Can We Talk About Rejection?

Rejection/rɪˈdʒɛkʃ(ə)n/

Noun

  1. The dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.

‘the Union decided last night to recommend rejection of the offer’

‘the rejection of the application for parole’

      1.1 The action of spurning a person’s affections.

‘some people are reluctant to try it because they fear rejection’

I started with the sharp definition of the word, which is from English Oxford Living Dictionaries, by the way, because rejection is something that too many of us have faced at a point in our lives. From not getting to hang out with your friends because Daddy said so, to not getting into your preferred institution or course of study. Or from not getting that long-awaited job or internship, to getting turned down by the girl that you’ve crushed on for so long. 🙂 Rejection can show its ugly head in many forms and truth is the last ordeal of rejection you had may very well not be the last. It can mostly feel a heartbreak, because sometimes it is, especially if you’re experiencing it for the first time in a particular area of your life.

The default advice you may get from someone as regards rejection, just like after a heartbreak, is the popular move on’. And it’s easy to take that phrase at face level and just seek to continue with life as usual, but moving on is much more than that. It involves dealing with the whatever ill feelings that may have come with rejection. How?, You may ask.

1. Esteem your mindset

This, for me, is one of the first and most important things to do after getting rejected, especially in cases that assessed certain qualifications before rejecting you, like job offers, higher institution admission, or even a guy getting turned down by a lady.

In these cases, you have to remind yourself that this setback doesn’t define you and that you’re not a failure, not to make yourself feel better, but because it’s the truth.

Rejection, in any form, attacks your self-confidence, your ability to believe in yourself. Many people stay stuck in this mentality and they never really move on, even though they think they have. You haven’t really moved on if you left your self-confidence behind.

The rejection does not define you. It doesn’t make you a failure and it does not make you less than the masterpiece that you are.

Say that to yourself and believe that! If you have to call a friend to remind you of that, please do. Just don’t stay stuck in that bubble.

2. Deal with those feelings

Another mistake people make is not allowing themselves to feel anything whenever rejection happens. If you genuinely don’t feel bad from getting rejected at something, which happens but is rare, that’s fine. But if you do, don’t pretend like you don’t. Acting like it’s no big deal and life goes on and “you were better than that anyway” is just a peripheral and probably cowardly way to deal with it.

Cry, scream, gulp down a bowl of ice-cream, isolate yourself (for a while), maintain that sullen face, just deal with any usually sad or angry emotions, the best and healthiest way you can. It would help you. Usually, you can feel angry at yourself and/or the other party for rejecting you. Those are some of the feelings you want to deal with. It’s unhealthy harboring anger either at yourself or at anyone or party that rejected you, no matter the circumstances.

Free your heart so it can be healthy enough to embark on another journey of self-discovery through trying again.

3. Effectively evaluate yourself

This can be hard to do, especially truthfully. Most times, people are usually on two extremes of rejection: “I’m not good enough and the party that rejected me had every right to” or “I am far better and they are at a loss for not accepting me or my idea”. Both mentalities are borderline unhealthy if care isn’t taken. Instead, try to honestly evaluate yourself and your performance in trying to get something that you got rejected for.

  • Did you speak or present your idea well?
  • Did you dress well for that interview?
  • Were your qualifications in line with the position description?
  • Is that event one that you should really be attending even if Daddy obliged?
  • Was your performance on that exam up to per with the minimum score needed?

After or during this, it’s not too much, it’s even advisable in fact, to reach out to the party in question, if possible, and ask for reasons why they rejected you and what they think you can do in the future. That way, you form good networks, better friendships or even recommendations for future up-comings. With all that information, work on improving yourself and preparing for any opportunity that will come your way.

4. Move on

At this point, you, my friend, are able to move on. Your confidence is built, you have learned from your mistakes, you have dealt with any underlying issues, you have even probably added to your network in the process and you are fit enough to try again. Study hard and write that exam again. Apply for that position or a similar one when next it’s open. Make Daddy see how and why that event would benefit you. Erm, about asking a new girl out, I think you should ask God first, just to be on the safe side. 😉

Seek God while taking any key decisions in your life, any decisions in fact. He knows you best, has the blueprint of your life and knows how best to steer it.

That you sought God’s validation for something and it doesn’t work out doesn’t mean God has left you, or he’s wrong, or you’re out of his will. It just means that you have to trust him wholeheartedly about his leading and his ultimate plan for you. In whatever ugly situation that comes up in life, let Holy Spirit comfort you, it’s within his job description. Oh, one last thing, don’t expect rejection. Expect good always! (Prov. 23:18).


I hope this encourages you to handle rejection wisely and live your best life. How do you handle rejections? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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