Truth - Sometimes we are prepared for life and other times we have to learn on the fly. It's those times where we are underprepared that often become the most significant for us. Who are we when we are caught off guard? How do we react when we receive bad news? Why do we behave in certain ways? Being told no has a sting to it but what's truly is poisonous is letting that venom subdue us. We can take rejection, it doesn't have to take us.

"Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don't base your self-esteem on their opinions." Harvey Mackay

Nobody likes to be told no but how we respond makes all the difference. More often than not we want TJ respond with denial and rebuke. It's like when you like someone but they don't like you back and so you take back your confession of feelings for them, or turn around insult them. It's juvenile, petty, and low. It speaks more to an immaturity in us than anything. We cannot make anyone like us or want us. Sometimes people try to bargain and change that no into a yes. It runs the risk of seeming desperate and overzealous. It's better to just leave it at that. How we manage our emotions and comport ourselves matters. Of course we can be hurt, we can even express our disappointment, but it should all come with the caveat of thankfulness or gratitude for even being offered the opportunity. The outcome may not have been what we wanted but there is still something to be learned from it all. It's the difference between spitefully storming out after being rejected versus thanking someone for their consideration, asking what you could do better in the future, and being intentional about staying connected with them if we find value in such a relationship. Attitude and perspective shift circumstances.

There are ways in which we center ourselves in things that may not actually be about us. Rejection is not always personal. That is not to say that sometimes it really is and on those occasions call it how you see it. Our natural tendencies to think about ourselves and to self-deprecate though can amplifying our feelings to dangerous heights. Rejection is not an indictment on the quality of our character or who we are as people. Internalizing it as such threatens to destroy us from the inside out. Some of those sentiments we must leave external to us. Nobody gets to determine our worth as people; only we can do that for ourselves. Whatever reasoning we are afforded, if any, may be enough. Sometimes it's better to not know why we weren't chosen. Then again that insidious yearn for closure can be overwhelming too. Rejection can be about fit, the candidacy of someone else was more closely aligning, or more time for introspection was needed. The reasons abound and we can either get lost in trying to search for answers, or we can settle our questions ourselves but actively deciding, as we are able, to accept it for what it is.

So we just received a rejection, in whatever context - what now? It's all about processing through the rejection. The operative word there is through - meaning that what we are feelings can and will not last forever. We can defend ourselves against the adverse affects of rejection by staying ground with our unrealistic expectations. Building up romanticized fantasized in our heads can give us a serious attachment to something potentially fleeting, leaving us further to fall if not chosen to fly. Manage expectations and minimize them. Back up plans and alternative paths give us multiple opportunities to prospect instead of leaving ourselves to be devastated if rebuked by our first choice. And if a rejection comes, take as much time as one might need to assess where one is emotionally. That awareness of how we're feeling, breathing, and our hearts are beating is crucial. Do you what you need in those moments to express yourself, let it all out, and eventually calm down. Call your person, listen to music, or go exercise. Take your time, claim your space, and own your place/where you are in your emotions. Prioritize you in those moments. Whatever you need to come to the inevitable conclusion that you were not selected AND to be okay with that. Rejection largely mirrors the stages of grief including denial and ending with acceptance. Acceptance though often comes with a sense of peace. Accept the decision and find ways to move on.

What does moving on look like for us? It most definitely is unique. Rejection is a reoccurring fact of life. The more we prepare ourselves and/or experience the better we get at figuring out what we need to overcome it. People will not always say yes to us, and we ourselves must be safe/secure in ourselves to respect the no's we receive. We need to be rooted in knowing who we are, what we have to offer, and why we matter - regardless of the opportunities given to our denied us. It is attaching our self-worth to titles, monetary value, or relationships to other people that usurp our self-determination. We don't have to let other people define us. We don't have to let our lives be written by what we have. We don't have to connect our mattering to validation; it has to be inherent. We should not dwell where we are not welcome. A rejection may be a missed opportunity on another person's account or it may be that where we would thrive has yet to come - either way, we have to hold close our positivity, gratitude, and hope. We can only be defeated if we allow rejection to keep us down. Nobody, even we ourselves, knows the full extent of what we're capable of. In that there is unbridled strength, resiliency, and power. X


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