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Why Successful People Aren’t Afraid of Rejection

Why Successful People Aren’t Afraid of Rejection

Imagine two scenarios. In the first, we have Jesse, who walks into the room to give a talk and everyone stares. She feels nervous and awkward. She immediately zeros in on two women in the front row whispering and she’s convinced they’re talking about her appearance. She knew she shouldn’t have worn the outfit she chose. Jesse believes she’s fat, unattractive, and not good enough. Her husband left her a few years ago and she’s never gotten over it.

In the next scenario we have Kim. She walks into the room to give a talk and the same thing happens — everyone stares. Kim feels a little nervous but tells herself she’s prepared and ready to do this. She see’s the ladies in the front row whispering but pays them no mind. Kim has done a lot of personal work to get where she is today. Her husband left her but she picked herself up, went back to school, did some counselling, and is making the most of her life now. She could stand to lose a few pounds but she recognizes she looks good for her age. Most importantly, she lives a healthy lifestyle.

In both cases, the situations are very much the same, but the thoughts and feelings given in response to the circumstances are profoundly different because of several factors. These key elements are what make successful people fearless when it comes to the thought of rejection. Let’s take a look at them.

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Self-Talk

The first key factor that determines our mood and emotional wellbeing is our self-talk. What we say to ourselves in response to any given situation vastly determines how we feel. In the first scenario, Jesse has nothing good to say to herself. She also makes several thinking errors which she is totally unaware of. For example, she jumps to conclusions that the women whispering are talking about her, thus she feels rejection. She also erroneously believes her outfit and her weight could be the cause of the gossip. Kim, on the other hand, has positive self-talk. She accepts herself just as she is. She worked hard to take the necessary healing steps after the ultimate rejection of divorce by going to therapy.

Accepting Responsibility

The truth is that you alone are responsible for how you feel (barring any medical or severe psychological problems). It’s easy to blame our problems on someone or something, but in the end, the choice is ours as to how we will respond to adversity or rejection. Successful people accept responsibility and take charge of their lives. Kim could have chosen to be bitter and angry about what happened to her, but she chose not to allow the rejection she experienced to hold her back. The realization that you are responsible for your thoughts, attitudes, actions, and beliefs is empowering once you hone in on it.

Recognizing Thinking Errors

Successful people learn to recognize errors in their thinking that may cause them needless turmoil and lead them to feel rejected by others. Here are a few to be aware of:

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Jumping to conclusions: You make negative interpretations even though the evidence doesn’t support your beliefs.

Generalizing: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern.

Mind Reading: You conclude someone is feeling negatively toward you but you have no evidence to support the belief.

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Fortune Telling: You assume your negative predictions are already established facts.

Catastrophizing: You attribute negative and horrible consequences to the outcome of events.

Beliefs

Our negative self-talk and our feelings of rejection are simply a response to our belief systems. Beliefs are powerful because we always act based on what we believe. Successful people don’t fear rejection because they’ve learned to love themselves. They realize their imperfections. They consciously choose to believe the best and they work at developing positive counterstatements to contradict negative beliefs about themselves and others.

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Learning to be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Successful people have learned to sit with the uncomfortable feelings of rejection. They have strategies to help them process difficult emotions, like deep breathing, muscle relaxation, journaling, and exercise. They understand that life is difficult and bad things sometimes happen. They also know not everyone will like them. They are secure because they aren’t trusting in others to meet their needs.

Resiliency

Successful people have developed strong resiliency skills. They are less self-critical, they see the glass half full, they learn to believe they are capable, and they develop good problem-solving skills.

Successful people aren’t robots. When they feel rejected, they have thoughts, feelings, and beliefs just like the rest of us, but they choose to work through them in adaptive ways. They realize that while rejection can be painful, it’s a normal part of life.

If you’re tired of ruminating about being rejected, start implementing these strategies. Start paying attention to what you do when you experience rejection. List your beliefs. Notice and challenge thinking errors. Develop positive counterstatements. These will be the first steps to developing the awareness necessary for change to occur.

Featured photo credit: Rita Schulte via media.lifehack.org

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Rita Schulte LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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