It perhaps speaks to our human nature, but most of us don’t like being rejected. Our expectations are sown-in at one level, yet we get feedback that suggests we’re not there or we’re not wanted. For a moment, if truth be known, we feel crushed. And these moments can linger and recur.
But this is an important clue for how we see ourselves.
If rejections do have a way of being taken hard there are both consequences and limiting mindsets that come against us, the limiting mindset being one consequence of handling rejection inappropriately.
But, first, this classic truth:
Not everyone, or every situation, will approve of us, our abilities, or what we have to offer. Everyone gets rejected.
Negative consequences are the mark here, especially when the rejection meets us hard. Hard rejections are never really expected. They hit us harder because the thing we were rejected for meant more to us than we realised, or if all rejections are meeting us hard, then we know we’ve got an approval complex—we need approval. (The person with a healthy self-esteem can survive without everyone’s approval. They’re free as a result.)
Consequences will vary from person to person, but an obvious consequence is we feature for the theme of situational emotional and spiritual death—our whole is subsumed in this one event... calling us to the limiting mindset.
The biggest issue with rejection is not the pain and anguish of being shut down, but the problem of the immediate handling of life.
Like pupils under light, our thinking constricts.
We become rather centred on what we don’t have, and what we’re missing out on, as opposed to the vast resources we do have. Distraction becomes us as we replay the ‘costs’ of non-achievement over and again.
Can we ever get to a position where we might celebrate our rejections? Perhaps this is seen as one door slamming shut in our faces, yet inviting a better and more appropriate door to open to us.
Can we have an, “It’s their loss” mentality (without establishing it in resentment)?
However we handle rejection—and learning from it is the purpose, not languishing in it—we ought to see it as part of life. It always will be. We will not please everyone, and we’ll not attain to everyone’s standards.
The way forward is to keep going. Go onto the next revelation; go with the flow of the river... don’t get caught up a muddy, salty creek.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.