a person with a backpack walking through a forest.

How to Deal With Rejection In A Positive Way

Rachel Sharpe

Getting rejected is never fun. It can give us low self-esteem, lower our mood, and make us doubt ourselves. However, rejection always brings us closer to what we want out of life. A rejection always helps set us on the right path again and with the right people. So, while you deal with rejection, know that the story isn’t over yet. This is just a minor setback that will propel you closer to what you’re destined to do. In this article, we’ll share why rejection hurts so much and how to deal with rejection in 13 simple steps. 

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Why rejection hurts so much

Rejection is supposed to hurt. People evolved to fit into social groups. When the tribe rejected you, you would miss out on food, safety, and other survival benefits. So, when you get rejected, it’s supposed to hurt due to our evolutionary history. However, being socially connected is still essential. You can still survive through life despite your rejections. Rejection today isn’t nearly as devastating as it was centuries ago. So, you’re going to be okay.

How to Deal With Rejection

1. Meditate on it

Guided meditation is a great way to deal with rejection. You might be putting this off because you’re afraid of hearing your negative thoughts.  However, this is a good way forward. Allow yourself to focus on your breathing, so you stay in the present moment. Most people spend so much time in their heads that they don’t realize that that’s not living. Spend time meditating on your negative emotions and watching your negative self-talk enter and leave your mind on its own. You can try this meditation video below on letting go of negative energy. You need to pay attention to your thoughts to stop ruminating thoughts from getting out of control.

2. Try again

Rejection doesn’t mean you give up; it’s a sign that you need a different approach or pursue a new opportunity. Trying again doesn’t mean asking out the same person multiple times. You’ll need to accept that they set boundaries. However, you can ask out more compatible people with you. You can also apply to different jobs until you find one you’re excited about. All it takes is one person saying yes to you to move forward with your next phase. Everyone who has experienced rejection eventually found success by calming the mind and trying again. Doing a self-examination on why you think you were rejected in the first place can play a huge role in your future success. So, dust yourself off. In your next attempt, you’ll be much more prepared.

3. Show self-care

You can learn how to deal with rejection by practicing self-care ideas. Human beings can be hard on themselves when setbacks occur. The other person will have no clue about your sadness or frustration from being rejected by them. However, a healthy way to handle rejection is by showing kindness to yourself. To start, you can follow along to a loving-kindness meditation where you’ll show compassion towards yourself.

Other things you can do to manage your feelings of rejection include, reading an uplifting book, spend time with a friend and uplifting people, read related stories of how people overcame rejection, stop thinking about it so much, cope with the pain by planning new opportunities, wear your best clothes to build your confidence, and showcase an attitude of gratitude for the relationships in your life where you receive kindness.

how to deal with rejection self care

4. Don’t take it personally

Dealing with rejection is never easy, but don’t take it personally. It always seems personal when things happen. However, finding the right romantic partner, job, or team isn’t always guaranteed on the first try. Or the twentieth. Rejection is a part of life. You can learn a lot about yourself from a first date, more so than about the other person. You need to fine-tune what you want out of your next date, job, or opportunity. Sometimes, people apply for jobs or go on dates with people they’re not compatible with. It’s almost like they’re taking a shot in the dark. Instead, focus on what values you’re looking for.

The reason for sharing this in the don’t take it personally section is that some people don’t know what they’re looking for while others do. As a result, this confusion or very clear understanding can allow people to look at you from a different perspective. Sometimes, timing doesn’t work out, but the relationship would’ve at any other time. Don’t look at one dead end as the finale. You’ll only feel worse if you take things so seriously when it’s more about the needs of the rejector than you.

5. Distract yourself

When mastering how to deal with rejection, distracting yourself with something productive could be a good idea. While burying your feelings leads to an eventual leak or explosion of emotions, moving on to something else can be a healthy way of dealing with rejection. For example, you can spend time with a friend or strangers in the world. You can choose to avoid the painful situation by playing video games, talking to other people, looking for other opportunities, or even studying how to become better.

Remember, distractions are suitable for the short term as you process everything. You won’t need to distract yourself from these emotions forever. Rejection stings, so avoiding the pain can slowly reduce your reaction to it. Your life will get better with time. The most important thing is that you move along eventually rather than feeling stuck in the past.

handle rejection through video games

6. Process your emotions

It can be painful to process your emotions and feelings. The accepted fact that you were rejected hurts deeply in the early stages. However, you’d be wrong to think that the ability to cope isn’t possible. This experience can lead to a lot of good in your life. Getting rejected might be the best thing that happened to you. Sometimes, we want a position so badly, and when we get our dream job at our dream company, we feel miserable. We realize it isn’t actually what we wanted. People often have an idea of something that’s different from reality. So keep this thought in mind as you’re dealing with rejection.

As you get good at figuring out how to deal with rejection, you’ll need to give yourself emotional first aid. That could come in the form of self-care or self-love. It could be replacing your inner critic with happy thoughts. It could be bouncing thoughts around with friends who can be our sounding board when we begin to ruminate the wrong thought processes. Instead, you could take a look at all the areas of your life where you feel accepted by others and filled with inner peace. The future will have better days if you control your emotions well in the early stages.

