If you’re a leader, business owner, service provider, in sales, human even, you will likely face rejection. Some of us with more regularity than others, and some people have a thick skin for it.
Not me! But I work with it, and I coach clients around dealing with rejection and developing an appetite for it. The reality is, if we are putting ourselves, our product, or our service out there, rejection is unavoidable.
It is highlighted when a customer has an issue with a product or service we offer, or worse, they don’t like you! They might complain about you, give you a bad review on social media, let others know they don’t like you, not want to work with you, buy your service, etc.
It can be tough facing this kind of rejection and it can sting. Many of us have learned to present a veneer of strength when this happens, as we reaffirm to ourselves and everyone around us that ‘we’re fine’ and it ‘doesn’t hurt’, but if we are more honest with ourselves, it’s okay to admit that it stings.
Neuroscience researcher, Naomi Eisenberger shows us that humans process social rejection in similar areas in our brain that process physical pain, and rejection can feel physically painful. You may have heard the saying, ‘it felt like a kick in the guts’, or ‘it felt like a knife through my heart.’ These descriptions are referring to betrayal and heartbreak but facing rejection professionally can also hurt.
If we don’t rush past the feeling, we can be honest and allow the feeling to move through. This is a more compassionate approach, rather than soldiering on, pretending to not feel what’s truly there.
The following reminders help with perspective when we face rejection:
1. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
2. You can’t please all the people, all the time.
3. Even when you have the best of intentions, you will trigger some people negatively and they won’t like you.
There’s something refreshing and relieving about facing our reality head on and after we lick our wounds, we can have deeper insights about rejection, e.g.
1. When one door closes, another door opens.
2. What’s for you, will not pass you by.
3. Every no brings you closer to a yes.
I hope this all helps the next time you’re faced with the sting of rejection.