How to Deal With Rejection: 5 Fresh Ways to Look at Getting Rejected

This is a guest post from my friend Henri Junttila, @henrijunttila.

Learning how to deal with rejection is tough. Depending on how you get rejected and what for, it may hurt a lot or it may hurt a little. I’m a big believer in the fact that we create our own reality. Why do you react to some things, while I do not? It’s because of our personal experiences and our beliefs. Most of these beliefs can be changed if we want to, so you can remove the fear you have for getting rejected. You can increase your courage and you can remove the label of “not being good enough”, just to name a few examples.

Here are 5 fresh tips on how to deal with rejection:

1. Release Perfectionism

Why are we afraid of getting rejected? Is it because we have to seem like we’re perfect? Have we been taught to keep up a charade and not others see our weaknesses? For a long time, I battled with perfectionism and it led me to reject rejection. I was in my own imaginary world and refused to face reality. It wasn’t until I started letting go of being perfect that I started making fast progress. It’s okay to show people that you aren’t Zeus the Greek God. We all have vulnerabilities and we all make mistakes. If you show some of them to your audience or the people you hang out with, they will just be able to relate to you more.

2. It’s a Learning Opportunity

Getting rejected is one of the best learning opportunities, that is, if you pay attention and learn from the experience. If you get rejected and blame someone else, you’re probably not going to get much out of the interaction. If, however, you start thinking about what you could’ve done better, you’re on to something. If you can’t figure it out, ask the person or company that rejected you. If you sent in a guest post to a blogger, ask why it got rejected. Sometimes it’s just your writing that doesn’t fit, but sometimes it’s because your writing has flaws in it. Figuring out these flaws will only make you better. If the response is that your grammar sucks, at least you’ll know what to work on.

3. Be Aware of Your Programming

We’ve all been rejected when we grew up, so we’ve learned to think of rejection as something bad. If we walk up to a pretty girl (or man, if you’re a girl), we get scared because we might get rejected. But what if that girl wasn’t a good fit for you in the first place? What if she hadn’t rejected you and you would’ve gotten married, and lived a horrible life with lots of fighting. Look at the rejection as a blessing in disguise. Now you can go forth and find a girl that actually is a good fit for you. The point I am trying to make is this: you cannot know what the rejection means. In the short-term it might feel bad, but you have no idea what it teaches you or what it might lead to. You cannot judge the rejection as something good or bad in most cases. Constantly looking at the negative, even when it isn’t necessary, isn’t productive. Believe me, I’ve been there and done that.

4. No Rejection, No Growth

What would happen if you were never rejected? Would you grow as a human being? Would you need to grow? If everyone says yes to you, you wouldn’t need to change anything and you wouldn’t need to learn anything. That would be a pretty boring life, wouldn’t it? I personally have come to enjoy getting rejected (in most cases) and getting criticized, because I know it’s an opportunity for me to grow. I’ve learned that resisting or hiding from rejection is useless. My ultimate goal is to grow, evolve and become brilliantly better. If I am avoiding rejection then I am in conflict with my goal. It helps to step back and ask yourself what your goal is and if you’re moving away from it with the actions you take every day.

5. Rejection is Essential to Success

If rejection is necessary for growth then we can probably assume that rejection is essential to success. There are many different ways you can look at this. If you run a small company, lose a contract and go bankrupt, is that success? Again, you cannot really know what this will lead to. In that instance, it wasn’t success if you look at it from the viewpoint of making money, but I’m sure you can learn something from the experience of going bankrupt that you can apply to your next endeavor. It all comes back to your own perception of reality. You can use an effective map or a broken map. It is completely up to you. But I’ve found that the more I align myself with reality, the faster I am able to make progress and grow, in both business and life. Sometimes things hurt, but that’s just how life is. It isn’t all a walk in the park, although it surely can be. By becoming aware of your own programming, you can start to remove the bad and replace it with the good.

Author Bio: Henri Junttila is a lifestyle superhero, who writes about self-improvement for conscious people at his blog, the Wake Up Cloud. Make sure you check out his free Discover Your Passion in 5 Days e-course if you’re serious about living a passionate life.

