Use Rejection as Fuel: 7 Tips to Be More Resilient & Courageous
Do you know what is worse than feeling alone and isolated? Feeling rejected. That’s when you are seen but not heard by those around you.
But there is good news! We can use rejection as a tool to help us. As a life coach for entrepreneurs, I want to empower you to succeed inside and outside your business. In this article, we will discuss seven tips to become more resilient and courageous in the face of rejection.
Before we delve further into this subject, let’s talk about the importance of resilience and courage.
Why do I need to cultivate more resilience and courage?
I wish we could snap our fingers and erase all the bad things and difficult people from our lives. Unfortunately, that is not how we learn. We learn from the challenges and difficult situations in life.
The solution is not to avoid these unpleasant experiences, but to let them help us grow with each new encounter. This is especially important if you want to improve communication with your team members, attract more clients, or rebuild bridges with family and friends in your personal life.
But before we delve into it, I would like to share a story with you about how rejection is a common experience for all of us. In particular, I want to narrate an incident where I was turned down when I offered help to someone.
What happens when your help is not wanted?
As a successful entrepreneur, I know that you want to help others. Often your help is welcomed, but sometimes it may be rejected due to poor messaging or circumstances beyond your control.
As a life coach, specializing in trauma and addiction, I wish I could say that I am immune to feelings of isolation, intimidation, and rejection, but I’m not. I am human, just like you, and I too struggle with feelings of unworthiness and insecurity.
Rejection hurts, especially if you are in the healing and helping profession. I get it if you don’t feel excited about reaching out to others if you have been ignored or dismissed.
However, as leaders, we need to work through these painful feelings. We must use past experiences to propel us into taking more action, not less. The best way to accomplish this is through shared experiences.
I want to share a story about how rejection taught me so much about what it means to be kind towards hostile people. Furthermore, it helped me understand who I want to serve and how I can be useful.
Judgments and snap decisions damage communication and result in rejection
I volunteer in a multi-tiered human assistance organization. They provide clients who have fallen on hard times or need assistance due to various challenges, resources like food, clothing, or hygiene supplies.
One of my duties as a volunteer is to hang up clothes and assist people in finding appropriate clothing for their children. Additionally, as a Spanish-speaker, I am able to distribute resources to our Latino clients.
While working, I interacted with two women whom we will call “Mary” and “Jane.” I greeted Mary in Spanish, and she responded in English. Later, I explained to Jane in Spanish where she could find clothes for both boys and girls.
After a while, I saw Mary and Jane talking. Jane had a question, but when Mary responded, she stated in front of me that I didn’t speak Spanish, even though I was the one who had spoken Spanish to Jane.
It was an awkward and tense interaction.
Mary, Jane, and I all felt very uncomfortable. I knew in my heart that Mary held contempt for me, which was strange since I was a stranger to her. However, I was there to distribute resources to her and other customers in need of help.
Mary turned to me and spoke in garbled English, which I struggled to understand. However, Jane quickly asked me a question, and I pointed in the direction for where to get the needed supplies.
Mary looked at me and then walked away, while I continued to carry out the task assigned to me.
I am not going to say that I did not feel upset, but I knew Mary’s behavior towards me was not personal. Mary clearly had some prejudices that did not start with me. However, as caring individuals, we must understand that we cannot assist individuals who quickly assign and label us.
While we cannot protect ourselves from rejection, there are a few things we can do: acknowledge our emotions, gain perspective, reflect on the experience, keep moving forward, and practice self-care. This is essential if you want to develop resilience and courage.
Rise above the discomfort. How to use rejection as fuel for your personal growth
Dealing with rejection can be challenging, but here are seven (7) tips to help you build resilience and courage in the face of rejection:
1. Accept your feelings
Allow yourself to feel the disappointment or sadness that comes with rejection. It’s normal to experience them, especially in new and/or uncomfortable situations, so don’t suppress them. Remember: All feelings are designed to help, not hurt you.
2. Gain perspective
Remember that rejection is a part of life and everyone faces it at some point. View your experience as an opportunity for growth and learning. Use the experience to gain more insight about yourself and others.
3. Reflect on the experience
Consider what you can learn from the rejection. Create a journal to document your experiences. As leaders, you must look at areas where you can improve or make adjustments for future experiences.
4. Don’t take it personally
Avoid internalizing rejection as a reflection of your self-worth. Understand that it’s often about circumstances or the other person’s preferences rather than a judgment of your value.
5. Seek support
Reach out to trusted friends, family, or a life coach like myself for emotional support. Sharing your feelings and seeking guidance can provide comfort and help you gain a fresh perspective.
6. Keep moving forward
Use rejection as motivation to persevere and pursue other opportunities. Don’t let it discourage you from taking chances or pursuing your goals. If someone says “no,” there will be others who will say, “yes”.
7. Practice self-care
Engage in activities that bring you joy and help you relax. Your body and mind are linked together. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally can boost your resilience and overall well-being.
Successful leaders are resilient
Resiliency and courage come through repetition and through reflection.
Again, I would highly encourage you to journal your thoughts so that you capture what you have learned through the experience. This is important because life has a funny way of repeating the same experiences until we have fully learned the lesson.
Remember, being resilient after rejection takes time to develop, so be patient with yourself. Each rejection brings you closer to future successes.
If you are or have experienced rejection from someone, take heart. All experiences are being used to help, not hurt you. They are designed to teach you more about yourself, your needs, and who you want to associate with on a professional and social level.
Lastly, know this: People who are worth being around you speak and act with care.
You get to decide as a leader who is an asset, and who can be a liability. As needed, limit their influence, create boundaries and stay courageous as you design the life that brings you joy. If you need more help, consider working with me.