Over the years of helping people reach for their dreams, I’ve come across so many that are stuck all because of rejection from their past or even the fear of rejection that they might encounter when trying to reach for the life they have imagined. I’ve even had to battle with this ugly monster a time or two in my own life.
Let’s face it, rejection is part of the process and the sooner we realize that, then the sooner we can establish the mental fortitude and stamina to push through those moments and keep moving forward.
Years ago, I had a friend that worked at a mall kiosk. These are the workers in the mall that you shamelessly try to avoid while walking past them. You desperately try to avoid any type of eye contact or body language that would possibly suggest that you are interested in what they are offering. You walk by them praying that they don’t ask you if you have a second or if you would like to try their product.
Basically, these workers tend to face an incredible amount of rejection throughout their workday. One day I asked my friend how he dealt with the constant rejection of many people turning him down when he tried to extend an invitation to demonstrate or showcase the product. He laughed and said, “at first it was hard and intimidating but then I had to change a few mindsets and everything was OK.”
Your mindset can make a huge difference in the way you perceive rejection. You can see it as a roadblock or you can see it as a reroute or detour to something far greater than what you had ever imagined or hoped for.
Let’s take a look at these five keys to conquering rejection:
Always Expect The Best: If you’ve ever been rejected in your past then it’s real easy to establish a mindset by default that rejection is always going to happen. I’ve seen people stay stuck in life all because they’ve convinced themselves that their dream is not worth trying for again because it’s only going to end in rejection or disappointment just like last time.
“Most people never achieve anything because they simply don’t expect to.”
Here’s the truth of the matter. If you are always expecting rejection, or things to not work out like you planned it, then everything you do will be filtered through that mindset and perception. You won’t try as hard. You will never give a hundred percent effort in the endeavor because your mind is telling you already that it’s going to fail.
This is when you have to start thinking differently. You must begin to change your mindset and begin to hope for and expect the best.
Instead of expecting failure, start expecting success.
Instead of expecting everything to go wrong, start expecting everything to go right.
Instead of expecting a road block, start expecting a breakthrough.
When you expect the best it eliminates thoughts of failure and rejection in your mind. It also empowers you with faith and fortitude to keep moving forward.
Understand that Not Every Door is Supposed to Open: Your initial reaction to a closed door of opportunity can either propel you into your future, or enslave you in your present. If you stand there trying to figure out the “Why”, you will never see your “Next”.
When a door closes, quit standing there looking at it. You’re in a good position to turn around and start looking for the next opportunity that is coming your way. Keep your head up and your emotions in check. Quit trying to figure out all the reasons of why it didn’t happen. You are right where you are supposed to be. A closed door can lead to a great opportunity. Keep moving. Keep dreaming. Keep reaching. Whatever you do, don’t stop.
The answer to your “why” will come. I’m not exactly sure when, but I can guess that it will probably come around the time you walk through the next open door of opportunity that blows your mind. Then you will be able to see why the other door closed in the first place. It had to close. It needed to close. It was supposed to close, so you could enjoy the rewards of the next opportunity.
So the next time you encounter a closed door, quickly move on and expect that something good is in store for you.
Forgive and Let Go: “Unforgiveness is like holding a hot coal in your hand and being mad at the person who started the fire. Forgive, drop it, and let it go.”
We have all felt wronged, betrayed or taken advantage of at least one time or another in our life. We have memories of a painful experience or event with another person that still bothers us today. Whether you've been hurt by a family member, friend, co-worker or a spouse, it's time to forgive and let it go.
Or maybe you lost a job or someone else got the promotion over you and it still bothers you today. It’s left you with a feeling of low self-esteem and little self-worth. That feeling can eventually turn into bitterness that causes you to hold a grudge. The big problem with that is, the longer you hold a grudge, then the longer you stay stuck.
Unforgiveness has the power to enslave you and keep you from moving forward while the person you are angry with has moved on with their lives. While they are free, you are held captive by memories and emotions that continue to drain you and spread throughout your being like a cancer.
You must decide to let it go once and for all. When it becomes too difficult to let it go, then ask God for help. He is always there. If you are struggling with forgiving someone then here is a simple prayer that can get you started on the road to forgiveness and moving forward again.
"Dear God, I realize that I have unforgiveness towards (their name here). I need your help and strength to forgive them and their actions towards me. I'm tired of feeling this way and I am ready to let it go and receive the healing that I need. Amen!
Get Up and Get Back in the Game: Unfortunately, there are so many people that let the pain of being rejected in the past, keep them from ever trying again because they simply fear that it will happen again. Yes rejection hurts. Rejection is real, and you must understand that rejection is all a part of the process.
What I mean by this is that everyone will face rejection while they are striving to reach their destination. The difference between those that are moving and those that are stuck is those moving forward understand that rejection is not fatal. They make a choice to get back up and keep moving forward. A good friend of mine who loves the game of basketball says it like this:
“The best advice I can give anyone to get over rejection is to get back in the game as soon as possible after you face rejection. Keep moving forward. The longer you hold out the harder it is to keep moving forward. Bounce back. Just like when you play basketball, someone hits a three pointer in your face you come back down and dunk on them.”
Get Over the Fear of the Opinions of People: I’ve come across so many people who are frozen in fear and refuse to take a step of faith all because they fear what others will say if they fail. They simply care more about the opinions of others than they care about reaching their dream.
Here is the plain truth. Not everyone is going to be for you. Not everyone is going to like you or your ideas. There are people who will criticize you and everything that you do. In fact, even some of your friends might become jealous of your dreams and will try to talk you into joining them in a life of settling for less than.
You will be laughed at and even called crazy, ridiculous and foolish. You will be accused of not being realistic when it comes to your plans of success. My advice to you is to get over it. Get over people and their opinions. Get over what others are thinking and keep your eyes on the goal.