There are many universal truths, and this is one: Rejection stings.

When you put yourself out there, and someone cuts you down; it really hurts.

You might want to get out there and meet some new people or get a new job, but the fear of being rejected holds you back. This is completely understandable as research can show us that rejection stimulates the same part of the brain that also responds to pain (Guy Winch, Ph.D., Huffington Post).

So don’t worry, rejection sucks for everybody. However, we can bounce back.

Here are some ways that you can get the better of rejection:

1: Feel and express your emotions.

Your feelings matter, and It’s OK to be sad! Don’t try to pretend that you aren’t disappointed when you experience rejection. Tackle your emotions head on so that you can move through them, instead of letting them fester and take over your life.

Additionally, don’t stop putting yourself out there! You are valid and the things you have to offer have value. Stay true to you are, and you will feel more satisfied and confident.

2: See your rejection as evidence of pushing your limits.

Go for the long shot! If you never experience rejection, you are too comfortable. Rejection is proof that you’re trying. You’re pushing yourself and reaching for new heights. Sometimes it isn’t the right fit, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying.

In life, there are infinite possibilities. ‘No’ is just a fork in the road. If you get rejected, passed over, or turned down, don’t stop. Keep looking, because that next opportunity is just around the corner.

3: Be kind to yourself.

Stop telling yourself “You’re so dumb for thinking you could do that.” or “What made you think they’d want someone like you?”. Instead, replace those negative phrases with positive and affirming ones, like: “You gave it your best shot!” or “I’m proud of myself for rising to the challenge.”.

Beating yourself up is like kicking someone when their down. If you wouldn’t do that to a friend, you shouldn’t do it to yourself.

4: Don’t let it define you.

You wouldn’t define yourself as an idiot because you failed a test one time, so don’t call yourself a failure because you failed one time.

One person – or company’s – opinion of you shouldn’t be the source of your identity or self-worth. Just because someone has an opinion of you, doesn’t mean it’s right or true.

5: Learn from it.

Maybe you bombed an interview, ask yourself “What can I learn from this?” or “Where did I go wrong?”. Rather than let yourself wallow in the pain of rejection, use it as a tool for improvement! Through being turned down, you might find areas of your life that need improvement.

Rejection might not be as awful as you’d expect if you treat it like an exercise. Becoming better as a result of being passed over, can open the doors to bigger and better opportunities down the road.

Being Rejection-Proof.

This is a slightly misleading statement — because rejection will never not sting. But! You can change the course of your future by letting rejection change you, not shape you. When you’re putting yourself out there, rejection is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be detrimental. Remember:

  • Express Yourself
  • Push Your Limits
  • Be Kind to Yourself
  • Don’t let Rejection Define You
  • Let Rejection Teach You