Matters of the Heart Series
Part 1: Dealing with Rejection
Rejection is one of those things we all have to deal with at some point in our lives
and regardless of the circumstances and the very different ways rejection can
present in itself, it has the ability to affect the very core of our being.
‘Guard your heart’, a saying many of us are familiar with, but not quite sure how to
practically do, especially when it comes to dealing with rejection. Rejection seems to
have a way of being able to tear down the most confident of people and damage the
self-esteem of the most self-assured.
So, how do we practically guard our hearts and bounce back when we have
1. Know yourself, who you are, and what you have to offer
This could be in regards to friendships, relationships, jobs and various opportunities.
When I mean know yourself, I don’t mean your favourite colour and brands you like
to wear; I mean asking yourself the tough questions like: What qualities do I have?
What are my strengths and weaknesses? What makes me unique? What value do I
bring? What do I need to work on? What do I possibly need to change? What makes
me great? Not only why would I be wanted, but why would I be needed?
The reality is, with the busyness of life many of us don’t often take the time we need
to self-reflect and build on our self-awareness. We know the basics of ourselves
such as our likes and dislikes, but, when it comes to writing down and listing out the
answers to some of the questions above, we can often struggle to really know who
we are, and what we have to offer?
I realised in the time I took to self-reflect and ‘get to know me’, I had rejected parts of
who I am, long before anyone else did! It was a tough realisation that I had to take
time to process and work through to get to a place where I now fully accept myself.
Thought: If we reject ourselves why do we expect others to accept us?
When we have a core understanding of ourselves the sting of rejection is only but
temporary, regardless of the capacity we experience it in. We learn to deal with
rejection within its confined situation rather than allowing it to affect every area of our
lives and shatter our self-esteem.
2. Get in your feelings, just don’t stay there!
Let’s not sugar coat it, rejection hurts no matter what form it’s in. So it is important
we give ourselves the space and time to process our thoughts, feelings, and
emotions when we have experienced rejection. Sometimes we have to teach
ourselves how to deal with difficult emotions and face them head on rather than
suppressing them and having unhealthy emotional responses later on down the line.
It is essential we take note of how we feel and we give those emotions the space
and time to be expressed safely.
We all process and express our thoughts, feelings and emotions differently, for
example, some may like to get their thoughts on to paper and write in journals or
speak into an audible journal, others may pray, meditate, talk to a counsellor or use
things such as art, music, or exercise as a healthy way to process and express what
they are feeling.
Reflection: What is your safe place? What is your go to that helps you process those
tough feelings such as rejection?
If you don’t already know, take the time to find out!
3. Build yourself back up
Like I said, get in your feelings, just don’t stay there! I used to love watching ‘Being
Mary Jane’ when she would talk to herself in the mirror and have loads of post-it
notes of affirmations all over her bathroom that she would read as she’s brushing her
teeth. Some may find it super cheesy, but its personal don’t nobody need to know!
This however, is a great way to build back up your self-esteem. Find quotes that
inspire you, affirmations that really speak to you, scriptures or religious texts that
remind you of your God given purpose and who you were created to be. After
experiencing rejection these reminders are so helpful in ensuring we bounce back
healed, happy and whole.
Like I said in the beginning, rejection is something we all have to walk through at
some point in our lives but instead of it having lasting negative effects on us, I hope
these steps show you how to practically guard your heart and bounce back from it
stronger than before!