By Jeremy Jordan
Something we encounter early and often throughout life is rejection. Reportedly as toddlers, we are told ‘no’ roughly 400 times a day. This sets the trend for what many encounter throughout life. Most of us can recall the first time we were told no asking our childhood crush out, or the first job interview where we were turned down. We can also remember instances in life we were rejected because of what we believed or how we behaved. Rejection is simply an inevitable component to a normal life. Given this, we should become comfortable responding to rejection and learn how to do so gracefully. Rejection is not a personal attack. The first thing to embrace is that rejection is rarely a personal attack. While there are instances where we might feel attacked for being who we are, rejection is often more circumstantial. Having worked in sales, I learned that I would hear ‘no’ up to seven times before hearing the word ‘yes.’ I found this to be fairly consistent. I also learned very quickly that ‘no’ was not a word to dissuade me from moving forward—it was often a sign that I was simply one ‘no’ closer to a ‘yes!’ When we encounter that dreaded two letter word, it’s far more beneficial to consider the circumstances rather than assume it’s indicative of our self-worth. Rejection is actually re-direction. I have to give credit to Dr. Steve Maraboli for this idea. He says, “Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” In hindsight, I can recall instances in which being turned down happened to be a tremendous opportunity for something better that just hadn’t come along yet. Looking back, I’m so thankful for the many times I was rejected. Rejection has allowed me to move forward in healthier directions, enabling me to achieve a higher sense of fulfillment. Rejection is an opportunity for growth. Once we move past the idea of rejection being an attack and embrace the idea that we have an opportunity for something better, we can really get to work. This is where we can pursue growth and find fulfillment in new and creative ways. We don’t have to allow rejection to weigh us down, or fall into a ‘Woe is me’ mindset. When responding to rejection, we can use that as fuel to overcome the next obstacle in life. We get the option to choose how we respond. In fact, every time we are rejected, we should rejoice that we have a chance to find growth. We can learn to respond in healthy ways that enable us to achieve more during our life. So where do you stand? When you experience rejection, do you fall into a state of despair? While most of us do, we don’t have to! There are ways to experience rejection, learn valuable lessons about ourselves, and move forward in healthy ways to achieve more fulfillment. While responding to rejection is not always easy, it can always be beneficial. Contact us to schedule some time and learn more about finding opportunities in the challenges of life. In the meantime, check out the links below for some additional information about rejection.
Jeremy S. Jordan is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works at Front Porch Counseling. He is especially interested in working with couples and families, helping others learn how to navigate the many challenges that occur throughout life. Including his training, Jeremy has been counseling since 2013 and licensed as an LPC since 2016. He currently resides in Cincinnati, OH, with his wife, two children, and two dogs.