How to overcome rejection without coming down? 5 Simple Steps to overcome rejection.
Dealing with rejection is not easy. No one has taught us. And still, we live the experiences of rejection throughout our lives.
Feeling rejected isn’t lovely, but it’s not unusual either. While loving rejection is one of the most painful, we can also be rejected on a professional level or even marginalized by family, the group of friends, or our culture of origin.
Why does rejection hurt so much?
Rejection literally hurts. A study conducted at the University of Michigan found that rejection and contempt share the same neural circuits as physical pain.
Therefore, when we are despised and rejected, the pain we experience is emotional, but we also feel it physically.
These rejections not only hurt but are engraved with fire. As a general rule, as time goes on, we find it more difficult to remember precisely the intensity of a physical injury.
Still, we can recall with particular vividness the pain we felt when we were rejected. We can bring up every detail and relive the situation with a somewhat similar emotional intensity.
That is, while the memory of physical pain is dieting, the memory of rejection remains quite clear in our memory.
That intense reaction to rejection can lay its roots in our most remote past. When we lived in the caves, being alone amounted to a death sentence since we could not survive in such adverse conditions, so our brain has developed a kind of alert system to warn us of the risk of ostracism.
So we can correct our attitude as soon as possible so as not to lose the support and protection of the group.
However, the fact that our brains set off that alarm does not mean that we must passively suffer the consequences of rejection. We need social ties, but we don’t have to hold on to people who make us suffer.
How to deal with rejection?
To deal with rejection, we must make sure that we do not become our worst enemies. These situations often activate a self-lobbying mechanism in which we constantly re-criticize ourselves.
Therefore, the emotional pain of rejection is added to the negative ideas that keep going around in our minds. How to escape that loop?
How To Overcome Rejection
1. Self-kindness versus self-judgment
When we notice that our inner critic is activating and beginning to distort our perspective, we must kindly redirect that internal discourse to more positive and objective defeaters.
We must remember that inside we inhabit a small child who has been wounded so that instead of criticizing and blaming him, we must treat him with compassion and empathy to overcome that moment.
It’s not about feeling sorry for ourselves or denying our mistakes or responsibilities; it’s about not judging ourselves too harshly or avoiding being cruel to ourselves.
2. Denial versus radical acceptance
Sometimes, when rejection is extremely painful, we tend to protect ourselves by denying reality. We are likely to seek refuge in the past by remembering happy moments or entrench ourselves in an imaginary future where everything is perfect. These attitudes, however, do not allow us to page.
Instead, we must practice radical acceptance. It does not mean being happy with what happened or approving it but just noting the fact.
The acceptance of what has happened is the first step in overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. With radical acceptance, the pain does not disappear completely, but the suffering dissipates.
And as you stop suffering, the pain will be more bearable. Then we will react to stop pursuing something unattainable and set new goals that make us happy and within our reach.
3. Common humanity versus isolation
When we’re rejected, we may feel that the world is coming at us and that we’re alone, but we’re not the only ones who’ve been through something like this.
We’ve all suffered rejection and recovered. Even many celebrities have been rejected. Simply remembering this connection can help us avoid the feeling that the world conspires against us.
It’s also worth seeking support from the people closest to you. Many times we do not count the experience of rejection for fear that others will think that we have failed, but in reality, most people are more empathetic than we assume and will reach out to us when we are wrong. Having a shoulder friend on whom to cry can be all we need to overcome a rejection.
4. Mindfulness versus over-identification
Mindfulness is a practice that involves focusing our consciousness on the present moment to “sit down” with an injured thought or experience.
It helps us avoid over-identifying with painful thoughts and feelings that arise from rejection.
We can feel those negative emotions and thoughts but without allowing them to take over and sink us.
This practice will prevent our inner critic from distorting reality and generating catastrophic scenarios that make us hit rock bottom. Instead, it will leave a sense of serenity and control that will allow us to face rejection more sensibly.
5. Tragedy versus opportunity
To overcome rejection, we must stop focusing on what we lost to focus on what we can earn. At first, it is difficult because negative emotions and thoughts put grey glasses on us, but we must remember that it is probably not the first time we have been rejected.
Rejection can become an opportunity to undertake something new and dare to take a different path. Just because a door closes doesn’t mean we can’t be happy or achieve our goals, but just that that wasn’t the way.
Sometimes a rejection can become the push we needed to get out of our comfort zone and do beautiful things or meet other fantastic people.