We are biologically formed as human beings to fear rejection. It is a survival mechanism that kept us in good behaviour, so we weren’t disbanded by our tribe – a real life and death situation as hunter gatherers.
The modern human is generally in a much safer environment, in the sense that a rejection from a job or a peer isn’t going to leave you in the wild for a lion to feast on. However, it does release the same dependent chemicals in your body. Your fear responses are triggered and causes a wave of terror to engulf you.
The situation that causes the rejection can have a lot of expectations attached to it, so a job rejection isn’t just a missed opportunity to work – it can be a nail in the coffin of a stressed financial situation. If not careful, it can become a personal attack on the rejected person, causing them to feel unworthy or unconfident in their abilities.
These reactions are just that – a reaction. The emotions felt are biochemically natural to the human being. But the fact we are human beings gives us the ability to choose how long we stay in these emotions. It is important to feel these emotions as they could be important messages for us that highlight crucial areas of improvement. But dwelling on it and allowing it to consume us is irresponsible and dangerous. Acknowledge the rejection, acknowledge your part in the rejection and take responsibility for what you could have done better – then go forth and gain a new perspective as a new person, rising from the ashes. Use this as an opportunity for growth.
You can gather feedback from a rejection and use it to strengthen you. Ask your interviewer where you went wrong. Ask the romantic interest who rejected you what they didn’t like about you. The more responsibility we take on in these situations, the stronger and faster we grow. And the sooner we see the bigger picture, the faster we get the messages of the emotion and the sooner we can see the bigger picture.
Chances are, when we look back on these situations, and we have handled ourselves with strength and responsibility, the situation is often a moment of growth that we cherish and use as a benchmark for progress. There is no crisis. There is no bad situation. There is only our reaction, and our perspective. The only thing in the way of true growth in these times, is ourselves.
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