I want to tell you the world is wonderful and you’ll always be celebrated for the exceptional, unique butterfly your mother thinks you are. I’m not really a liar though, so I’m going to tell you that’s bullshit. No matter how extraordinary you think you are, (or how much your parents shield you), you’re going to get rejected so many times. In every capacity…and it never stops sucking.
The thing that makes rejection particularly painful is that when we are overlooked, we have a tendency to equate our worth with someone else’s measure or opinion of who we are. It negates our inherent, fundamental need to feel that we belong. We take it deeply personal, as if this rejection symbolizes our unworthiness as a person and what we’re able to offer. Rather than using it as insight and working on self-improvement, or recognizing that this particular rejection is about them and their preferences, we tend to close ourselves off to future risk-taking and vulnerability.
That being said, rejection certainly has its place. It serves to create healthy competition and drives our desire for self-improvement and achievement, creating a “thick skin” – ie. we can do better next time. It humbles us, providing oftentimes painful, yet necessary opportunities to develop resilience and challenges us to self-examine…things that are unavoidable on the road to success.
At the risk of sounding like a sad loser, I cannot even recall the overwhelming amount of times I’ve been rejected – in love and friendships, in my writing, and in any other areas of relative importance. However, I’m not embarassed to admit that I’ve written boring, terrible content or cringe-ily thrown myself haphazardly at aloof, uninterested men. All of my rejections have served to push me towards a deeper understanding of myself, broader self-awareness, and a higher quality of writing. Oh, and also, lots of melodramatic, ugly weeping on my bedroom floor.
In order to get over a big rejection, feel that shit. Feel devastated, disappointed, sad, and apathetic about everything. Give yourself space to experience the loss of an idealistic outcome. Then, get back on the bandwagon. It can be difficult to navigating the delicate balance between allowing rejection to be a grain of salt, and extracting new knowledge from it. Try not to dwell because the more you can accept rejection as simply a part of life, the quicker you will recover from its sting.
My favorite thing in the world, The School of Life has (of course!) an awesome video on how to recover from rejection, specifically from a relationship. Check it out: