No one likes being told no. Rejection can feel like a slap in the face, whether it’s romantically or professionally. It’s amazing how one tiny little word can crush your hopes and dreams. I struggle with rejection and I admire people who can shrug it off and move on. Here’s the thing, though, people who can handle rejection have often had a ton of practice hearing no and have a different attitude about it. All it takes is a little bit of practice! So you got rejected. What do you do now?
1. Try not to take it personally- This is the one I struggle with the most. Try to keep in mind that there are many reasons why someone might say no. Often, it’s not anything personal. As far as professional rejection, it could be that either your idea wasn’t developed enough or wasn’t the right fit. If it’s relationship rejection, maybe that person wasn’t quite ready for the commitment or your personalities just don’t mesh. Whatever the reason is, recognize that you gave it your best shot and move on to the next.
2. Acknowledge the icky feelings- Oh yeah, being rejected hurts and makes you feel icky. It’s ok, those feelings are natural, but you need to be patient, as well as very gentle with yourself. Once you have done your appropriate grieving over the rejection, you can heal and become stronger. My favorite piece of advice is from wellness superstar, Kris Carr, when the nasty voices in your head act up, treat yourself like you would a child and protect yourself from your own negativity.
3.Distract yourself with a new project or activity- Ok, well, that idea didn’t work out so maybe it’s time to step away from the project to gain perspective. There’s nothing wrong with putting it away for awhile and focusing on something else. A lot of the time focusing on a hobby that is completely unrelated can help you gain a new persective and help you see what may have been flawed to begin with.
4.Don’t let it keep you from trying again- Whatever you do don’t give up. If it’s something you feel very strongly about, get up and try again. For example, if that really hot guy from the bar said no to your advances, don’t let it stop you from chatting up the super cute guy at the gym. You know what I mean?
5.Find out what you can learn from the experience and use it to grow- If you’re boss said no to a particular great idea you had, ask them why and see where you can make improvements. Often the people giving the rejection will help you and give you feedback. Sometimes they won’t, but it never hurts to ask.
I watched this amazing Ted Talk about rejection. The speaker, Jia Jiang, went out of his way to get rejected for 100 days. His goal was get as many nos as possible. Throughout his mission, he discovered not only did he get rejected a lot, but he was often surprised by people saying yes to his crazy requests. So the lesson to learn here is even if you do get rejected you need to pick yourself back up, dust yourself off, and try again. There is someone out there that will say yes.
Also by Krystle: 10 Things to Know Before Getting Your First Tattoo
Photo: K. Troia-Alvarado