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3 Ways to Prevent Rejection From Crushing You

This is a guest-post by Mika Maddela from The Path To Passion.

Photograph by lanier67

Hey My name is Mika and I know the damaging effect rejection can do to you.

There are countless time in our lives when we experience rejection.

You were the last person picked to be on someone’s team during a schoolyard game of kickball. You didn’t get into your top choice for grad school. The job you applied for didn’t think you would be a ‘good fit.’ The person you gave your heart to walked out of your life.

It begins at a young age when our internal beliefs about ourselves are formed.

Especially when you’re going through heartbreak, rejection really knows how to make you question your self-worth.

Blame kicks in as you start asking yourself “why” questions. Unfortunately when you come up with these types of questions, you come up with answers that validate your limiting beliefs about yourself.

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?

“It’s because I’m such a loser.”

“There are better people than me”

“I have nothing to offer.”

Many people deal with rejection as proof of them not being good enough.

Rejection fuels our insecurities and has a way of cutting down our self-esteem. This is where many people make the mistake of letting rejection define their own self-worth.

Rejection stings because rejection validates what people fear the most–that something is inherently wrong with them.

With this fear, they go into self-preservation mode. When they do this, they stew in their own turmoil as the door to positive experiences closes. Here are my 3 ways you can cope with rejection without going into self-preservation mode.

1. You Create Bad Feelings

You’re feeling bad because you’re focusing on what you don’t want to happen.

Think about the day after your breakup. The day when you you woke up and realized you were truly alone…painful to think about it, huh?

Whenever you feel angry, sad, bitter, resentful or lonely, you’re essentially thinking about WHAT you don’t want to happen. So by changing your thoughts and focusing on what’s going for you in your life right now, you can snap yourself out of the funk you’re in.

Isn’t that empowering to know that you create your emotions?

Here’s a little exercise you can do when you’re feeling down.

Make a list of everything you are grateful for.

If you can’t think of one single thing to be happy for then you are not trying very hard.

Are you thankful to have access to the internet?
Are you thankful to have a warm bed to fall asleep in tonight?
Are you thankful for the friends and family who care about you?
Are you thankful you have food to nourished your body?
Are you thankful that you have clean drinking water?

When people have the mentality that they don’t have enough in their lives, it causes them even more needless suffering because they overlook the good things in their lives and laser focus on what they DON’T have.

Just by changing your focus, you can change your thoughts and by changing your thoughts you can change your emotions.

Once you change your emotions, you can actually change the way you act and behave, thus giving you the power to change the outcomes in your life.

By making this internal shift, you are opening the doors to enjoying life again!

2. The Fallacy Behind Your Beliefs

Rejection and heartbreaks hurt. They validate those awful thoughts we have about ourselves.

Thoughts like:

I am not smart enough.

I am bad at relationships.

No one will ever love me.

I am not worth people’s time.

These beliefs accumulated over time (and most likely created during a young age and fueled by negative experiences.)

Beliefs are not true or false.

They are completely subjective to each individual. How do you quantify that you are unlovable or a loser? What real and tangible evidence do you have that you are your beliefs?

So make a choice right now.

Are you going to choose a belief that’s causing you more suffering? Or are you going to choose a new belief, one that will help give you happier outcomes in your life?

What beliefs do you think are holding you back?

Make a list of the outcomes you’re currently getting in life and write down the beliefs that you think are contributing to those outcomes.

This can help you become aware of any limiting beliefs so you can empower yourself to change and create new beliefs that will help you overcome rejection and succeed in all areas of your life.

3. The Only Way Out is Through

Many people deal with negative emotions by resisting them.

Instead of struggling against the tide of emotions, next time you find yourself suffering from the pain of rejection or heartbreak, try to go with it, even embrace it.

Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

Take jealousy for example. Other than your insecurities being at play here, you’re trying to convince yourself that you have control over your partner. But in reality you have no control over anyone’s desires, and trying to go against the grain of what’s actually happening is you creating more drama and suffering in your life.

The only person you have any control over is yourself.

You can’t make someone love you as much as you can’t make someone fall out of love with you.

I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t feel upset… but allow yourself to really feel your emotions, rather than trying to stop them. Accepting yourself and what’s happening around you will help you stop this pattern of self-inflicted torture.

Are you living a life based on beliefs that do more harm than good? If so, monitor the thoughts you create so they are aligned with better beliefs to help you overcome the pain of rejection.

Rejection is not a reflection of your own self-worth because only you can validate your self-worth.

How has rejection affected you and what did you do to move past it? Please share your answer in the comment section down below.

