Because rejection is just. so. fun. You might as well make it work for you.
I feel like this has been the year of rejection. Small rejections all the way to soul-crushing rejections. And not coincidentally, also one of the most powerful years of my life. Not always the most fun (although there has been a lot of fun), and definitely not the easiest, but in a whole caterpillar into butterfly, beautiful growing pains kind of way.
So. Maybe you're working hard to make some changes in your life, and things just aren't going your way. Maybe you were dealt a really rough blow, or a series of small rejections. Please don't give up!
1) Remind Yourself: This Wasn't It
I remind myself that while I may not see it yet, I didn't get this thing I want because it's not right for me. Thank goodness for hindsight. Looking back on just about everything that I thought I wanted, I realize the universe was doing me a favor by not giving it to me. I had lessons to learn and growing to do. Or I was trying to force things that just weren't right for me . Things might have stopped me from getting to where I want to be - things that might have turned out disastrously! (Absolute disaster!) It really does help soften the blow. Rejection, small or immense, I give myself a pep-talk and say "you don't see it yet, but this will be like everything else that didn't go your way, and you'll be glad...or you'll forget about it because it actually wasn't that big of a deal."
Um, I cry a lot. And I'm also extremely happy. (And if I may say, pretty well adjusted. And not bi-polar.) Paradox? Perhaps. But I think it has more to do with the fact that I actually confront and feel my sadness, instead stuffing it down and covering it up. Then I can get over it, and resume being happy. If you're feeling sad, don't deny you're feeling sad. Feel it. Let it flow through you, and open the drain to let it out.
3) Find the Lesson
If you know me, you know I'm an eternal optimist. Which has its upsides, because I always think everything is going to work out for the best. The downside is it leads to a lot of disappointment when things don't work out...but then I remind myself - "things always work out for the best!" (See? Optimist.) Even if I can't see it in the moment of rejection, I always look for the lesson. Pema Chodron says "Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know." So if something shitty keeps happening, there's something there you need to learn. I recently realized I was repeating a pattern with certain type of person. And it took one last person to really make me angry, and ta-da! Something finally clicked. At one point, I actually, said "thank you" out loud. (Let me be clear though - it took a lot of mental"f*ck you's" before arriving at the "thank you.") The point being - there might be a lesson in the rejection. If you can find it, it makes the rejection useful, and therefore much more palatable.
BONUS: Remind Yourself What is Going Right
Even though I called this year my "year of rejection," I've still had many, many things go right. I try and do this pretty frequently, and it's even more important to look for what is going right and practice some good ole gratitude when you're feeling like everything is just wrong. It's so easy to focus on the negative, our brains are literally hard-wired to find the bad. So put some effort into looking for the good. There is always good. You will always have more than someone else.
I hope you find this useful. Share in the comments any tips you have for transforming rejection, or which tips of mine might help soften the blow a little bit.
Grow Happy, Grow Healthy