How to deal with rejection? Let us start with a bible verse, that saved my life, from the Book of Jeremiah:
Rejection is the true initiation into becoming great someday. If you can use that sting of rejection as a fuel to propel you further then you will be like Oprah Winfrey (she was once fired by her TV producer because she was unfit for television), Walt Disney (he was once fired at his first job because he lacked imagination and had no good ideas), JK Rowling (12 major publishers rejected Harry Potter script), Bill Gates (failed at his first business) and many more successful people who were painfully rejected and failed in the beginning but then decided to just lick their wounds and moved along.
We know that we will be able to achieve our dreams someday but that pain of rejection today is just so difficult to deal with and overcome. The pain won’t go away, it is normal, and it is how we are wired to feel when unfavorable things happen to us.
Here are the steps I have listed down for you which come from my own experiences as I have been rejected quite few times (I am still at the rejection phase perhaps and hopeful that I will get there) and from the experiences of other people I know who were able to overcome rejection and are successful today.
Step 1: Take Time To Contemplate
Have the courage to face it head on. Do not flinch off the fact that you have just been rejected but you can’t be too emotional either. It is best to find a neutral environment first, like an open space as in the park or in a cozy coffee shop. Some people get a massage in a spa while others prefer staying in a small chapel to contemplate.
If you are in the coffee shop, get yourself a tea which has been proven to have a soothing or calming effect. We need to be relaxed so we can think better. Drinking coffee and eating sweets increase blood pressure and that may be the last thing we want to happen in this stressful time. Coffee and sweets increase dopamine (happy hormone) of which most of us take in sad times. However, it is best to be relax in this situation. Some people find the coffee aroma calming being in the coffee shope smelling the aroma is already good enough, buy you must order.
Cold water (not icy cold as heart will be stressed) is still the best quick fix! It’s highly accessible! It’s in your fridge or at water station in your office.
Step 2: Breathe, Assess: Fight or flight?
Rejection brings so much stress in the brain so it needs air (oxygen through the blood) to function and cope with the heightened activity. Breathe! Inhale, exhale.
The stress hormone, cortisol (released when you are under stress like this time), will be busy as ever trying to help regulate body functions but having lots of them is detrimental to our health. This is why we are more susceptible to diseases when we are down.
As we aim for survival, we normally fight off an enemy or leave. It is best to assess whether it’s time to redirect the focus to some other great things or to pursue, persevere and grapple. Do we want it like if we are gasping for air when we are short of breath?
Step 3: Go back to the drawing board!
If you decided to pursue then you have to revisit your plan. Some of us may opt to try other options which is also a good idea, just don’t proceed without a plan of action. The pain you feel means that it is time to revisit and update the game plan! Nobody woke up one day already great at something and by the way, this is the perfect time for coffee and sweets! We need dopamine to awaken the pre-frontal cortex of the brain for this very important decision-making process.
Grab the constructive feedback and create action plans of what you can do to be better at them. Invest most of your waking hours on researching and practicing your craft. It is the best way to be great at it.
You will be able to embrace your dream someday so you must not stop the chase today. Stay alive. God is faithful.
Reference (first paragraph):
Wanderlust Worker – 12 Famous People Who Failed Before Succeeding