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24 Responses to 3 Ways to Prevent Rejection From Crushing You

  1. Eddie Corbano October 30, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Thank you Mika for that wonderful article.

    I think no3 is especially true after a rejection (like a break-up) because we tend to look for reasons and for similar experiences in our past.

    And when we wrongfully connect the dots and come to the false conclusion that there is something wrong with us, then we are really doing damage to ourselves.

    Such thinking leads into depression and is a way to destroy our self-esteem.

    That’s why it is of vital importance to nip such thought in the bud. Identify and destroy such wrong beliefs right away!

    Eddie

  2. Jane Bowlin October 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Right at this moment I ‘think’ I’m starting to feel some better and REALLY do know this is the end of life as I knew it for 10 plus years. Before the past day or so, it’s all seemed very unreal to me. He recently sent me an e-mail that he’ll be in the area this coming Thurs., and listed some things he wants to pick up. I do not plan to see him. Believe it or not, I already see why the NO CONTACT thangey works. It’s been the very best thing I could ever have done. Sunday afternoon when I started packing those items he wants, that was “contact” enough for me — it hurt to the core and I had a melt down. As far as self esteem goes, other than feeling really foolish over being so generous to a mooch, and a bruised ego that he is already involved with someone else, I don’t feel all THAT bad about me as a human being— certainly not nearly as much negative about myself.. as what I feel about HIM and all the rage I have for “how” he’s handled ending our 10 years together. At least some powerful lessons are being learned, plus I’m stronger than I thought I could be, and have also dropped 13 pounds :D — I’m also hellbent on becoming the best 62 years young person I can be. For sure some days are easier than others to believe I can accomplish my goals, but all in all I own my mistakes in everything and know in my heart I did the best I could with the individual I was doing it with. There were and are very good reasons why this ended… once I can consistently feel that I’ll be the better for him making that choice. Knowing me, I probably never would have because of all of my refusal to look at how little I mattered. Truth be known, one day I could be a spokesperson for what Eddie Corbano is teaching m — the e-mails and links to other information has truly been a blessing during this very hideous time.

    • Mika Maddela October 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      Jane,
      I know what you mean about the breakup feeling surreal. It’s sounds like you just met the reality of your situation but you seem to be making good strides in accepting the breakup. Another thing to keep in mind, you both were together for 10 years and him being in a new relationship so quickly after the breakup is a fast track route for more heartache for him. Rebound relationships hardly work out because he hasn’t had enough time to heal from your breakup, sooner or later all his emotional baggage will strain his new relationship. Plus so many people make the mistake of speeding up their new relationship, trying to bring it to the same level of intensity of their last relationship, I could feel your optimism and empowerment shine through towards the end of your comment. I think you’re definitely going in the right direction when it comes to healing from this breakup. Kudos to you! Thanks for your comment:)

    • M May 16, 2013 at 7:19 am #

      Hi Jane. How are you managing now? I’ve posted a comment below and I’d love to hear from you.

  3. Jana October 31, 2012 at 3:28 am #

    I Know what your feeling Jane, my boyfriend called me in the morning on his way to work andtalked like we always didand even told me he loved me and called me in the afternoon and said we needed to talk,this was after 7 yrs together(we were married for the first 4 and started dating after the divorce)and it hurt like hell. but iam coming to relieze that that I tried everything and forgave all,and its his problem not mine anymore. I still cry and hurt but am working through it. will be sending good thoughts your way :)

    • Mika Maddela October 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      Jana, you are such a strong woman. I hope you can see that:)

    • M May 16, 2013 at 7:16 am #

      Hi Jana. How are you managing now? My partner of 8 years left me for someone else. I asked for counseling but he didn’t want to go. I’ve been out of contact for about 40 days now. I keep seeing negative things about myself and I try to dismiss them but it’s very hard. When I see improvement in myself I keep wanting to contact him to tell him that I’m “better” and to try to fix things. Some days or weeks I’ve accepted that it’s over but then I seem to come back again and again to wanting to fix it. My self-esteem is so low that I can’t imagine myself managing on my own or imagine finding another partner. I’m unemployed and am in ill-health at the moment but I know that I am not in this place the majority of the time but I really need to hear success stories right now.

