches us that we cannot control external events, only our mental and emotional responses to them. It explores how negative self-talk can intensify and prolong our suffering.
As the saying goes: ‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional’.
Psychology Today neatly sums up this approach: “By adjusting our thinking, and how we think about our thinking, we can change our emotional responses, the extent to which we suffer (or not), our level of tension and stress, and in turn, our experience of pain.”
But the Stoics are often misunderstood and equated with being unemotional and indifferent to physical suffering.
In fact, the Stoics did not recoil from feeling grief, anger or pain any other emotion. Instead they focused on cultivating a level of detachment and observing their own thoughts. They thought that human happiness could be found only in accepting the present moment, rather than by being controlled by the pursuit of pleasure or the desperation to avoid pain.
The stoics preached working collaboratively and treating other people fairly and with empathy. They stressed the benefits of logic, self control and inner calm, something most of us could do with a large dose of.
The philosophy contends that the way to be happy is to live a virtuous life and that you should judge somebody based on their actions much more than their words.
The Daily Stoic has this to say about Stoicism: “Stoicism doesn’t concern itself with complicated theories about the world, but with helping us overcome destructive emotions and act on what can be acted upon. It’s built for action, not endless debate.”
Modern self-help books talk about resilience and mindfulness colouring books fly off the shelves, but they are both really based on Stoicism.
One of the most famous Stoics was Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 160 to 180AD, and some of his quotes are inspirational reminders about living an ethical, self-disciplined and humble life and treating fellow humans with kindness and compassion.
Meditations, his only major work, contains some profoundly moving statements and exhortations to live the most virtuous lives we can.
Inspirational quotes from Marcus Aurelius
Many of his thoughts focus on the impossibility of mastering outside events and accepting them with grace instead.
- “The more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.”
- “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.”
- “How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life.”
- “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
On acceptance and action: “Objective judgement, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance, now, at this very moment – of all external events. That’s all you need.”
On wisdom: “You’re subject to sorrow, fear, jealousy, anger and inconsistency. That’s the real reason you should admit that you are not wise.”
Back in the days of Seneca, Epictetus and Aurelius (all good Stoics) philosophy was about finding practical ways to live life, it was not as a theoretical construct removed from the reality of people’s lives, as it is sometimes today.
Seeing a trained counsellor can enable you to take a step back from your problems and help you get unstuck. Like Stoicism, it can give you strategies and solutions to help you confront difficult events and overcome pain, grief and sorrow in your life.
As Marcus Aurelius said: “No man can escape his destiny, the next inquiry being how he may best live the time that he has to live.”
We all want to be happy in life, but at times happiness can feel out of reach. Self-understanding can provide us with a highly effective guidance system for personal happiness.
Identifying your personal values is an exercise which can powerfully increase your self-understanding. This tool can be used to guide you towards a life that is more fully attuned to your innate talents and desires, thereby enhancing your capacity to experience greater happiness. (more…)
Clarity is something many people strive for. It helps us make good decisions, create achievable life goals and contributes to our sense of overall wellbeing and confidence. However, the road to achieving clarity is not always easy.
Many people have trouble getting out of a rut and breaking free from things like insecurity, a lack of confidence, or a fear of the unknown, and this keeps them from living a fulfilling life.
Life coaching is often touted as a good way of helping people find the clarity needed to break free. Is this an effective and viable option for everyone? (more…)
If you ever get the feeling that something is missing from your life but you can’t quite place what it is, rather than turning to external sources, looking inside yourself can provide the answers you need and bring the deepest fulfilment.
Have you ever marvelled at the way a young child barrels through life content and without a trace of self-consciousness? When you were young, you were simply yourself. You didn’t know any other way. However, as we grow and succumb to the pressures put forth by different environments such as education, family, work or friends, we can slowly and unperceptively lose sight of our authentic self. Instead we increasingly conform to what we imagine others expect. Eventually we can feel like a false, fictional version of ourselves which we think other people want to see.
By unleashing your authentic self, you can start to reclaim the things that will really make you happy in your adult life. (more…)
If you would like to discover the path in life that will make you feel happiest and most fulfilled, following in the steps of those who’ve achieved this, is a sure recipe for success.
People who are both happy and successful, adopt certain habits and principles which form the bedrock for their achievements.
Self-confidence provides the foundation for
a happy and fulfilled life.
It helps us achieve goals. It enables us to feel comfortable in our own skin and in relationships with others. Without self-confidence, life’s challenges can leave us feeling stuck, frustrated, anxious and even depressed.
Confidence isn’t something we are necessarily born with. We may have had experiences in life that have undermined our confidence in certain areas, such as relationships, work or self-esteem. A confident business person can have difficulty building an intimate relationship, or a parent can fear not being good enough, to return to work. We all need to work on developing self-confidence, in some area in our life.
The good news is, with a bit of effort and guidance you can build the confidence you need to; succeed at work, enjoy a loving relationship or simply increase your self-esteem. Confidence can help you regain your motivation, to do all those things you’ve been wanting to do, but found yourself avoiding.
We’ve provided 10 handy tips and reminders below, to support your journey in growing confidence. (more…)