Ever notice how being turned down stops some people from trying again, while others bounce back from rejection stronger than before? Everyone experiences the sting of rejection, but mentally strong people use that pain to grow stronger and become better.
Whether you were excluded from a social engagement, or you were passed up for a promotion, rejection hurts. The way you choose to respond to rejection, however, could determine the entire course of your future.
Here are five ways mentally strong people overcome rejection:
1. They Acknowledge Their Emotions
Rather than suppress, ignore, or deny the pain, mentally strong people acknowledge their emotions. They admit when they’re embarrassed, sad, disappointed, or discouraged. They have confidence in their ability to deal with uncomfortable emotions head-on, which is essential to coping with their discomfort in a healthy manner.
Whether you’ve been stood up by a date or turned down for a promotion, rejection stings. Trying to minimize the pain by convincing yourself–or someone else–it was “no big deal” will only prolong your pain. The best way to deal with uncomfortable emotions is to face them head-on.
2. They View Rejection as Evidence They’re Pushing the Limits
Mentally strong people know that rejection serves as proof that they’re living life to the fullest. They expect to be rejected sometimes, and they’re not afraid to go for it, even when they suspect it may be a long shot.
If you never get rejected, you may be living too far inside your comfort zone. You can’t be sure you’re pushing yourself to your limits until you get turned down every now and then. When you get rejected for a project, passed up for a job, or turned down by a friend, you’ll know you’re putting yourself out there.
3. They Treat Themselves With Compassion
Rather than think, “You’re so stupid for thinking you could do that,” mentally strong people treat themselves with compassion. They respond to negative self-talk with a kinder, more affirming message.
Whether you got dumped by your long-term love or blindsided by a recent firing, beating yourself up will only keep you down. Speak to yourself like a trusted friend. Drown out your harsh inner critic by repeating helpful mantras that will keep you mentally strong.
4. They Refuse to Let Rejection Define Them
Mentally strong people don’t make sweeping generalizations when they’re rejected. If one company turns them down for a job, they don’t declare themselves incompetent. Or, if they get rejected by a single love interest, they don’t conclude they’re unlovable. They keep rejection in proper perspective.
One person’s opinion, or one single incident, should never define who you are. Don’t let your self-worth depend upon other people’s opinions of you. Just because someone else thinks something about you, doesn’t mean it’s true.
5. They Learn From Rejection
Mentally strong people ask themselves, “What did I gain from this?” so they can learn from rejection. Rather than simply tolerate the pain, they turn it into an opportunity for self-growth. With each rejection, they grow stronger and become better.
Whether you learn about areas in your life that need improvement, or you simply recognize that being turned down isn’t awful as you imagined, rejection can be a good teacher. Use rejection as an opportunity to move forward with more wisdom.