  4. AzAshburn October 31, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    We fear rejection because it can damage our self-esteem badly that most of the time, we will feel useless,less valued, unwanted and not desired.. Gradually, it will hurt your self-pride and bring impact towards every aspect of your life including your career and your relationships with other people.. All of these are often caused by high expectations that you might get accepted by the person concerned and whenever rejection takes place, it is hard to swallow the bitter reality and it will stir strong turbulence of emotions.. As for me, i am a firm believer that time will heal the wounded heart.. it will take a few days or a few months or even a few years to regain your self-confidence and get rid of the painful past.. With the passage of time, memories will fade away and you will grow stronger again.. Take one step at a day..Do not immediately jump into a rebound relationship as you are not only hurting yourselves, you are also hurting another heart who might have loved us sincerely. you are not being just to yourselves and you are not being fair to them either…What doesn’t kill you make you stronger and what does hurt you should have made you wiser.. It is not the end of the world when you face rejection..Perhaps it will mark a new beginning of a new lease of life on your road to recovery….Chin up. Let go. Let God.

    p/s Thank you Eddie for all the valuable advice through your e-mails, you have really helped me in knocking some senses into my head after the breakup bro :)

    • Mika Maddela October 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

      I love your optimism and clarity. It’s very true that getting in a rebound relationship is selfish since it’s only going to end up hurting you AND that other person.

      Much love,

      Mika

  5. Marlon October 31, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    One of the hardest things to do after a breakup is to accept that there is nothing wrong with us. Again, pain is inevitable but the suffering is optional. It takes time and to accept that, we also need to forgive ourselves. I loved this article.

    • Mika Maddela October 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      Marlon, thank you for your insightful comment. It’s true, the fact that someone didn’t want to be with you has nothing to do with your worth. I know it’s hard to believe and so cliche when they say “it’s me not you…” It’s the truth they speak.

  6. Mika Maddela October 31, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Marcella,

    I know you’re hurting right now and my heart goes out to you. Time will help heal but continuously asking yourself those questions is self-inflicted torture because whenever you ask yourself “WHY” question, the answers you come up with will only validate the breakup.

    I know it’s immensely difficult but you’ll being going through a perpetual loop of suffering. What may help you is focusing on the present moment. When you’re stuck dwelling in the past you’re going to be thinking about HIM (and things you can’t undo) and when you’re worried or anxious, you’re thinking about stuff that hasn’t even happened yet. Meditation/being present will help ease some of you suffering. Hang in there, Marcella.

    Sending you loving vibes,

    Mika

  7. Vanessa October 31, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Thank you for this article! It came at a critical moment in my life right now! I feel as if rejection is following wherever I go! Firstly I was rejeccted by my own biological father whom I never meet before. For sometime I thought I’m over it and I’ve forgiven and moved on! Recently even two days ago I’m experiencing rejection from some friends just for saying know to their requests and for screaming when they step on my toes! Today this article came as a blessing to me because I was a bit depressed and feeling like I’m a bad person! At the same time I was proud of myself that at this time I was wiling to risk friendship and I was able to say know! Some of them we’re not in speaking terms at all and it’s not in my nature but it’s ok for now! These incidents helped me to know what is true friendship. I’m widowed with four minor kids, and I believe they give me a reason to be happy. I also blame all this to my high need for affiliation. Some friends who picked that up used it to get to me for their own selfish needs. My life is currently lonely but it won’t be for long I’m healing and I will bounce back.

    • Mika Maddela November 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      My guess is that when you reacted that way to your friends, you were really reacting to your father’s rejection. I used to take out my emotions on my loved ones until I realized it was just me I was hurting in the end. There’s a difference between response and reaction. When you react, you are doing it impulsively, in the moment, fueled by the toxic emotions you feel about yourself. You allow your negative emotions to consume you and to allow yourself to continue acting through them. However, when you respond, you’re doing it from a more positive approach where you are embracing your emotions and making sure you express yourself based on your integrity and values. We all have bad days so I totally feel you. I’m adopted myself and it was very anxiety inducing my birth family found me and I had to try to find a way to see how they fit in my life. Still working on that… sending you good vibes!–mika

  8. PrettieKimmie October 31, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Thank you all for your comments! I am going through a lot at this time as well. You all have helped me get through this day. God Bless you all!

  9. Jocasta Ruth Mercado November 1, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Hi Mika, nice article. Thank you for your inspiring words. It is really true that we usually feel bad because we think of our own fears- things we never want to happen.