7. Say positive affirmations

Positive affirmations can be a good way to deal with wrong perceptions of rejection. If your home life has always been good, you’ll likely think good things often and know how to get out of your own way for future opportunities. However, some people grew up in toxic environments, making feeling rejected more challenging to cope with. Not everyone knows how to deal with rejection. Maybe your relationships with others haven’t always been pleasant. It’s okay; you can still practice this exercise.

You can look in the mirror and repeat to yourself, “Getting rejected doesn’t decrease my value. It simply redirects me towards a better opportunity, person, or team. I can continue practicing and learning from this experience, improving with time. I am confident in my ability to succeed. I am worthy of love and success, and I will accomplish my goals.” Acknowledge that everything in this sentence is accurate for you because it is. Remind yourself that this setback isn’t a reflection of you; rejection is just one small aspect of life that challenges you.

positive message about dealing with rejection

8. Be honest with yourself

A positive way on how to deal with rejection is just, to be honest with yourself. Dealing with the pain of rejection doesn’t need to be overblown. The feeling of rejection is a bummer, but you need to remind yourself that everyone goes through this at some point. Every friend you have has been through it. Your coworkers have been through it. Other candidates who applied for a position have been rejected too. And believe it or not, but you’ll reject people someday too.

If you need to let it out, do it in writing. Write out your frustrations in a mindfulness journal. Write down your goals and aspirations to move you ahead. The act of writing can be a therapeutic experience if you’re willing to be honest about how things make you feel. The feeling of rejection won’t last. And one day, when you look back on your journal you’ll laugh about how that rejection wasn’t a big deal in the end. You’ll have found happiness elsewhere, and it’ll make all the difference.

9. Monitor your thinking

How you think can play a huge role in how to overcome rejection. If you think positively, you’ll be able to let things go and move on. You won’t dwell on the rejection or struggle to take the next step forward. You’ll simply find happiness in whatever you do next. That’s the healthy way to deal with things.

However, if you’re a classic ruminator, you might get sucked into a negativity vortex where you begin to wonder, “what is wrong with me?” or “why am I not good enough?” when the rejection isn’t about you. It merely happened to you. You’re worthy of love. You’re going to be a huge success. You’ll make it one day. But sometimes, things take time. So reframe your thinking if it leans negative by replacing your negative thoughts with happy ones. Because when it comes to how you react to a situation, you always have two ways of looking at it: positively or negatively. And you’ll move ahead faster if you choose positively.

positive affirmation

10. Hang out with loved ones

When you’re with friends and family, your feelings about your rejection will improve. It’s easier to learn how to deal with rejection when you have a solid and loving support system by your side. For example, if your parents are telling you it’s okay that you’ve been rejected and that you can try again after brushing up on your skills for a sports team, you’ll likely be motivated to train harder for the next round.

However, if you’re being told you’re not cut out for the team, and you can’t succeed at anything, you’ll never realize your full potential. Sometimes, you need to learn to choose who to listen to or ignore. Not all people know how to encourage us to overcome obstacles and adversity. Nope, not even your parents, sometimes. Find your cheerleaders in your inner circle who will praise you, support you, and encourage you to never give up.

11. Take care of yourself

After hearing about the rejection, did you take care of yourself, or did you fall into a slump? It’s normal to make poor decisions immediately after hearing bad news, particularly one that leaves us feeling rejected. 

For example, exercising after rejection can help pump you up with endorphins to make you feel good when you’re feeling bad. Eating a clean meal can help prevent the grogginess of a heavy carb-loaded meal. Avoiding vices like alcohol, drugs, or gambling when you’re feeling low can also prevent feeling bad about more than you’re already going through.

Your uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings are temporary. Don’t take actions that move you in the opposite direction of where you’re headed.

take care of yourself

12. Learn from your mistakes

As you master how to cope with rejection, you’ll ultimately be faced with reality: you need to learn from your mistakes. Keep in mind, most rejections aren’t about you. But hey, self-improvement is always a good idea, so have a growth mindset that involves learning how to get better as much as you can. For example, if you got rejected for a sports team, you might reach out to the person who made the cut and ask them for their workout and training routine. If someone gave you a reason why they wouldn’t date you, you can decide if that value is something you think you should possess or if it’s simply just a case of incompatibility. If someone rejects you for a role, you can ask for feedback so you can build on top of your skill set and get better.

13. Celebrate

In learning how to deal with rejection, you probably didn’t think you’d get the chance to celebrate. However, when you feel rejected, remember that it also means that you put yourself out there. Whether it’s asking someone out, a big job interview, or failing to make the cut for a team, you went above and beyond and showed up. Just because someone didn’t say yes to you doesn’t mean that you’re not valuable. It simply means that this wasn’t the right opportunity for you. And that’s okay! Practice some self-compassion because we know rejection stings. You’re on the right track, chin up!

celebrate your rejection


In this article, you learned 13 ways on how to deal with rejection. Whether you’re installing the Declutter The Mind meditation app to calm the mind, celebrating your effort in trying your best, learning from your mistakes, or practicing self care, there are numerous ways you can overcome rejection in a healthy way. Stop beating yourself up about this loss; you might actually be on the right path without realizing it. The story isn’t over yet; it’s still being written. How will you take the lead in this next chapter as you grow from this obstacle? That’s for you to uncover.

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