5 Ways to Turn Rejections into Motivation

01 Mar 5 Ways to Turn Rejections into Motivation

First the bad news: Rejection is part of life. Always. No matter who much we want something – a job, an opportunity, a life partner ‑ sometimes it just doesn’t happen. We run scenarios in our heads, work out every detail. Sometimes, we just want it so much that we make a deal with the god we believe in and we jump. Eyes closed. Hearts full.

Whn you put yourself out there – maybe you’re pitching an idea, declaring your love, or interviewing for a dream job – “No” is hard to hear. And hard to stomach. At first, the rejection stuns. And we start to think negative thoughts. Self doubt creeps in. “Am I good enough?” The works! Rejection feels terrible in the moment and terrible days later too. It haunts us.

Dr. Harriett Leaner,  the author of The Dance of Connection speaks to our natural fears when we risk revealing our true selves:

“When we take rejection as proof of our inadequacies it’s hard to allow ourselves to risk being truly seen again. How can we open ourselves to another person if we fear that he or she will discover what we’re trying desperately to hide – that we are stupid, boring, incompetent, needy, or in some way deeply inadequate?

The fear of rejection becomes understandably intense when it taps into our own belief that we are lesser than others – or lesser than the image we feel compelled to project. Rejection is a fast route back to childhood shame.”

So instead of giving rejection the power; give yourself the power over rejection and morph it into motivation. It’s not easy but once you start the practice, it does get easier and easier.

  1. Accept that rejection happens. Everyone goes through it. EVERYONE. Even those who seem like they have it “all together”. Yep, they’re rejected too. Rejection is simply part of life. In order to grow, we must step outside our comfort zone.
  2. Embrace your personal rejections. Don’t sit around wishing you could do it differently. Don’t wish that you never asked for what you wanted. Just take the rejection and use it to move forward. The more you sit in the memory of the rejection, the more you’ll torture yourself and the longer it’ll take to heal.
  3. Learn from it. The best thing about being rejected is that it can help facilitate change. May you were rejected because you weren’t prepared. If so, you’ll be prepared next time. Revaluate rejection and look for the learning.
  4. Don’t let the fear stop you. If you want something, ask for it. Summon the courage and go for it. Think about the past and remember what happened after your last No. Did your world end? Or did you find a different way? Don’t be defined by the stories in your head; they’ll always be the worst case scenario.
  5. Be true to you. From every rejection comes a sense of direction. Don’t let rejection define you. You are bigger than your failures. You’re going to fail more. A lot more. Let rejection be your teacher rather than your nemeses. Rejection teaches us to be stronger, to go with the flow, and to pursue passions.

The reality is that rejection is part of life. Without them, we’re stagnant. So if you fail, fail forward. Do not identify yourself by failures. You are so much more. Always.

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