29 thoughts on “How to Deal With Rejection: 5 Fresh Ways to Look at Getting Rejected”

  1. getting rejected by people that u do not know, or care to know.
    a person pretty much knows, if u like the person or not within the first 30 seconds to two minutes of meeting someone. if your impression is bad, reject them. who cares. life is short. if the person is someone that u like, and they reject u, who cares also.
    look everyone, u have to like yourself first. feel good about yourself. have high self esteem and self confidence and who and who does not like you will be irrelevant. u will know who your real friends are, when u have true connection with that person. not some fake smiling, fake nice connection, but a real true bond.
    if the vibe is bad, stay the hell away. their are millions of people on our planet, so a couple hundred rejections, does not seem so bad.
    get out their and network with people. meet new faces, as many as u can. your getting out of your comfort zone will increase with every exposure u have with people good or bad. just remember, not everyone will like you and u will not like everyone else. this is just the way it is

  2. Being rejected by a loved one sucks! But I think that I can make it as I draw closer to God. It’s easy to hit the replay button and list your grievances, but as I read your blog, I am resolved to work on my part. I want to know how I can better implement more kindness and compassion towards people who are around me and people who I will meet.

  3. I’m a total perfectionist. Actually a lot of my friends kind of joke ( not being mean ) about my sometimes strange things I do that help me achieve this “perfection”. I think the reason I have always craved perfection is because I used to be the smartest and most talented person in my family and usually in my class. I loved that feeling. A couple years ago my brother hit puberty , and all of a sudden he went from being the awkward chubby one to a strong, muscular, sports star. Now that I have some competition with my brother I feel like I have to be perfect to impress my parents (because all of a sudden all of their praise and attention had gone to my brother). I am not very good at facing rejection, so I sometimes shy away from things I have to audition for because I feel like I am positively going to get rejected. But I have realized something. If you do not even try, you are going to have no chance of making it. And you will always have that feeling of “What I could have done if I only tried” so this year I have decided to take more risks and learn to accept rejection. I like your advice, very helpful 🙂

  4. I really enjoyed your article. The part about rejection being essential to growth, was very true. I did want to comment on one other thing though: on #3 you used the titles “girl” and “Man” … kind of not a big deal, but a peer brought this up to me a couple of years ago, and it caused me to pause, and think… why not “woman” and “man”? Anyways just a thought. Thanks again for your insights!

  5. I really thought that this girl named Jordan was the one. We were good friends and she flirted with me sometimes. I asked her to the Valentines dance and she said that she would think about it. The another guy named Austin asked her 3 days later and Jordan said ‘Yes’ to him, and said no to me. I’m not sure what to do. Its confusing, Can u help?

  6. I Googled “how to deal with rejection” (it’s been a rough day) and found this post. Lots of things I needed to hear. I especially like the last point – “rejection is essential to success.” Definitely my new business motto! 🙂

  7. during my workouts recently I’ve internalized the idea that “pain is weakness leaving the body”. I’m strengthening the body and feel like the pain is the weakness leaving through my skin. It might sound silly but when you accept this as true you actually look forwards to things like asking out girls, working out etc because they “rid you of weakness”.
    .-= Richard |´s last blog ..Tabata Intervals : Day 30 (Post Mortem) =-.

  8. Pingback: Friday’s Links — A Meaningful Existence
  9. Henri,

    Thanks for the post. Great tips!

    I really like the idea of just flipping the negativity and instead focusing on the positive. Rejection does a lot for us including giving us valuable feedback, teaching us to be persistent, etc. If we would all look at life like a video game (not so seriously), then we wouldn’t get so upset when rejection occurs. You just start the game over and give it another try!
    .-= Greg Blencoe´s last blog ..How To Be Universally Attractive =-.

  10. This is a very insightful post, Henri and I can relate to a lot of what you have written.

    I do think that perfectionism is something that a lot of good people get stuck with in their lives so that they can’t move on to becoming great.

    No one is perfect in everything they do and no one gets out of life without being rejected at least once in their lives. It’s what makes us grow as human beings and it also provides us with valuable lessons. As you state, if you are rejected by one person, consider yourself lucky because the next person may be a much better match for you. Lucky that you were rejected then so that you didn’t waste your time and energy.

    Great advice, as usual. 🙂

    .-= Karen´s last blog ..The Power Of Analytical Thinking =-.

  11. I just wrote a piece about “learning to love rejection” on my own website just this past month.

    I agree that rejection is a necessary encounter on the path to success. Rejections should be anticipated — like hurdles on the path. With foresight, forethought, and the right mindset to prepare for their encounter, you can leap them with ease.

    Thanks for the great article Henri, and I am happy to have found your website, Dragos!

    .-= DaveUrsillo´s last blog ..Submit your Tee to RenegadeTV =-.

