4 Ways to Deal with Rejection
I had dinner with a good friend a few days ago, and we were celebrating rejection. I know that you're probably thinking, "What? Why the heck would they do that? Who in their right mind would celebrate rejection?" And the answer is ... US. We did. We knew it was a weird thing to do. But we still did it.
She and I have similar careers; we both speak, write books/articles, and generally try to inspire and motivate people along the way. She has a Ph.D. and is an overall awesome lady. She is also a great conversationalist, so when we got on the topic of rejection, it got good.
You see, we both have had to deal with plenty of rejection in our lives - both personally and professionally. Hasn't everyone? But the funny thing is that when people get rejected, it makes them feel alone. We all think, "Why am I such a loser? Why doesn't anyone want me or see my greatness?" Let's face it: rejection hurts. No one wants to be rejected. We all want to be liked, loved, and/or adored. But deep down, we all know that it's not possible to make it through life without being rejected - probably many times.
I could sit here and write all sorts of different times I've been rejected: jobs, relationships, someone in my audience, someone in the public, and the list goes on. In fact, two days ago I was the guest on Ralph Smart's webshow called Infinite Waters, Diving Deep. What an awesome man he is! You should check him out.
But I digress.
I had a blast on his show. It fired me up! He has a really big following, so when he posted the show, it got thousands of views right away. And on Youtube, just like on Facebook, they have the "like" button. But they also have a "dislike" button. Ouch. That hurts. And, of course, people can comment. And while most of the comments were great, and I only got 10 or so "dislikes," I still have to wonder, "What didn't they like about me? Was it the big giant zit in the middle of my forehead that day?" (yes, I did have one, and it was pretty mortifying ... and really bad timing! But I just had to suck it up and get over it because there is nothing I could do about it!). Just in case anyone is now curious to see just awful the zit really was, you can check it out on the show here. Oh, and for the record, I was also having a really bad hair day :)
One person who commented on it said I that rambled on too much. And some other people said "Ralph, you are a good listener," which implies that I talked too much (there may be truth to that - I am a professor and keynote speaker, and so it's in my blood to talk, and talk, and talk...and I probably need to watch that for the next show I'm on).
Anyway, my conversation with my friend and being on Ralph's show just really got me thinking more about rejection. So I tried to come up with some words of wisdom for anyone out there reading this who has ever been rejected. #everyone
1. Get over it.
If you can't change it, just ignore it.
2. Find something about yourself that you love.
Focus on that.
3. Reflect on all the people who do love you.
You know people love you. So think about them...not the haters.
4. Remember this quote:
"I failed my way to success." - Thomas Edison
All people who have done great things have failed and been rejected. It comes with the territory. The only difference between them and other people is they just keep going anyway.
Well, there you have it. Trust me, it's not easy to get over rejection. And many times, the rejection we are facing is self-rejection *ahem* ( think ... giant zit on the forehead and bad hair day). That's the worst kind, actually. So be kind to yourself. Not everyone will love you, but most people will. Remember that at all times.
Have a great week - and I hope it's free of rejection!! :)
As I am finishing up a very busy couple of months of teaching (and other exciting professional ventures), I thought I would share one of my most popular articles with you this week. I wrote it for Lifehack.org, and it has been shared over 86,000 times on social media. I thought it was worth sharing again in my blog just in case you haven't read it yet. I have cut it down a bit for the purposes of a blog. But I will get back to my normal blogging shortly, as soon as I finish up my piles of grading :) Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this. Here it is:
One of my mottos is “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life!” I’m a big believer that our thoughts and emotions shape our experiences. The problem is that most people aren’t even aware of their negative thoughts. It’s almost like they have just become a habit, so it seems normal to them. Here are 9 common toxic thoughts that you need to change in order to have a better life:
1. Thinking that you are a victim.
You’re not a victim. So stop blaming other people or your circumstances for your problems. Just because you don’t like where you are now doesn’t mean that you can’t take personal responsibility to change it for the better. So get rid of that victim-mentality because it doesn’t help anything. In fact, it acts as an obstacle to success. Realize that you, and only you, are responsible for your destiny.
2. Thinking that you can change other people.
You can’t. I had to learn this the hard way. There was a time in my life when I thought I could “motivate” and “inspire” people to be their best selves. It took me a while to realize that the only thing that can change other people isthemselves. If they don’t want to change—or don’t know how—then all of your efforts will be wasted. So don’t worry about other people. If you don’t like them “as is,” then you have the choice to not hang out with them anymore. But you don’t have the right to change them.
3. Thoughts that constantly resist “What Is.”Some things you can change.
In fact, a LOT of things you can change. You can lose weight. You can find a better job. You can go back to school. You can work on your marriage. But there are some things you can’t change. Those things are simply “what is.” You can’t change that your boss is a jerk. You can change jobs, but you can’t change your boss. You can’t change the fact that you have to pay rent or your mortgage. But you can stop resisting it. Resisting the unchangeable does nothing more than frustrate you and make you miserable. So change what you can, and accept what you can’t.
4. Thinking that “The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side.”
“If only I was as pretty as that girl, then I’d be happy.” Or “If only I was as rich as that guy, then I’d be happy.” Those kinds of thoughts aren’t true. Just because you think someone else has it better than you doesn’t mean they do. Maybe the pretty girl came from an abusive home and can’t get her life in order. And maybe the rich guy spends so much time at work that he never gets to see his family. The grass is not greener on the other side. So appreciate the grass you have. It’s your grass. So love it.
