This is a guest-post by Mika Maddela from Modern Love.

Photograph by lanier67

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

There are countless times 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 three 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 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.