I have had a few people now ask to me to write a blog on this topic so here it is!
Remaining positive in the face of rejection.
Firstly it is important to know that you do not need to remain positive all the time.
Despite what a lot of people think, being mindful is not about being constantly positive. To be constantly positive and pretend like things never suck is doing the exact opposite of being mindful. Although it might seem like a good idea at the time, all the annoyance, anger, frustration and whatever else you are feeling starts to build up. It may not be an issue right now but at some point it will need to be felt. Often it results in you having a disproportionate reaction to something small and/or a feeling of complete overwhelm and helplessness. Dealing with your feelings as they come up allows you to learn and adapt to the situation in the moment and also means you are dealing with the emotions on a smaller scale. This results in proportionate reactions to a situation.
If you have ever found yourself getting angry over something small or being resentful towards someone who really hasn’t done anything wrong then you are probably supressing emotions.
The first thing to do is realise that it is okay to be annoyed, frustrated and/or disappointed about continued rejection.
The next is to stop over analysing the situation and beating yourself up about it. Beating yourself up about having a certain feeling or emotion is not going to change anything. All it is going to do is make you feel even worse. Instead let yourself feel the emotion without judgement. Let yourself be annoyed. Once you have felt it allow yourself to learn from it.
Lets use rejection from a job as an example.
Say there is a particular job you want but every time you apply for it you get rejected.
Identify what emotions you feel about not getting the position. Let them be felt as they arise.
Once you have felt the emotion, get clear on why you want this job. Is it for you, or because other people think you would be good at it? Is it just for the money, because if it is maybe there is another job out there that could offer you similar pay? Is it for the type of work? If it is, what about the type of work do you like? Could you do similar work in another environment?
Once you are clear what you want you can ensure your goals are aligned to what you actually want to achieve.
Next is to change the way you review rejection. Why does rejection have to be a negative thing? What if you saw rejection as a re-direction and/or a learning experience?
Take a step back and look at the situation objectively, is there a different pathway to get you to where you want to go, or a different opportunity presenting itself to you?
If it is a job you keep getting rejected from rather than let the rejection pull you down see what you can learn from it. Call the company and ask them for constructive feedback on your interview, ask them what skills you would need to gain to be a suitable applicant. Once you have this information, use it!
Don’t beat yourself and say “well if only I had done that” and then just sit there feeling sorry for yourself. Take action. Incorporate the feedback. Repeat to yourself, “Now that I know better, I can do better”
If you want to get better in a particular area but are not sure how, don’t sit around and feel overwhelmed by it. Don’t tell yourself that you are not good enough. Find a mentor that is currently working in the area you would like to be in, ask them how they got there and if they have any advice for you. Trust me there is a mentor in every area, and often they are open to having a conversation. Stop being too afraid to ask for help or feeling you would just be a burden if you did.
A person is not going to say yes if they think you will be a burden to them. Let them make that call, stop thinking you are a mind reader. The worst thing that will happen from you asking someone for a catch up is that they say no. Is that really all that terrible?
In short, the key to remaining positive in the face of rejection;
1. Feel the emotion
2. Understand the emotion and where it is coming from
3. Change the way you see rejection, see it as an opportunity to grow
4. Align your goals to ensure what you’re chasing is actually what you want.
5. Upskill and Network and start to create opportunities for yourself.
As always comments and questions are welcome.