5. Having expectations of other people.
Expectations can be deadly to happiness, even if you think your expectation is reasonable, such as having your roommate or spouse do his/her share of the chores around the house. Just because you expect it doesn’t mean they will do it. Realize that your expectations come from your personal experiences and biases. They are not necessarily other people’s priority. You probably don’t like being expected to do things that you don’t want to do, so don’t impose your expectations on others. If you don’t like their behavior, either accept it, or move on.
6. Feeling that you always need to prove that you are right.
I always wonder why people will fight to the death to prove they are “right.” What’s the point? I think it’s because they don’t want to look weak. Or vulnerable. Or stupid. But I think admitting you are wrong is a much more noble and mature thing to do. Besides, everyone has a different opinion. So why not have yours and let them have theirs?
7. Worrying about what other people think.
Why do you care? Do you think they are judging you? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. No one is judging you as much as you are judging yourself. Other people are too busy judging themselves just like you that they probably don’t even give you a second thought! So do what makes you happy. And if others are judging you, then it’s their problem, not yours. Ignore them and be happy anyway.
8. Thinking there is only ONE right and ONE wrong.
We live in a world where we like to think there is an objective reality. But guess what? Objective reality is an illusion. It doesn’t exist. Only subjective realities do. What one person thinks is the “truth” is not the truth for someone else. For example—who’s right? The Republicans or the Democrats? Well, it depends on who you ask, right? Everyone thinks something is right because it fits their life and the way they look at the world. And that’s it. Period. End of story.
9. Believing that the past determines your future.
Just because you came from a poor family, or made mistakes in the past does not mean that you can’t make your future better. If you have labeled yourself as a “failure” because of your past, then you will only continue your “failure” attitude into the future. And if you’ve heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy phenomenon, then you know that what you think, you become. So like I said in the opening paragraph: “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life!”
I hope that this article has made you think long and hard about the toxic thoughts that probably go through your mind every day. And I bet you didn’t even know it! So start paying attention to what you think, and when you catch your negative thoughts, hit the “cancel” and “delete” buttons—FAST!
Recently, I did an activity in my interpersonal communication class. We were talking about interpersonal perception. In other words, how do we all judge other people based on their real or inferred characteristics? For example, I had a student many years ago who had a pink Mohawk, tattoos, and piercings all over his body. His appearance was extreme (not many people look like that), and I could have judged him negatively (like thinking he wasn’t a serious student). As it turned out, he was one of the nicest guys who was smart and contributed a lot of value to the class. But from looking at him, you never would have guessed that would be the case.
Anyway, I was doing this activity with my students called “Perception of the Instructor.” I asked them 10 questions about myself that they didn’t know how to answer – they just needed to make assumptions based on the information that they already had about me. For example, I asked questions like, “Am I liberal or conservative,” and “What do I do for fun.” One of the questions was how old they think I was when I got married, and what kind of wedding do they think I had (did I elope to Vegas or have a traditional church wedding?). Anyway, they all said I got married in my early 20s. I found that interesting because I would think that they would assume I got my education earlier in life before I settled down and got married.
Well it turns out that the reason they thought I got married so young is because they knew how old my kids are. And then they took the approximate age of how old they thought I was and then subtracted my kids' age to get their answer. But that’s not the point. The point is that they estimated me to be about 7-10 years younger than I am. And in my head I was screaming “Whoo hooo!!!!” Oh who am I kidding, I was screaming ‘Whoo Hoo’ in class and promising them all A’s in the class (I was joking).
But I don’t tell you this story to brag.
I tell you this story because of a sad reality this brings up. I told my mom later that day that my students all thought I was a lot younger than I am. And we both cheered with excitement. But then later that night, I thought this …
Why is it that I’m not insulted that they think I’m younger?
I mean, I have earned my wisdom through living my life pretty well so far. I have earned every fine line and emerging gray hair I have. I should be proud of my age and not want to have people think I look younger.
So why is it that we all get excited when people card us at the liquor store?? (it still happens once in a blue moon!) Why do we all want to be skinny, young, and look like we just stepped out of a fashion magazine?
Well, come on. It’s no secret that we live in a youth-and-beauty-obsessed culture. And I know that’s why I squealed in delight and promised them all A’s when they thought I was 10(ish) years younger. But it’s really quite sad that we get excited about looking youthful and not about being proud of our age and wisdom.
So I would like you all to join with me in celebrating and appreciating our age (even if you are young). The only reason we think “being old” is unacceptable is because we all buy into our culture’s pressure and expectations of youth. But it’s subjective.
Why is youth better than age and wisdom?
We only think it is because we all "drank the kool aid" so to speak.
So here are 5 things I want you to remember, regardless of your age:
1. You are important.
2. You have value.
3. You matter.
4. You are lovable.
5. You are beautiful.
I want all of you go to out and tell everyone you know - young and old - how awesome they are! I don't care if they are overweight, a high-school drop out, a movie star, a child, a homeless person, a drug addict, or a stay-at-home mom.
Everyone is beautiful in their own way.
So stop "drinking the kool aid." Make up your own mind. Don't buy into what anyone else says about you - individually or culturally. Remember your greatness and embrace it!!
Dr. Carol Morgan &
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