Everyone has experienced rejection. It could be in relationships, in work, in friendship. Real or perceived rejection can play havoc with our self esteem and leave us asking: What’s wrong with me?
First of all, congratulate yourself. In order to get rejected you first had to put yourself out there, and that’s a brave and authentic thing to do. Of course you can spend your life avoiding rejection, but fortune favours the bold.
Whilst it may not have worked out this time, you’ve had the practice of putting yourself out there and now you get to also practice…
Bouncing back! Yes, now you have an opportunity to take your rejection and do something useful with it. Every time you bounce back, you grow resilience. Everyone fails en route to success. Think about learning anything in your life. It wasn’t right the first time, there were false starts on the way. Key to bouncing back is…
Find the learning! Ask yourself: How did I contribute to this not working out? Maybe it’s just one of those things outside your control. If so, congratulate yourself. You gave yourself the best possible chance of things going your way. That’s all you can ask of yourself. There’s stuff you can’t control. That’s life and learning to accept that is an important lesson. Or you might be saying…actually, maybe I set myself up to fail here. Maybe you always seek out relationships with unavailable people, or go for jobs then don’t prepare for interview. Ask yourself: Am I doing something here to make rejection more likely? If so, identify what. And then, identify why. Psychotherapy or counselling can help with this.
You might be saying ‘this always happens to me’ and using that as a reason to feel extra glum. If it always happens to you, then you’ve got work to do! There is something kinda nice about feeling sorry for ourselves for a while but it's not a good place to get stuck. And it stops us from finding the learning. So get past that and start reality checking. Ask yourself: Does it really always happen to me? ALWAYS? Find the exceptions. What was different those times? What can I learn?
What if you do the reality check and actually, it really DOES always happen to you? You’re probably saying to yourself: 'There’s something wrong with me!' (I’m too stupid, unattractive, boring etc. but it all amounts to the same thing: I’m not good enough). Recognising that you're in a pattern may sound like bad news, but in fact, it’s good news. If it's your pattern, you can do something about it. Maybe you realise that you always get dumped, but that actually in relationships you push people away by clingy behaviour. Maybe you realise you get overlooked for the promotion because you don't really show how committed you are. Maybe your friends always fall out with you because you repeatedly let them down. If you’re responsible for it, then you can also change it. The most empowering thing is recognising your part in a problem. You can't solve other people's part, or circumstance or luck. But your bit? That bit you can get working on! The more it’s all about you, the more scope there is for change.
Often when we realise there's a pattern and want to set about changing it, we find it harder than we hope. Sometimes that's because in some way, there's a payoff for NOT changing. By living out our patterns, we get to confirm some long held belief about ourselves or we get to avoid something that we're scared of. Online counselling/online psychotherapy can help you recognise your patterns, and also how they serve you. Often we find that these ways of being protect us in some way, or certainly did at some point in the past. Once we understand that we don't need these patterns anymore, we can let go of them, and move forward positively, learning from our experiences, enjoying the good and building resilience from the bad.