Rejection can sting, but it doesn’t have to derail your efforts or your future. It’s is a part of life that everyone must face. But many of us believe some big lies about rejection that are keeping us stuck and in an endless loop of more and more rejection.
The most painful TRUTH is that we are most often the ones rejecting ourselves. We have a hard time accepting ourselves as we are; we constantly drive to please others, prove our value and worth to others, and obsess over having more.
It’s like trying to fill up an air mattress with a hole in it that you can’t see.
Here are five lies that keep us stuck in rejection land.
1. It’s imperative that people like me.
I hope you can see the fallacy in this when it’s in writing. But many of us are living out this belief as people-pleasers and agreement seekers.
When you agree with everyone, you agree with no one. And when you try and please everyone, you end up pleasing no one…especially yourself.
Our efforts to please everyone in our world to avoid hurting them is a thinly veiled fallacy. We’re really trying to prevent them from rejecting us, which keeps us on a never-ending treadmill of trying to keep up.
Focus your attention on the people that matter in your world.
2. When I’m rejected, it means there’s something wrong with me.
That is only true if you believe it to be true…a little bit louder for the back!
In his book “Rejection Free,” Scott Allan says, “The power of rejection is only as strong as you decide it should be. Two people can be rejected for the same thing: one person takes it personally and gives up; the other says, “Okay, what’s next?” and keeps going.
Often we are rejected for reasons beyond our control. Imagine auditioning for one spot on a huge orchestra that gets 500 applicants. You don’t get the job, and you have no idea who did or the reasons why. If you take that personally, you’re discounting the other 498 people who also didn’t get the spot.
There may be absolutely nothing wrong with you, your skills, or your talents. One of the best ways to reframe rejection is: “I am not the best fit at this time.”
3. I get rejected because I’m different and weird.
I know there can be incredible pressure to fit in. Our culture teaches us there’s this thing called “normal” in this world. But who gets to decide that for you?
People use the word normal because they’re trying so hard to fit in, and they want you to do it too. But how do YOU define normal? What feels right for you? When people are themselves unabashedly in ways that do not harm others, they give others permission to do the same.
@thejeffreymarsh on TikTok is such an excellent example of someone who is willing to show up exactly as they are. And while many other people try and reject them, it is powerfully evident that they do not reject themselves.
4. I’m rejected because I don’t have what other people have.
Comparing ourselves to others and basing our worth on what other people have or don’t have is another self-inflicted rejection. We reject ourselves before anyone else can.
As long as you are trying to fulfill the expectations that you think other people have of you, you’re going to keep on the treadmill of self-rejection.
I remember the great wisdom I got from John Kim @theangrytherapist. I was talking to him about the bad feelings I was having while doing Crossfit workouts. I was attributing these negative thoughts to my age, my abilities…all this junk in my head.
He paused, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “no one cares about you, Deanna.” And at the moment, after the shock, I got it. I was rejecting myself; I was projecting all of my inferior feelings out into the world, thinking that’s what everyone else was thinking about me too.
They didn’t care about me because they were all in THEIR heads dealing with THEIR demons. It was such a gift and immediately freed me from comparison rejection in the gym.
5. I keep getting rejected at things I want to do. I should quit and do something else.
Don’t you dare. Not if you’re passionate about this thing you’re doing. There are too many examples of people who persisted in the face of repeated rejection and finally found their YES.
Van Gough only sold one piece of his art the entire time he was alive. He produced over 900 works of art. Though he never got to see his talent recognized, he is now one of the most famous and influential artists of all time.
Colonel Harland Sanders was rejected by more than 1,000 restaurants when he offered them his recipe for his secret herbs and spices. He was 65 and living off social security when he finally landed his first Kentucky Fried Chicken deal. He then went on to create the world’s second-largest restaurant chain.
Stephen King wrote his first novel, “Carrie,” while he was broke and living in a trailer, teaching English at a private high school in Maine. Thirty different publishers turned down the book.
Oprah Winfrey was fired from an early TV reporting job because she wasn’t a good fit for TV. She’s now one of the wealthiest people in entertainment, with a net worth of over 2.6 billion dollars.
Keep going because Yes lives in the land of No.
Rejection can be very painful, but only if we decide it to be. Our perceptions of our experience of it determine our suffering. If you would like some tools to better deal with rejection, check out Moffitt Talks Live – Rejection Rehab on Wednesday, April 28th at 5 pm PT.