REWORKING – BEYOND REJECTION
Difficult times and rejection have over the years been a source of internal conflict for me. Rejection usually creates a fear that hinders your activity. You ask yourself, “What if I am rejected?” You question the odds of you winning a business contract or even being accepted by a spouse. The fear of embarrassment is a huge impediment when we allow ourselves to be intimidated by the fear of rejection.
Truth is, you can never get to your full potential unless you get accustomed to the concept of rejection. Being rejected is a common occurrence in life. As children, we experienced rejection in many forms. We may have wanted to play in a group where the other kids told us we could not play. Amongst our siblings, we have felt rejected by our parents because it seemed they may have preferred one of our other siblings. While any rejection can be painful, some instances of rejection may be more impactful than others. Because most humans desire social contact, and many people crave acceptance from society, being rejected can incite negative feelings and emotions. Today, many people isolate themselves or hold back from connecting to others because they are afraid of being rejected.
Each and every one of us has carried the weight of rejection and until we can learn to let, we cannot progress with our fullest pace and to our fullest potential. Whatever experiences you may have had in the past, you need to let them go – whether internally, emotionally, psychologically or physically. To be placed fully in a good position for the future, you must let go of the past and retune your present mind. Rejection can hurt in a lot of ways but we do not fully fathom the extent of damage it really does. According to Psychology Today, our psychological well-being is gravely affected.
When we find ourselves in circumstances of rejection, we often ruminate over the problem again and again. We beat ourselves up and make countless assumptions of what we could have done to not be rejected. But these frequent revisits of the past may be more disempowering than empowering. Instead of clearing our heads and giving space for fresh waves of newness to come into our lives, we lock up ourselves in bondage of the past. As I have mentioned, rejection occurs in many areas of our lives and a very common area in which we often experience rejection is in our work and business. Here are a variety of work-related situations that could account for our emotional pain: being rejected for a promotion position, being turned down by a colleague, being left out on an important and enviable project, losing a sale to a competitor. These instances are all a part of our journey to become High Performers. And yes, although we may expect these situations, in the moment, we feel vulnerable and unsafe because of our fear.
After we have been served the biggest blow at work, it is understandable that we feel the saddest. But carrying the weight will hinder us from shining through with authenticity and positivity. Yes, you lost that job and yes you may not have been given the salary raise you were expecting. But you will not be able to tell a different story tomorrow if you do not close the sad chapter and start writing a new one. You must see yourself in a new light, with fresh energy, given a brand new opportunity to take on new challenges and tell a different story. We make it a habit to define ourselves by the mistakes that we make. Do not make a habit of taking the small things and padding them with extra faults so we can make it fit who we are. You are a far different and better person from the mess ups. Your failures are only a part of your story but never a full representation of who you are.
1. ANTICIPATE IT
Whenever you are going into any space or any conversation, be it a work meeting or a conference event, any place where you have a relationship or something you are going to achieve, prepare for rejection. We always prepare for everything else but rejection. We prepare for how we will look, what we will say, the outlook of our presentation and what not. But we never prepare our minds and hearts for what may happen spontaneously. We must make a habit of anticipating to prepare for every case or scenario. “What am I going to do if goes right?” “If this does not go as planned, how should I take it and what plan must I have in place to change the outcome to a positive one?” For your next conversation or consultation, remember to anticipate what will happen both positively and negatively and prepare for it.
2. ACKNOWLEDGE IT
Rejection, in any form or way, can cause an emotional upheaval. In the event that you are rejected, you must acknowledge your current circumstances. We try to run away emotionally and mentally by denying that we have been rejected. Others may react and turn their environment upside down. This is the moment where we require emotional intelligence to help us manage our emotions in the right way. Reacting badly may create a worse impression of you to your colleagues and employers. This may hinder the facilitation of an honest conversations between both parties for fear of creating turmoil. Long-term, this could affect your performance and your growth as an individual. It may also stain your records and block better career opportunities.
3. APPRECIATE IT
Appreciating rejection means going beyond putting yourself in a vulnerable position to seek help. You are not a weak person because you decide to seek help. It rather means you are willing to do what it takes to move past obstacles put in your way and get the job done. You are able to sit and assess yourself and draw out the areas you need help. Getting help will help you expand and stretch yourself in areas where you had limits. Help could come in many forms depending on the type of rejection you are dealing with. You may speak to a trusted colleague or supervisor who is willing to hear you out and guide you towards incorporating practical solutions. Seeking professional help or therapeutic guidance is also a good option. The stigma attached to this choice should never stop you from looking out for yourself and doing what is best for you. Whatever you do, do not carry the baggage of one failure at work or in an area of your life throughout your living. You are powerful and in control of your story. You can rewrite it as many times as you will.
When you are rejected, a large part of your self-esteem and self-worth is affected. The truth is, the HR or employers are not rejecting you because you are not good. It is just that your skills may not be a match to their job descriptions. However, that does not make your skills and ability any less. So, if you encounter this type of rejection, just take a deep breath, accept and move on. There are still many companies who need your skills out there. Maybe you are just not destined for your preferred employer, but a great company is out there waiting for you to become a part of their team! It is important that your consistently remind yourself of how valuable you are. Meditate on the things you have been accepted for and gotten right over past years. Affirm aspects of yourself you know are valuable. Take them individually and appreciate yourself for doing some things right.
Rejection destabilizes our need to belong, leaving us feeling unsettled and socially untethered. Therefore, we need to remind ourselves that we are appreciated and loved so we can feel more connected and grounded. Let your rejection for whatever reason be a lesson and a stepping stone to leap forward. Re-label yourself with a new identity by gradually and systematically working on your weaknesses to turn them into strengths. Gradually pull yourself out of your shell and become more social. Everyone gets rejected, so do not bask in the feeling that the situation is unique to just you. Restructuring also requires that you are in tune and present in both body and mind to release the required energy to manage a rejection in the event that it happens.
Rejection is never easy but knowing how to limit the psychological damage it inflicts, and how to rebuild your self-esteem when it happens, will help you recover sooner and move on with confidence when it is time for your next date or social event. Remember, you can prepare for rejection just like everything else, and you can prepare for confrontation just like everything else. You can prepare for provocation. And when you anticipate, acknowledge and appreciate your rejection, you can work out confident and emotionally ready to deal with any and every energy around you.
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Personal Impact, Professional Growth and Influence Expert specializing in Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power – H.E.L.P.
A career spanning over two decades, she has established herself as a Certified High Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Wellness Expert and award-winning Entrepreneur with a clientele ranging from C-Suite Executives, Senior Management, Practitioners and Sales Leaders spanning 3 continents.
She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; a premier lifestyle business group with brand subsidiaries that include Dzigbordi Consulting Group& Allure Africa.
She is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Ghana having being named “CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year” in 2009; “Top 10 most respected CEOs in Ghana, 2012; Global Heart of Leadership Award and, Women Rising “100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women”, 2017. She has also been featured on CNN.
She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and @dzigbordi across all social media platforms.