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Life After Being Rejected: How to Move on Unfazed

being rejected

Rejection can take a lot out of you, leaving you drained and ready to throw in the towel.

Putting all your hope into something just to find out that you didn’t get the green light can feel like the wind just got knocked out of you. I know…

When I was in college I pretty much had my career path planned out, at least while I was still studying.

I found this job that seemed to fit perfectly into what I was trying to do. I needed a job that would exercise and develop my skills but not be too demanding since I was still taking classes.

The job was right on track with my experience so I figured I was a shoo-in. It was just a matter of acing the interview. But that very necessary thing never happened.

They didn’t call me for an interview, not even to discuss my skills over the phone.

I started to think maybe they didn’t get my resume, perhaps there was a glitch and it didn’t go through. However, according to their online system it was sent to the HR department.

Just to be sure, I also faxed a copy. But it didn’t make a difference. I never started work because I never got a call.

This threw a monkey wrench into my plans because I needed to find a new job and that one was the pick of the litter. I continued to apply to other jobs here and there but I kind of felt like I lost something big.

After a short while I began to think that my plan was never going to come together because similar jobs just were not out there.

I had nightmares of being stuck in that place, all because of something that was beyond my control.

I was rejected in the worse way, before I was even given the opportunity to prove myself. They didn’t even want to talk to me.

They probably just put my resume on a stack with a bunch of others, thinking I was just like the rest. But I wasn’t, it didn’t matter because they didn’t think so.

You can’t read signs

At this point I just wanted to surrender.

Nothing seemed to be going according to plan, so what was the point. All because of that silence, yet impactful, rejection.

My future was ruined. I was stuck in limbo.

I thought it was just time to let go and let other forces take over my destiny. It wasn’t going my way anyway.

I couldn’t see a way to come back from this.

This was the end.

If I let it be. After wallowing in my own pity for a while I realized that I couldn’t just let myself give up and that I couldn’t live a life designed by something other than myself.

I wasn’t going to let that one rejection, and a few more later, design my destiny. No doesn’t not equal the end.

After sharpening my skills and tweaking my resume. I continued to look for a position that fit into my plan and even continued to consider the company that rejected me.

Soon after they posted another opening in a similar area, it sound a little more along the lines of what I was looking for (who knew they had such a thing). And, it was in another office, closer to my house.

Things changed this time around. Not only did I get a call, I got an immediate offer for the position following my interview.

A complete 180 from what I experienced with the company regarding another position.

Then I realized that my new job was a better fit for me and made life a little easier compared to the one I originally wanted. 

Finally!!! Things were looking up and my career plan was back on track.

It’s about what happens after

After getting rejected you can shrivel up into a little ball and cry until your tear ducks dry up or you can push through. In my case, I did a little of both.

Either way it’s what you do after being rejected that determines the impact it will have. You can either set yourself up to bounce back to go another round or kick yourself while you’re already down.

But figuring this out isn’t exactly easy. If you want to be resilient there are some things you’ll have to remind yourself of and other things you’ll have to do.

Like the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you makes you stronger. A rejection doesn’t have to seal your fate.

In fact, it can help prepare you for the next chapter. You’ll be better for it and finally get what it is you’re seeking.

Keep these things in mind after experiencing a potentially debilitating rejection:

Don’t beat yourself up

This is first and foremost. It’s typical to place all the blame on yourself, and sure maybe there is something that you could’ve done better, but the point is demeaning yourself isn’t going to help you.

Instead of putting yourself down, be nurturing. Take it easy on yourself, you’ve been through enough.

Acknowledge the fact that you’ve made a good effort. You can’t win them all but eventually you’ll win the one that matters.

Take a breather

Give yourself a break. A setback should be followed my some R&R.

After a disappointment it may not be best to jump straight back into the game as you need to handle the rejection so it doesn’t impact your mental state.

The last thing you want to do is lose control somewhere else down the line because you pushed your feelings to the back burner.

Manage your self-talk

It’s normal for your attitude to change following a rejection but you have to be the one to bring it back. Staying in a negative place is only going to bring about more negative results.

Stay positive and take note of the things you say to yourself and your thoughts.

You mental state has a way bigger impact on your life than any rejection ever could.

It’s not the end of the world

Remember I almost thought that it was but soon enough things turned around.

You have to be out there trying to be rejected, so even if you don’t get it you’re still ahead of the people not putting forth any effort.

And even if you don’t get the thing that you wanted when you wanted it, it doesn’t mean that there still isn’t something else out there for you.

There are way more opportunities available. Even when you don’t see them, they’re still lurking, waiting to be uncovered.

Things happen for a reason. A lot of the time, I later realize that things happened the way they did because it worked out better that way. Then I’m thankful for it.

And you will be too.