  12. Nice post on rejection Henri. I like tip number four. I think you’re right in that rejection does equal to growth. To me, rejection is a type of failure, and we can’t expect to go through life never getting rejected or never failing. By getting rejected and failing, we can learn from these types of mistakes and improve on ourselves the next time around. If we never get rejected or fail, essentially we never learn, and we never grow as you mentioned in this post. Good job man.

  13. Hi Drago,

    I’ve met you via Tess 🙂

    I like this post because having recently won my first ever short story contest, I was able to see most of the judges comments. Some liked my story. Some didn’t like my story. And the rest like parts of it, but didn’t like other parts of it. I printed out all the feedback – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and stapled it to my story. I may have “won,” but I’ve got a ways to go in honing my craft!

    .-= Peggy´s last blog ..Your Moment of Bliss =-.

  14. Henri,

    Solid stuff as always. Rejection is an interesting thing because so many of us experience it and we’ve been programmed to be ultra-sensitive to it. In fact somehwere along the way we’re taught that rejection=failure. Get rejected from that University means you’re not good enough to go there. Girl rejects guy= you’re a loser, and the list goes on and on. The funny thing is that all of it can be reframed. If we could become desensitized to rejection i think we would achieve massive increases in our capabilities. We give it the meaning it has and once we can come to terms with that I think we can make dramatic leaps in progress.
    .-= Srinivas Rao´s last blog ..Why Nobody Can Tell You What the Right Path Is =-.

    • Couldn’t agree more. For me it has been doing stuff even though I’m afraid. Each time I do something I’m afraid of I realize that it really isn’t that bad. When your purpose and goals are more important than your fears, it gets a lot easier.

  15. In March of 2007, a VP gave me an opportunity I had been dreaming about – and then in a matter of 2 or 3 weeks, turned around and took it back without a single explanation. Now to be rejected is one thing but to be accepted THEN rejected, I had a hard time with that. It turns out to be the best blessing in disguise in hindsight. I left her organization and was determined as hell to find something far better. Excellent article. Thank you!

    • It’s interesting how short-term punches in the face can become blessings in the long-term. It just goes to show you that you don’t really know what’s going on, so just enjoy the ride and rock it! 😉

  16. That first one there about perfectionism is crucial from my perspective. I know some people who can get it in their head that rejection is part of growing and it will eventually turn into success, yet they still can’t accept it, because they need to be perfect. A rejection is like a whole in their armor, which makes them feel very vulnerable. Once you realize you don’t really need an armor, you are ready to embrace rejection.
    .-= Eduard @ People Skills Decoded´s last blog ..Men, women and personal development =-.

    • It has taken me many years to really understand that rejection is a huge part of growth and that I don’t need an armor. I still struggle with it, but with each day it gets easier.

      It has all been about consistent effort for me and facing my fears.

  17. Definitely! Without rejection, we’ll never be able to properly handle success. We all know what can happen in the lives of people who’ve been overnight successes. Life has no purpose after a while and it’s easy to fall into depression, drugs etc.
    Rejection strengthens us. How would one learn patience if they were never made to wait for things? Rejection builds perseverance. Perseverance builds character.
    Great post.
    .-= Anne Lyken-Garner´s last blog ..Science Project Guides For Parents And Children =-.

    • While all of the rejections and failures I’ve been through may have seemed horrible when I went through them, they definitely have been fundamental in building my character, discipline and all those other awesome traits. Good points, Anne!

      • But “discipline” and “character” are easy words to misunderstand. They’re often misused, and that’s always frustrated me.

        I grew up thinking of character as hardness, and discipline as denying what hurts, not trying to make it it go away or be good to yourself while you are hurting. I ended up with major depression – not necessarily because of this, but it sure as heck didn’t help me.

        Rejection, then, became the way life “put me in my place.” When I wanted to get out of that place, facing more rejection meant being put back in it, over and over.

        Some say I am asking the impossible : that there is no help for the hurt. It must simply be put aside and used as a signal that more work must be done. They have never had to deal with depression.

        Those who do need a better answer, and sadly your “5 fresh ways” – sensible as they are – don’t provide it. Am I asking the impossible?

  18. The very beginning of the post got me close to it.
    I have been & am trying to be perfect. My life is full of bad lucks. My single mistakes are always so much pondered upon by people that I started to detach myself from the society. It’s been more than a year since I don’t have friends and I love it because now I see imperfection in them. But this desire of mine, to be perfect and make the world perfect is again making me distant as whenever I point out their mistakes which irritates me, they say u are foolish.

    I dont know what the people in my city want ?


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