Whether you were excluded from a party or passed up for a promotion, rejection hurts. But have you ever noticed how being turned down stops some people from trying again, while others bounce back stronger than before? Everyone experiences the sting of rejection, but mentally strong people use it to grow stronger and become better. In fact, the way you choose to respond to rejection could determine the entire course of your future.
Here are 5 ways mentally strong people overcome rejection:
1. They acknowledge their emotions.
Rather than suppress, ignore, or deny pain, mentally strong people acknowledge their emotions. They admit when they’re embarrassed, sad, disappointed, or discouraged, because they have confidence in their ability to deal with uncomfortable emotions head-on, which is essential to coping with discomfort in a healthy manner.
Trying to minimize the sting of rejection by convincing yourself it was “no big deal” will only prolong the pain. The best way to deal with uncomfortable emotions is to face them directly.
2. They view rejection as evidence that 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, but they’re still not afraid to go for it, even when they suspect a plan 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 that you’re putting yourself out there.
3. They treat themselves with compassion.
Rather than think, “I’m stupid for ever thinking I could do that,” mentally strong people treat themselves with compassion, and respond to negative self-talk with a kinder, more affirming message.
Whether you got dumped by a long-term love or blindsided by a firing, beating yourself up will only keep you down. Speak to yourself like a trusted friend, and drown out your harsh inner critic by repeating helpful mantras that can help keep you mentally strong.
4. They refuse to let rejection define them.
Mentally strong people don’t make sweeping generalizations. If one company turns them down for a job, they don’t declare themselves unhirable. If they get rejected by a single love interest, they don’t conclude that 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 that they can learn from rejection. Rather than simply tolerate the pain, they turn it into an opportunity for self-growth. And so, with each rejection, they grow stronger and become better.
Whether you learn about areas in your life that need improvement, or simply recognize that being turned down isn’t awful as you feared, rejection can be a good teacher. Use it as an opportunity to move forward with more wisdom.