How to Face Failure & Rejection?

Mar 31 18:23 2007 Michael Douglas Print This Article

Failure and rejection need not traumatise us if we know how to deal with them. They can prove to be blessings in disguise and can lead us to successes. So let us be bold to combat them for enriching our lives.

Jennie was tall,Guest Posting slim, good-looking, had lovely, long hair and was articulate and charming. So I just could not understand it when she withdrew from a beauty pageant being organised by our club. It was a contest I thought she would win hands down.

"Because I may not win," she said when I asked her why, she was withdrawing. "I just couldn't face that failure, that rejection."

I was taken aback. Had she not heard the proverb about failure being the stepping stone to success? And why had she used the word rejection?

"Failure means rejection. For instance, if a participant isn't crowned beauty queen, it means that the judges have rejected that person," she explained. "And rejection is far too painful to tolerate!

Yes, rejection is painful and it does deal an often unbearable blow to our self-esteem. We remember each small rejection for years - often all through our lives. But, as it did in Jennie's case, fear of rejection often prevents us from taking chances and this could well prevent us from achieving our full potential.

But both failure and rejection need not traumatise us, if we know how to deal with them. They can be, if handled correctly, blessings in disguise and can lead us to successes we could have never achieved otherwise.

For this to happen, we have to learn to cope with failure and rejection. This requires some introspection and will-power, but it is really something all of us can do.

Failure and rejection

Jennie had equated failure with rejection. But rejection is actually something personal while failure is not. Rejection is painful because we take it personally, but failure need not be painful if we don't take it personally.

The embarrassment factor

Most of us can actually face failure and even rejection quite well - as long as other people do not come to know about it! If we are reamed out by our boss in private, we may not mind too much. But if we were scolded before even one co-worker, there is no way we can console ourselves. This is because wondering what other people will say or think about the incident, facing their teasing us or even listening to them commiserating with us is humiliating and very, very painful.

But can't we deal with embarrassment? Yes, we can! Some people deal with it very easily by talking about the incident themselves and expressing their pain and anger to friends.

The healthy way of dealing with embarrassment is to laugh it away. If you make a fool of yourself in a public place, tell the story to people in a humorous way and laugh with them at yourself. Not only will you get over your embarrassment, you will also spread a lot of goodwill around.

Also, tell yourself that the embarrassment will remain only in your memory - not in the memories of other people. They do not really have the time to think or talk all that much about you!

Think before you act

Extreme reaction to failure and rejection can be read frequently in the newspapers when people commit suicide. Would any of these people have reacted as violently if they had waited a little before acting? No, the majority of them would not have. Wiser counsels would have prevailed. These people would have realised that they were not the only ones caught in such situations. They should have cooled down, thought the matter over, taken the advice of people they trusted. Then, they would have reacted very differently and would have tackled the situation with more maturity and a cool mind.

The lesson to be learnt then is to take time to react. You may find out that you were completely wrong in the conclusions you jumped to.

The real reason behind the rejection

Whenever you feel that a friend has rejected you, introspect about the "rejection" and you might come to some surprising conclusions. These actually tell you that you have been rejected not because you are not good enough, but because you are too good! Or, it may be something quite unconnected with you.

Pain and the closeness of the relationship

When Amy became involved in her new and exciting job, she didn't have any time for her friend Fiona. Thus Fiona felt rejected and hurt. But after a few months, Amy came on one of her now-rare visits. She began to pour out details of what she had been doing at work - the new friends she had made, the new shows she had seen, the places she had visited, etc.

Fiona realised that Amy hadn't changed, she had just moved on with her life while she herself had just stayed put. After they had both graduated, Amy had joined a Travel and Tourism course and then got a job after she had finished it. But Fiona had been content to just sit at home. So, Amy had not rejected her at all. She had just moved ahead and Fiona had been left behind!

Fiona's pain had been acute because of the closeness of her relationship with Amy. Yes, the closer the relationship, the greater the pain rejection brings.

Give yourself a treat

All of us need to feel comforted after a rejection, something which is basically a loss. Since as adults, we may not have anyone to comfort us, we can try and comfort ourselves and we can do it by giving ourselves a treat. Is there a necklace you have been wanting to buy yourself, but have not bought because both your birthday and Christmas are still months away and it seems a waste of money? Well, if you are disappointed because you didn't get the promotion you expected, go and buy it and wear it right away and go to visit a friend! Or go to the beauty parlour or to a movie. Take the afternoon off and relax and read a book.

The calorie way may not be the best way to give ourselves a treat, but it works! If you are feeling lost and rejected, forget your diet. Make yourself a plateful of corns and gobble them down with a cup of hot tea. Or go out and have a triple sundae at the ice-cream parlour down the road.

If you do any of these things, you'll feel better. And don't feel guilty about pampering yourself. You're making yourself feel good. That's a part of the healing process because the rejection you've just faced, made you feel bad.

Gain from the pain

Failure and rejection are harsh teachers, but the lessons you learn from them can be invaluable. We should all remember that we grow oly when we face new situations with courage. Rejection helps us look inwards and we gain insight about ourselves and then we mature as individuals.

Trust your instincts

Often our instincts tell us to do one thing, but fear tells us to do another. Her gut feeling told Marie to take up a new job that she was offered. It was a challenging job at a fat salary, but it was one that came with no guarantees. But fear and lack of self-confidence told her to stay with her boring, low-paying but "permanent" job. She took ages to make the choice, but ultimately fear won and she stayed put.

Learning to be bold, to take chances and to trust our instincts is difficult, but it is something we should learn to do.

Look back to see the whole picture

Life is complex and complicated and, living it day by day, we often don't see the big picture. So take the time to look back and size up your life. You will often find that it is the rejections you faced that helped you to grow. You will also be able to laugh at some of the rejections that caused you immense pain at that time, but which now appear funny.

Yes, there were some failures and rejections that didn't lead to better things - but many did!

Major rejections

When they happen, major rejections can just about finish you off. Smart, perky Maureen was devastated when Mike told her that he wanted to end their marriage. His conservative parents couldn't take their daughter-in-law's modern ways any longer. So he had decided to "sacrifice" his marriage for their sake.

Both her husband and her in-laws' were totally wrong about her - it was only in her dress and talk that she was modern. As far as her basic values went, she was as traditional as they were. But she finally had to accept that her marriage was over and to move on with her life.

"By the time the 9th boy came and saw me and rejected me, I was at the end of my tether," says Stephanie. "Each rejection was a body blow and the cumulative effect of 9 body blows was to make me feel totally worthless."

Major rejections can be devastating and can change your life. They can take years to get over - but get over them you can. And here too introspection and trying to see the "whole picture can help.

You are not alone

Finally, you should realise that you are not alone in having to face rejection and failure. Everyone faces them. A. J. Cronin's classic novel, The Stars Look Down, was rejected a couple of dozen times by publishers before it was accepted. Edison tried hundreds of times before he finally made a light bulb that worked.

So, don't be afraid of failure and rejection. Take chances in life because it is this that makes you learn and grow as a person. Yes, if you take chances, you will sometimes face failure and you will feel rejected.

But if you face failure and rejection boldly and learn from them, you will enrich your life.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from

  Article "tagged" as:

About Article Author

Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas is a relationship expert and the webmaster of where he provides helpful advice for women to face the opposite sex confidently and tips to help overcome shyness while dating.

View More Articles