Rejection & Protecting your Self-Esteem
For my birthday, my lovely friend got me a subscription to the Happy Newspaper. This kind of gift is right up my street and, in it, I found so many gorgeously brilliant articles and stories that lifted my spirits.
One of those articles was by Rebecca Kirk called 'Dear Casper' and it was all about taking leaps of faith without it affecting your self-esteem. As someone who's chosen to work for myself in a new industry, it really resonated with me and I wanted to share some (paraphrased) snippets in case it helps someone else reframe something that could be seen as negative into something actually really positive.
Leaps of faith can be scary but that fear can be managed.
Here's a 3 step thought process you can use;
2. leap of faith, and;
3. 'let's see what happens'
Try hard to see success as doing something to the best of your ability. Then, no matter what the external outcome of your action, it is a success and does not need someone else to validate it. By doing this, you regain control of your self-esteem.
"Why hinge validation on the external decision yet to come when you've already successfully honoured what was within your control to the best of your ability?"
"Rejection is part of a lived life"
We all get rejected from time-to-time and if taken personally, we risk extinguishing our flame. Refuse to wallow in self-pity because rejection is part of a fully lived life and to over-worry about it is simply not productive.
Try hard to have a positive response to any 'no' that comes your way - reframe your thinking to get out of your head and into the world. There are so many opportunities out there if you allow yourself to see them.
I always think of the wildly successful J.K Rowling when it comes to rejection. Joanne was turned away by 12 separate publishing houses before the first Harry Potter book got accepted by Bloomsbury. How crazy is that? It shows me that if you refuse to take no for an answer and keep putting yourself out there time and time again, you're going to see results eventually.
Many successful people put that success down to their sheer grit and determination to reach their goal. They have a 'never give up' attitude that keeps them focussed. "To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to hold fast to a purposeful goal” despite setbacks.
Don't take it personally
99% of the time, rejection isn't personal and there are many factors that can affect the decision. Instead of getting down about it, turn that emotion into determination to keep going after your goals. Resilience is such a key part of living a fulfilled and happy life so try your best to embrace these ups and downs and learn from each experience.
Turn uneasiness into excitement
Have you ever heard that you can turn nerves into excitement?
There's a cognitive trick called 'anxiety reappraisal' which essentially states that whenever you feel really nervous or uneasy, you should tell yourself you're excited instead. It's because both of these emotions elicit the same responses in our body; heart beating faster, cortisol surges, fight or flight feelings etc. so you can trick your mind into thinking it's excited for new opportunities around the corner! Try it for yourself and see if your mindset shifts.
I hope this helps someone in the grip of low self-esteem due to a setback. Remember that rejection is something all humans experience but we certainly can retain control of our self-esteem with a few mindset alterations. You are amazing, keep going!
Sources / Quotes
The Happy Newspaper - Rebecca Kirk, Dear Casper