We know that the pain of rejection is felt emotionally and science has shown that the pain center of the brain is activated when feelings of rejection occur. The fear of rejection, therefore makes sense. It hurts…a lot.

We’re wired to fear rejection. Discussed in Part 1, our ancestors had a respectful fear of being ostracized from the tribe, so out of a wish to survive, a kind of sensitivity to any behavior smacking of possible rejection was squelched…thank goodness!

It’s good to know that rejection is truly a universal human experience. Everyone is challenged by rejection. I’m not weak because I struggle with rejection…it’s a natural human response.

Yet, this natural response to rejection can include hits to the self-esteem, feelings of unworthiness, helplessness and surges of anger and aggression.

Job seekers, job crafters and anyone breathing needs ways to handle rejection that acknowledges the pain while quickly jump-starting the pleasurable, satisfying and resilient parts of ourselves. We need new paradigms.

Today’s article will identify 6 more secrets for handling the fear and experience of rejection…

1. Remember Pia Melody’s phrases, “pain filled joy” and “joy filled pain”. For me it says a lot in a few words (which is a miracle by itself). Easy to remember. The relationship between growth and discomfort is there. NO denying that it is joyful to learn, yet often learning comes because of pain and/or dissatisfaction. What a wonderful way to reframe pain!  It was the rejection, that served as an impetus to start my private practice…joy filled pain…pain filled joy.

2. Ask for what you want…Notice what you get…Be grateful for the ‘no”. Pia Melody in her lectures affirming awareness and bolstering self-esteem  leads with those instructions. To be rejected, you have to put yourself out there; whether it’s an application that is later denied, an idea shared in a Facebook group page that isn’t chosen or time given to a potential client who decides she doesn’t want to purchase your services. You did it!  If you didn’t participate, you wouldn’t get the yes. Ask for what you want…Notice what you get…Be grateful for the no.

3. STOP the ruminating. This is critical to your success for handling rejection. That is, stop going over and over the experience of rejection. Remember the ability we have as human beings to relive the pain of rejection discussed in Part 1? When you allow yourself to chew and chew on the incident culminating in the rejected feelings, you are really hurting yourself. Please stop.

Did you know that if you are able to distract yourself from the rumination for 2 minutes, you’re essentially catapulting to the finish line of relief? 2 minutes!  So, do a puzzle, run around the block, make an omelet, sing a song, play with your kids, play with your lover :-)…you get it…just STOP RUMINATING IMMEDIATELY. Some of you are too good at embellishing the story! 😉

4. Effective immediately, implement a policy for NO SELF-CRITICISM. So, not only are you going to stop ruminating about the rejection, the policy of NO SELF-CRITICISM means no name calling or any of those absolute kind of words like “never” and “always”. Instead, adopt phrases like, ‘it didn’t work out this time” or “the fit wasn’t there” or “I’m bummed, but I’m glad I made the effort.” How about “there’s always next time…”

The truth is that most rejection isn’t personal, it’s a matter of a poor fit…kind of like choosing a larger shoe because the smaller size doesn’t fit!  And BTW, wouldn’t we all prefer to share our talents with people who truly recognize them?

5. Connect with someone to bolster the sense of belonging and personal value. We all have to some degree, a need for social connection. To be able to get affirmation that you matter or are appreciated helps at a time when your buttons for feeling rejected and left out are pushed. Consider taking your little sister out for lunch, or baking some cookies and sharing them with your neighbors. Maybe you’ll invite a few friends over to play the game, Pictionary. Choose activities where others are connecting with you in positive ways and experience that  togetherness. So pleasurable.

6. Get out your list of strengths from the VIA (Values in Action) Survey of Character Strengths at www.authentichappiness.com (at no cost) and write about how you use one of those top five strengths at work, home and socially. Which strength can help you manage right now?  You’re worth your own precious time and energy that it takes to be refreshed and appreciated.

Gift yourself by writing out your examples.  Write your story of strength…200 words…surprisingly satisfying. This strength- building activity warms you up with personal stories to make your next interview come alive!  Double the satisfaction.

The takeaway…

You now have the secrets for handling the fear of rejection. It’s normal to experience discomfort, even anger. Take time to soothe yourself with any or all of these ideas.  Be intentional about self-care. Evolve.  Smile, your resiliency is showing. Look for Part 3.

I’d love to know, What do you think about the idea of learning through rejection?  What is your favorite go-to soothing secret?


Need help bolstering yourself up to make that dream job happen?  Schedule a Love My Work Strategy Session with me today.  Let’s put our super brains together and go after the job results you want!