Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Rita Schulte LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

How to Turn Off Negative Thoughts in Your Mind 5 Productivity Hacks to Kick Start Your Day Why Successful People Aren’t Afraid of Rejection How to Improve your Finances in 4 Easy Steps Five Things We Can Learn from Facing our Fears

Trending in Lifestyle

1 How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries 2 18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life 3 10 Easy At-Home Leg Toning Workouts for Women 4 10 Best Wireless Headphones For Running 5 9 Best Blood Pressure Monitors You Can Use at Home

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

Advertising

Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

Advertising

You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

Advertising

  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

Advertising

Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

Read Next