The Secret Science Behind Handling Rejection.

No one likes to be rejected.

Whether it's you asking a friend to grab a beer with you or your dream client that you want to sign on the dotted line at the bottom of your contract -- rejection is just a horrible feeling.

And despite all the seminars, books, and sales training around rejection and the tactics to avoid it, rejection is a staggering blow to your psyche.

Not just because someone said "No".

There is actually a lot more going on in your head that makes rejection so mentally damaging.

At a core level, you are a giant, walking "acceptance machine."

You want people to like you. You want people to like what you like.

And it's hard for you to accept that what you like is something that someone else does not like.

It's a mental blow.

And deeply ingrained in how you think, act, and work.  Rejections have their their effect on you without us even thinking about it.

One minute you're thinking that everything is okay, and the next your entire belief system is being systematically debunked.

That's jarring.

If you've ever been in the position of having someone tell you "No" when everything depended on them saying "yes", you knew exactly that feeling of desperation.

Your cheeks turn red.  Your throat gets dry.   All of a sudden a million frantic thoughts start racing through your brain.

Rejection triggers neural volatility that distorts your perception of reality.

And it's not something that you can control -- at least right away.

Despite massive amounts of self-control and planning, you can't stop yourself from the emotional letdown you get  when you're rejected.

So what can you do?

What are the alternatives? How can you handle rejection?

Well, it's not easy.  Since rejection quickly creates an emotional imbalance in your brain there is little that you can do to immediately stop the negative emotions that occur instantaneously.

But you can get good at snapping back and getting back in the game.

Here are ways:

  1. Cry. Get angry fast. -- Let your emotions out.  Depending on the disappointment involved, your emotions will be all over the place.  And it only makes things worse when you bottle up how you feel.   Get it out.
  2. Redirect personal blame. -- Most of the time, "No" doesn't mean "You're a big, fat loser...".  It just means "No".  Bad timing or any number of other probable reasons are at play.  It's not you.  It's them.
  3. Listen.  Take notes. -- There is always something you can learn from brutal honesty.  In fact, the harsher the message, the more valuable the content.  Sometimes the message is just that that person doesn't "get it".
  4. Talk yourself down. -- Be aware of your emotions.  You can get re-motivated by talking about why you;re unhappy.  Talk about it to friends.  You can get back in the game faster by just telling yourself to "snap out of it."
  5. Focus on new opportunities. -- How many times have you looked back on a bad experience years later and noticed how much better you were after the rejection?  Start looking for those new opportunities in the heat of the moment.
  6. Remember your neighbors. -- It might seem like you are the only getting a pie in the face.  But once you step back from your own situation, you realize that everybody gets their lumps.  Sometimes remembering that is helpful.
  7. Keep trying. -- Focus on taking a step forward, not a step back.  Nothing worthwhile happens right the first time.  Nothing.  Think of rejection as a step closer to your future success.  That's reality.
  8. Plan for it. -- Rejection happens.  Despite your hope that you'll be the lucky person who skates to success without bad stuff happening -- that's not likely.  If you plan to take a blow or two you'll be better at managing in the moment.

Rejection sucks.

That won't ever change.  There's no science to that.

But you don't have to be overwhelmed.

Handle rejection in style.

Take your mission seriously.

So what if not everyone "gets it".

That's why we call it life.

Live yours.