Be OK with walking away. Rejection teaches you how to reject what’s not right for you.
As you look back on your life, you will realize that many of the times you thought you were being rejected by someone or from something you wanted, you were in fact being redirected to someone or something you needed. Seeing this when you’re in the midst of feeling rejected, however, is quite tough. I know because I’ve been there…
As soon as someone critiques, criticizes, and pushes you away — as soon as you are rejected — you find yourself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I’m not worthy.” What you need to realize is, the other person or situation is not worthy of you and your particular journey.
Rejection is oftentimes necessary medicine; it teaches you how to reject relationships and opportunities that aren’t going to work, so that you can find the right ones that will. It doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it just means someone else failed to notice what you have to offer. Which means you now have more time to improve yourself and explore your options.
Will you be bitter for a moment? Absolutely. Hurt? Of course — you’re human. There isn’t a soul on this planet that doesn’t feel a small fraction of their heart break at the realization of rejection. For a short time afterward you will ask yourself every question you can think of:
- What did I do wrong?
- Why didn’t they care about me?
- How come?
But then you have to let your emotions fuel you in a positive way. This is the important part. Let your feelings of rejection drive you, feed you, and inspire one heck of a powerful opening to the next chapter of your story.
Honestly, if you constantly feel like someone is not treating you with respect, check your price tag. Perhaps you’ve subconsciously marked yourself down. Because it’s you who gradually tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you’re willing to accept for your time and attention on a daily basis. So get off the clearance rack! And I mean right NOW! If you don’t value and respect yourself, wholeheartedly, no one else likely will either.
I know it’s hard to accept, but think about it: All too often we let the rejections of our past dictate every move we make thereafter. We literally do not know ourselves to be any better than what some intolerant person or some isolated circumstance once told us was true. It’s time to realize this and squash the subconscious idea that you don’t deserve any better.
It’s time to remind yourself that…
1. Taking a few steps back can be healing.
The person you liked, loved or respected in the past, who treated you like dirt again and again, probably has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you in the present moment, but more headaches and heartache.
2. It’s important to release your grip on what you can’t change.
One of the most rewarding and important moments in life is when you finally find the strength and courage to let go of what you can’t change, like someone else’s behavior or decisions.
3. It’s not the end.
It’s not the end of the world — it’s never the end of the world — and yet rejection can make the loss of someone or something you weren’t even that crazy about feel gut-wrenching and world-ending.
4. Some things simply aren’t meant to be.
There’s a time and place for everything, and every step is necessary. You will never miss out on what is truly meant for you, even if it has to come to you in a roundabout way. So stay focused and be positive about the next step. Just keep doing your best right now, and don’t force what’s not yet supposed to fit into your life.
5. Sometimes you have to fall down to move up in life.
Life ebbs and flows, and sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller and emotionally stronger than you ever were before. (Note: Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the “Adversity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
6. There is a gift hidden in most rejections.
When you lose someone or something, try not to think of it as a loss, but as a gift that lightens your load so that you can better travel the path meant for you.
7. There are more great opportunities coming your way.
Life and God both have greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or believing that you’re broken. You are not! Eventually you will end up where you need to be, doing the right things, alongside the right people. Patience is the key. And remember, patience is not about waiting, it’s the ability to maintain a positive outlook right now while you gradually move forward to explore the opportunities in front of you.
8. You are worthy of so much more.
Sometimes people don’t notice the things we do for them until we stop doing them. And sometimes the more chances you give, the more respect you lose. Enough is enough! Perhaps it’s not rejection that’s the problem, but the fact that your boundaries were set too low. Never let people get comfortable with disrespecting you. You deserve better. You deserve to be with those who make you smile, those who don’t take you for granted, those who don’t constantly leave you hanging.
9. You don’t need any more closure to move forward.
Some chapters in our lives have to close without closure. There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to stay broken.
10. You have the power to not let them get to you.
Inner peace begins the moment you take a deep breath and choose not to allow another person or event to dominate your thoughts. You are not what happened to you. You are what you choose to become in this moment. Let go, breathe, and begin again right now.
11. It’s rarely as personal as it feels.
You really can’t take things other people say about you too personally. Most of what they think and say is a reflection of them, not of you. And remember that you simply don’t need to attend every argument you’re invited to, especially when your sense of self-worth is on the line.
12. Most people don’t know you well enough to judge you fairly.
Naysayers’ rejections aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things, because most of them don’t even know you that well. So don’t let their opinions conquer you. Seriously, most of us do not understand how much potential we have — we limit ourselves to the level someone else told us was possible.
13. You can build yourself up with this experience.
Philosophically, some people are always going to throw bricks at others, and those with the strength to succeed in the long run are usually the ones who build themselves up with the bricks others have thrown at them.
14. You are more resilient than you give yourself credit for.
Let your scars remind you that the surface level damage someone has inflicted on you has left you smarter and more resilient. When you look back on those scars, don’t think of the pain you felt; think of the strength you gained, and appreciate how far you’ve come. You’ve been through a lot, but you’ve grown a lot too. Give yourself credit for your resilience and step forward again with grace.
15. You are likely undervaluing your uniqueness right now.
Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. Don’t be one of them. Dare to be yourself — your best and unique self — however awkward, different, or odd that self may prove to be to someone else.
16. Even though it’s hard right now, you’ve got this!
Comparing your situation too closely with others, or other people’s perceptions, only undermines your worth, your education, and your own inner wisdom. No one can handle your present situation better than you.
17. Putting your whole heart and soul into today’s tasks is key.
The more we fill our lives with genuine passion and purpose, the less time and energy we waste looking for approval from everyone else.
18. You are in control of the way you look at your situation.
You can use your struggles, frustrations, and rejections to motivate you rather than annoy you. Yes, you are in control of the way you look at life. (Note: Journaling is a great tool for fostering this kind of perspective shift — see our newest publication via Penguin Random House, “The Good Morning Journal: Powerful Prompts & Reflections to Start Every Day”.)
19. This storm will eventually pass if you let it.
You may not be responsible for everything that happened to you in the past, or everything that’s happening to you right now, but you need to be responsible for undoing the thinking and behavioral patterns these uncontrollable circumstances try to create within you. So breathe deep and remind yourself that the most practical changes happen when you choose to take control of what you do have power over, instead of craving control of what you don’t. Again, it’s about letting go. Because you usually can’t calm the storm — what you can do is calm yourself and the storm will eventually pass.
20. Right now is truly the beginning.
Be strong enough to let go today, wise enough to move forward, diligent enough to work hard, and patient enough to wait for what you deserve. Practice accepting the fact that things will never again be what they once were, and that this ending is really an evolution, an transition… a new beginning that’s starting now.
Now, it’s your turn…
Yes, it’s your turn to be a daily beacon of hope to yourself — to remind yourself that your worth isn’t contingent on other people’s acceptance of you. You’re allowed to be yourself. You’re allowed to make mistakes. You’re allowed to voice your thoughts and feelings. You’re allowed to assert your needs and enforce your boundaries. You’re allowed to hold on to the truth that who you are is more than enough. And you’re allowed to let go of situations in your life that obviously weren’t meant to be.
But before you go we would love to hear from YOU.
Which point mentioned above resonates with you the most right now?
Please leave Marc and me a comment below and let us know what you think of this essay. Your feedback is important to us. 🙂
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Photo by: M. Klasan