    I just want to share some comments based on my experience. As an only child, I have been blessed with the love of my parents. I also excelled in school and in other activities. Somehow, that made me more confident about my skills and myself overall. Of course I was able to experience rejection in many aspects too like school contests, job application, etc. so I was somehow immune to those types of rejection. But, I was so insecure in my relationship because I was not able to experience rejection from my family and from school. My FEAR of the UNKNOWN REJECTION FROM A LOVED ONE kept haunting me. I was jealous/insecure for some reason and my ex pointed that as the main reason why he let me go.
    When we broke up, his family even called him stupid because he has let go of me. I think it’s because they saw me based on my accomplishments in school, in my job, etc. You might think that’s ego-boosting/flattering because they thought I was really worth it and they think that their son is insane. Actually, it hurted me even more. Think about this, everybody in the world thinks you are worth fighting for, except your partner. That’s more painful for me. Many people treated me with respect and value, but for him, I was nothing…There were questions like “Why can’t he see me the way other people can? will he ever realize this and that?” Those endless questions without answer.

    So, to cut the long story short, sometimes, it takes one man or woman to tear your confidence and ego into pieces. It can only take one rejection to destroy all your established view of yourself. This is reality. So, it is important that you know yourself from within. Eddie has told us many times not to depend on other people’s view of our own self. That we should not depend on them for our own happiness. It is very dangerous since we solely depend on what they say and what they do for us in measuring our worth. Mika is also right by saying that we are to choose our beliefs. Whether to see ourselves as nothing or as a lovable creature only waiting to be discovered by somebody who will understand how beautiful and worthy we are.

    • Mika Maddela November 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      I love this insightful comment. You’re absolutely right, it’s uber important to know yourself from within because when it comes down to it…you can’t force what happens outside of yourself but you do have control of how you respond to others. You can choose to let their actions CUT YOU DOWN or you can see it as their opinion and not let it affect your sense of worth. Many people unfortunately see rejection as evidence that something is wrong with them, which prevents them from moving forward. As for your jealousy, that’s something I can relate to. I used to be extremely jealousy and my insecurity almost made me lose my partner.

      Jealousy is ugly and it’s suffocating for the other person. Jealousy was coming from my limiting belief that i wasn’t enough for him. Instead of looking within myself, i looked at him and our relationship to VALIDATE my self worth. I was emotionally reliant on outside of myself. This is a lot of pressure to put on someone. to get over my jealousy, I essentially had to look deep inside of me to get to the ROOT OF MY JEALOUSY and I had to practice ACCEPTANCE. Acceptance meant I let go of this need to CONTROL his emotions, desires, needs, wants etc… when it comes down to it, I HAVE NO CONTROL over him. The more I tried, the more I pushed him away. This is how I almost lost him. Thank goodness I looked deep within and allowed myself to be emotionally okay with him having friends of the opposite sex. I’m on a tangent here, didn’t mean for this to get so long. Thanks for your comment:)

  10. Goomena November 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Well written, I loved every part of it. People will suffer rejection at one time or another and although it can really hurt, the best thing to do is always to move on and try your best to think positively.
    Negative thoughts are the ones which leave you feeling depressed. Letting go makes living life a little lighter and more stress free. If you keep on thinking of the rejection you will just be carrying a huge burden/ load and you will never really be at your optimum best.
    Life is beautiful and has a lot of beautiful things to offer but most of us do not see that and that is why some things may bring us totally down.
    I always think of this, whether you are rejected, dumped etc always remember that life does not end there it must go on. If life must go on then it is up to you to make yours happier or better than it is now.
    Nice post.

  11. YouMeetMe.com November 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    Rejection is a part of relationship. Everybody, more or less go through. I am 35 and initially when I started dating, my rejection ratio was about 60 to 70 percent. Slowly, I don’t know but I started understanding the fact that one can not make everybody happy.

    “One can not make everybody happy” has really made me happy. As you said- pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. I tolerated pain but I never made it a part of my life. I forgot whatever is gone and and always waited for something new and better.

    Your is very useful post, Thanks.

  12. Terry November 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    this advise is so right.. because the more you think about your rejection and the things that you have lost,, the more you’ll be drowned in an everlasting sea of melancholy and self pity… instead focusing on the positive side of life can do much better good to you!!

  13. Natalie January 17, 2013 at 1:58 am #

    It’s been exactly two weeks since we broke up. The first week was a torture. I was so upset. I was crying everyday and couldn’t believe that my three year relationship ended. Then I saw on fecebook that he has fun. He went to the party and was laughing and posting pictures and videos. It hurt me very much but it made me realize that the relationship is over. The whole day I cried. I did not talk to him since then and I unfriended him from fb. I have to admit that during this time I was thinking to myself that the reason he left me was because I was not worth it. I don’t think about it like that anymore…as Jane said now I think more about him being at fault then me because he cheated on me and then he said he wants to have his “college experience” meaning sleeping with other people. We have many mutual friends and I saw today one of my friends today. He kinda hinted at the fact that he is with other people (he asked would you mind if he started things with other people?) at the moment I did not feel anything and I told him that I don’t care (partly also because I knew if I would react in any other way he would tell him). But when he left since then I cannot stop thinking about it and it really hurts. Maybe because I still feel something towards him which I wish I wouldn’t. But no matter what I do to stop the pain and not think about it the thoughts are coming back. If anyone has any suggestion please let me know. I would REALLY appreciate it.

