Finding Strength in Rejection

Updated: May 18, 2019

If you are in your 40s, chances are you've been rejected. You've experienced disappointment. You've felt the pain of not getting what you want. People have disappointed you. You've struggled with hope. If in 40 years rejection hasn't beat the crap out of you, you're not risking anything, you don't want anything, and you've quit.

In my thirties, I drank the positive thinking kool-aid and why wouldn't I? People wanted to know me. Employers wanted to hire me. My kids wanted to spend time with me and my husband wanted to build a life with me. It was easy to be an optimist who could see the silver lining in everything and be content.

In my forties, the kool-aid proved to be sugar and food colouring. I lost my job, my husband, some friends, and my children grew up.  My life turned upside down and no amount of positive thinking fixed it.

Rejection begets more rejection.

I've lost things in my life, which leads to more rejection because people are wired to associate with those who win and society perceives loss as something to reject. When asked questions about myself I need to focus on the gains and hide the losses, to not tell the whole story, which for a storyteller, is nearly impossible.

Attitude Change

Last year, when I got laid off, the HR person tried to give me hope with meaningless positive saying and quotes. However, I couldn't handle one more meaningless, inauthentic, I really don't care,"think positive quote." My insides were being torn apart by fear and anxiety, I didn't need to hear about doors, windows, and better things. At that moment, I needed understanding, support, and truth.

No one has a crystal ball. We can't see into the future. Thinking positive, though important, isn't enough. We must act. If we do not learn from our experiences, our fears are going to come true and placating someone with hope filled "positive thinking" quotes, with no basis in reality, blinds them to the truth. Better to tell a person about their strengths, rather than some airy, meaningless, quote.

Sometimes we fail and the reasons for the rejection can help identify obstacles to success. However, most times, we aren't the right person for the job, not the right fit for a lover, not the right personality for a friend and that's life. Deal with it, see it for what it is, and move on.

What are your favourite positive thinking quotes, share them in the comments section.

Focusing on the positives in your life, remembering the good things about your character, and knowing you are great at what you do, are vital to achieving success after rejection.

Make a list of all the things that make you great. Ask friends to come by and tell you all the things they love about you. When others tell us why we are amazing, we tend to believe it more than when we try to tell ourselves the same messages. You might be surprised by how great you really are when others tell you what they see in you. Positive messages based in fact and reality are different from delusional positive thinking sayings used to placate a person with hope about an uncertain future.

Life changes, sometimes for the best, sometimes for the worst. What doesn't change is you.

I Got Rejected, again

I didn't move on in the interview process and it hurt. It knocked me on my butt and I wanted to quit, to hide myself away, to drown in the doubt, disappointment, hurt, and fear. Instead, I analyzed what happened and talked to a career counsellor about my interview answers to try and determine where I went wrong.

I needed to find out how I failed to sell myself as the best option.

Knowing I'd messed up, failed, wasn't perfect, hurt more than the rejection itself because failure due to the mistakes one makes, is worse than being rejected for no reason at all. Yet, knowing an opinion about why I might have failed, is very helpful for the next time.

I need to know why in order to fix it.

Your mind is your greatest tool.

Rejection Tools

The pain of rejection can destroy us. We must face it, deal with it, and learn from it. The following links have tools to help deal with rejection.

Six Tips to Get Past Job Search Rejection

The Truth about Job Search Rejection

Putting Job Search Rejection into Perspective

Rejection and Dating How Not to take it Personally

Help I Can't Stand the Rejection

Seek Rejection

Everyone gets rejected. Everyone feels disappointment. A successful person embraces rejection and keeps seeking it out.

The only way to go forward in life is to put myself out there. To be open to the pain of rejection and to embrace it as a sign that I'm living. I may never find success, but quitting is not an option.

I keep learning from my failures. 

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In her new Chicklit novel, Shannon Peel is exploring what it means to be a 40 something woman in the 21st Century. Each of the 5 women are personalities that we as woman are made up of in various degrees. We are too complex to be just one. 

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