Lessons in Rejection

By August 20, 2012Rejection Therapy

Rejection Therapy has been a roller coaster, and I’m absolutely loving it (well, mostly). In my 2 weeks of rejection, I’ve been told “no” and “yes” countless times. As I mentioned in my first post, Rejection Therapy: Week One, I’m using Rejection Therapy as a catapult for pursuing my longstanding dreams. It’s also served as daily in-the-moment motivation to ask for what I want.

Top 3 Lessons I’ve Learned from Rejection Therapy thus far:

  • We often reject ourselves before we give anyone else a chance
  • Even when you receive a “no” from someone else, you’re still saying “yes” to yourself
  • It’s not personal

Rejection of Self & Asking a Guy for Coffee

I’m beginning to understand why the word “Rejection” is such a frightening word. Rejection is often associated with feelings of unworthiness. “I’m not good enough.” “If I were only 5 lbs lighter…” “Maybe I just don’t have what it takes.”

I will be the first to admit that I’ve had multiple times in my life where I felt unworthy or not good enough in some capacity. That feelings sucks. It’s a difficult emotion to move through, and it can be very painful. As adults, we often try to avoid these feelings. We’ve felt them in our more open and nieve youth, and that was enough.

Sometimes rejection looks like that guy — Sand sculpture in Spain

Yesterday, I asked a guy to coffee. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have avoided the question, but if I figured, the worst that can happen is that I get rejected. He said no. And despite my head voice’s urgings to give me an “Atta girl!” for trying, I felt rejected (not in the good way). Did he say “no” because I wasn’t wearing makeup or because I was wearing workout clothes when I met him?

I went for a walk. Did I read the signals wrong? Somewhere between my impatient strides and listening to my music, I realized I had taken a chance and that was okay. It was small, but courageous. I felt better, got some coffee, and let it go. Oh well–part of the journey, and I definitely got my rejection for the day!

…the funny thing is right after I had made my peace with the situation, he texted back. Apparently, I had misunderstood his message, and he does want to get coffee. Does feeling rejected count as rejection? Probably not.

Saying “Yes” to Yourself:

When I asked “John Doe” to coffee, I got a “no,” but I also said “yes” to myself. I wasn’t left wondering, “What would’ve happened if I only…” To me, the always wondering is much worse than temporary rejection. And saying “yes” to myself and what I really want feels good. I’m honoring myself in the process, and even though it’s always nice to receive an affirmation from someone else, it’s not nearly as important as the self respect gained by listening to my heart.

Thumbs up for saying “yes” to yourself

It’s not personal:

I’ve also realized that rejection is most often not personal. In fact, it’s usually about the other person in some capacity. For example, I asked another guy I was interested in if he would like to hang out sometime (I’m making up for chickening out last week). He said “no” also, but it’s because he has a serious girlfriend. I’m glad I asked! If not, I would have thought about it every time I went to the class we attend and wondered why he wasn’t asking. Instead, I know the reason, and I’m not losing any sleep over it.

I also asked an organization if I could give a 15-20 minute speech on Rejection Therapy. I didn’t hear back. I’m not concerned. Maybe the person I wrote to hasn’t read the email, or is checking on something, or it’s not right for them. It’s not because it isn’t a worthwhile subject or that I should stop trying.

Moving Forward:

I focused on some of my rejections in this post, but for every rejection, I received many more “yes’s.” One of the best ones was from Live Inspired  who will be giving away 3 fantastic inspiration packages for 6 Month to Live’s readers. I am thrilled! Their books, The 1 Book and The 5 Book, are incredible and have inspired me and so many of my actions. I will be holding a contest very soon, so stay tuned for updates and your chance to win!

Also, I want to acknowledge Oddznns for taking on Rejection Therapy as fuel to get her book published! I think that’s magnificent, and I wish her the best of luck! There’s a small group of us now, and we’re making our way through August.

Rejection’s going to happen in life–we can either fear it or face it, receiving as many “no’s” as it takes until we realize our dreams.

Will you join us? A lot could happen. Let’s get rejected!





Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Priya says:

    This is Great! Yay for rejection! I guess rejection does look a lot like THAT GUY. It’s true that we often don’t even try to do something or go after something that we want because we just assume that the answer is going to be no. I know I do. But you’ll never know if you don’t ask. Can’t wait to hear more about your experiences!

    • Jacqueline says:

      Haha. Thanks! Yay for rejection! Thanks for all the encouragement, Priya–really appreciate it! I’m sure they’re will be many more experiences. I still have another week to go!

  • Miranda says:

    I love the idea of this project. I am so afraid of rejection as well and feel sometimes it causes me not to put myself out there. What a way to go and try to overcome it. Can’t wait to read more of your process.

  • Jeena says:

    Rejection is hard to accept but I do believe “Rejection is God’s protection.” I think about all the things I (thought) I really wanted over my life and in hindsight, think – thank goodness I didn’t get that job, or that guy, or whatever. Maybe thinking about it not in terms of rejection but thinking about it as – not now, not this one, something better later is useful.

    • Jacqueline says:

      This is a great point, Jeena! My mom always says, “If not this, something better,” and I keep that in mind whenever I really want something. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  • Ana says:

    We are all rejected and accepted at the same time. I guess this is how it is supposed to be. If we receive a lot of “yes”, then it is gonna be boring. We might ask “why don’t we receive any “no”? Sometimes, a lot of “yes” could go wrong. But, you are so right to say “yes” to yourself. Saying “yes” to ourselves makes us to feel more accepted than any rejection.

    • Jacqueline says:

      Great points, Ana! And you’re right. If we always got “yes’s,” life would be pretty boring. It’s the risk of rejection that makes that much more interesting and worthwhile. Thanks for commenting!

  • […] my rejection for the day. (To read more about my   rejection escapades, read about week 1 & 2). Rejection Therapy reminded me that anything is possible and that we never know until we […]

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