  14. thenamesannonymous January 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Recently been rejected after a 6 month intense relationship, about 7 days ago now we’ve been broken up and the worst feeling in the world is knowing that you’ve put your all into something and all of a sudden that person just cannot be bothered with the grief, all he kept telling me was that I was the perfect girl for him and in the end the sweetness turned sour and I being told that I’m no longer wanted and to eff off. it kills. It hurts so much emotionally and physically. This morning i couldn’t even get out of my bed, I was laying in there for a good 4 hours and last night I just got into bed at 6 and lay there thinking and pondering the whole night. I feel like I’ve been used for his advantage, and now that he’s done, he’s gone. This past week I’ve been feeling soo soo down. I dont think I’ve ever felt so alone and empty in my entire life, I mean its not exactly my first breakup, you’d think I’d be used to it by now but I think what hurts the most are the promises they made and the fact they said they’d never behave in the same way my previous ex’s did, but in the end, they were exactly the same, just a little more sugar coated and sly. Yesterday I did something very stupid that has crippled my healing process even more. (as i was starting to progress with the NC rule) i logged onto his twitter account and found out that he’s already started seeing someone. After just a mere “7″ days of us breaking up. I feel like I’ve been stabbed twice in one go. Not only am I having to cope with the sudden complete breakup and the feeling of being alone, empty and isolated but I’ve just been further thrown to the ground by him already being with somebody else. And so its double the pain. I mean I knew he’d move on but, 7 days! That’s incredibly soon which makes me think that he detached himself from me a good month before he decided to end it and when he realised his feelings for me weren’t there anymore he was gone. And has left me shattered on the floor, to piece myself back together again. And yes, due to this rejection this article is mirroring my exact feelings towards myself now. Everytime when I look in the mirror I’m constantly thinking wasn’t I pretty enough, wasn’t i good enough, was I too thin, too controlling, just very negative thoughts. This has been by far the most crushing breakup, not only emotionally and physically but its completely knocked my self esteem, just as it was getting better. :’(

  15. Phyllis August 27, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    This is happening to me now. I really felt for the longest time that I wasn’t good enough for him when we started having problema. He would cut me down. Totally ignore me and I would tell over and over how much it hurts. But through this break up, friends have come to me and told me over and over how good of a person I am, and when I’m not around him, I actually smile and seem to enjoy life! Wow, and I do. So I now thank him for showing me the kind of partner I don’t need in my life. Thanks Eddie for this site. I appreciate all the good things I find here.

  16. MJ November 27, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    Hi, i just wanted to share my story, i’ve been through 4 years relationship and try tried everything just to make that person stayed, we were so happy and thought that everything is perfect until a day that he became easily upset and short tempered. it makes me so sad but i didn’t gave up even if he is rejecting me, the feeling of you live together but it seems like he didn’t feel you, it’s the worst feeling of all. i cried most of the night thinking that i couldn’t live without him, thinking that i would die without him, thinking that he’s my happiness and no one else can make me feel like that. until one day my friend came in and helped me packed all my things up because i can’t do it myself, i am a happy person who always love jokes and happy to be with but that time i was wrecked that i don’t even know how to smile again. the moment he told me to go away i just keep quite and cry in silence until the time i got the courage to reply to him that the moment i’m ready to go out to that door you will never see me coming back again.’ so i realized that by that time i made a promise to myself but the question is to when is that going to happen because i was so madly inlove with the guy. so when my friend helped me to moved out from the place where we live together my friend lived with me. i cried every day and night. i keep calling him eventhough he didn’t answer, my self-esteem that time was gone. i thought i’m gonna die, that i am nothing in this world. but one day i decided to go out and do some exercise, meet friends, go to ballroom class, hip hip class, go to the beach, movies with friends and all those things. but everytime i go to bed always cried but day by day i started to value my own worth and what i deserve. i even ended up an alcoholic, i can’t sleep at night without alcohol but one day i prayed that i wanted to moved on and forget that feeling that i felt. and now after 9 months of being single i finally get the courage of going out for a date and enjoy with it. what i realized now is things really happen for a reason but whatever that reason is, i still deserve to be happy. i hope my experience will help others realizing their worth because we are all worthy of being happy…thanks

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