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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 September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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