Dealing with Rejection to Push to Success

You’re not the one for me. Unfortunately you are not ready for this position. We don’t think you’re a good fit here. You are not smart enough.

Have you ever heard these words before?

How often do you let these words keep you from doing something in order to avoid another experience of rejection?  

The fear of rejection is one of the most common and goal destroying fears that we as human beings deal with. One of the greatest determining factors of how much we achieve has a lot to do with how well we master dealing with the fear of rejection and how well we respond to rejection itself.

Being rejected or told no does not equate to the measure of your self-worth. You have to understand this in order to fight through rejection. 

The reason we are deathly afraid of rejection is because we make the mistake of attaching ourselves to it.

We do not see it rationally and separate the rejection or the situation from who we are as a person. Our flawed self-defeating thought process quickly becomes a self-perpetuating belief system that enslaves our minds. This makes our movements forward slow and heavy. 

This unfortunate belief system starts in our early years as children. Remember that fear and embarrassment of being left out, not picked for a team, not allowed to sit at a table with certain people, or being turned down from that cute kid you so desperately wanted to date? As a kid, I dealt with it and even tried to strategize for it. Whenever I would write the little notes and ask a girl I liked out (for whatever that meant in elementary school) I would put three boxes: One that said yes, one that said no and one in the middle, that said maybe. I did this because after the first rejection experience, I quickly adopted the mindset that rejection would more than likely happen, and I did not want to fully give up.

Think about that; as a child I already was learning to fear and accept that I was always going to be rejected. Think back to your childhood and look at how many times you were also rejected and how quickly you became afraid of that feeling. How many decisions have you made based out of a fear of rejection? Do you feel happy living like this? Are you any better bowing to your fear of rejection?

Being rejected is the reality and the risk that comes with the pursuit of any goal.

If you are in or pursuing a relationship and someone leaves you or turns you down or if you are denied a job, that does not have anything to do with your worth as in individual. It just happened. 

Do you know how many people whom we admire for their achievements that were rejected, mocked ridiculed and laughed at many times? Yet no matter how many times they were rejected, they knew it had nothing to do with who they were as an individual. They were resolved to keep fighting forward and never stop hustling. 

The sooner you become mindful of that reality and stop living from your ego, the sooner you will become more effective.

The proper way to deal with any rejection is not to respond from your ego, or allow it exasperate your insecurities. You must reflect on it in an emotionally regulated way. You need to properly assess the situation to see if and where you may have been at fault, and/or may have needed to regroup, and may have needed to better your approach and correct your actions. You want to always be bettering yourself and evolving in a positive way, but you must do this without allowing the rejection itself to be something that destroys you.

One of the heights of wisdom is to allow rejection to be your teacher and fuel to your fire. Every time someone says no, every time someone throws you to the ground, allow yourself to be made stronger and even more inspired. If you know the rejection was based on your own incorrect behaviors, then be honest about it and learn from it. No matter what, you need to stop allowing the fear of it, or pain from it dictate your actions. 

Last year, I was blindsided and rejected in a very public way when my employer laid me off me and my entire staff for the entire community to see. Yes, it was painful, embarrassing and there were moments when that rejection almost enslaved me. Yet, I chose to surround myself with the right people, properly deal with the conflict, and remain self-aware, which allowed the rejection to make me stronger.

That rejection was not the measure of my self-worth.

I sit here determined as ever to achieve and succeed. No, changing the lifelong patterns of dealing with rejection won’t be easy, but it is imperative that you are honest with yourself and focus your energy and attention to dealing with it. You will grow stronger and will not allow yourself to be deterred by it. 

All they can say is no. You just must keep fighting forward and saying YES to yourself!


David L. Joyner and the Joyner Media & Strategies Team