It’s part of the path to success

You typically cannot be successful without being rejected at some point.

Never being rejected usually means you’ve never tried. And if you’ve never tried then you’re definitely not going to be successful.

Being rejected can either feed your determination or break you down from the inside out. The choice is yours.

But you’ll be hard pressed to find a success story without some rejection in it.

Mark Ruffalo was rejected 600 times (yes, hundreds) before landing a gig. Look at him now, he’s an Avenger!

Just remember, just because you’ve been rejected doesn’t mean you’ll never become successful. Believe me, you’re actually getting closer.

Learn from it

Instead of letting it beat you down, let it teach you something. There’s always room for improvement so take the rejection as an opportunity to grow.

In my case I figured something was up with my resume, since it was the only contact I had with them, so I made some changes.

Additionally, I sharpened and expanded my skill set to make myself more desirable. Then the phone started ringing.

It wasn’t exactly a clear shot to victory, as some positions did fit, but it was certainly an improvement.

You’re not alone

Sorry I don’t know if there are any groups focusing on rejection but it is something we all go through. It’s everyone’s problem.

Unfortunately, it won’t be one-off either. You’ll have to deal with rejection in all different aspects of your life and at uncommon times and on different levels.

One thing is certain that rejection is commonplace.

They say the most successful people have been rejected the most. I would say, just for the simple fact that they have been able to overcome rejection so much makes them very successful.

The difference is they pushed forward.


As much as it may feel like it’s time to throw in the towel, don’t. Remember these things and cut yourself some slack.

Baseball players strike out all the time but it’s never the end of the game.

Sometimes it can take a few tries before you’re able to get the thing you want. But don’t let the extra effort discourage you. Alternatively, use the rejection to build your road to success.

Learn from it and apply it next time. It will surely make the difference.

The last thing you want to do is end up stuck in limbo forever because you can’t get over the fact the one person couldn’t see your vision or ability.

Remember these things and apply them whenever you’re dealing with rejection and you’ll be able to bounce back unfazed and renewed.


And you…

How do you usually handle rejection? Does it stop you in your tracks?




About Lea

Lea is a certified life coach, foodie and lifehack expert. Don’t end up like the millions of people who gave up on their dreams, get unstuck and to the next level. Take the eye-opening Live Your Dreams course now to get moving!

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  • Hi, Lea,

    You are absolutely right, being rejected can wipe you out and leave you drained… what a very relevant topic for discussion, I appreciate you sharing this.

    “If I let it be.” It really is up to us, isn’t it? Your advice to not beat ourselves up after being rejected is valuable. Deep down we know this, but we do need the encouragement of hearing it so that we actually don’t take it too far.

    I’m a big proponent of saying ‘let’s just put one foot in front of the other, go to bed and get up in the morning with a different perspective.’

    Learning from negative experiences makes it a positive one.

    I couldn’t agree more with all that you shared, Lea, and I thank you for your willingness to be so transparent.

    Have a great weekend, and I’m wishing you all the best – and am so glad the phone started ringing. 🙂

    ˜Carol Amato

    • Lea

      Hey Carol,

      It’s normal to get down on yourself but you have to remember to pull yourself out of that.

      Interesting saying, afterall tomorrow is a new day and a chance to start anew.

      Exactly! Putting a positive spin on it makes it helpful, and motivating, for you.

      Thanks Carol, happy we’re on the same page. I’m hoping my story will help someone else. 🙂

      Hope you’re enjoying the weekend also!


  • Hey Lea
    Sorry for late reply. I really liked the way you exlained the most important topic of our life.

    Many people just give up after going through some kind of roadblock in their life. But such roadblock should be used to convert it into success.

    I really enjoyed your post as you have explained in detail the steps to be taken when we encounter some defeat.

    Thank you for such a wonderful post!!!!

    • Lea

      Hey Yash,

      No problem, great to hear from you. Yes it is important as it is inevitable.

      Yup, it can be there to teach you something, to prepare you for later. So it should be used to your advantage whenever possible.

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.


  • I agree on managing self-talk. I’ve been working on that area for years by getting rid of negative thinking and putting in better, positive thinking and that has made all the difference in the world. It’s amazing how much you can talk yourself out of doing things or tell yourself all the bad things that will happen and, eventually, you just talk yourself out of living. at least that’s the way it feels to me. If you have that good mindset going, you can do so much more with your life.

    • Lea

      I’m sure it has. What you think and how you speak to yourself has a great impact.

      I agree with you. Talking yourself out of doing the things you want is denying yourself. You’re not living at all. Being in the right place mentally is the foundation, I believe. It sets you on the path to either action or inaction.


  • Lea

    Thanks Patti!

    I think those questions are important because it directly relates to your ability to succeed afterward.

    If it doesn’t work out one way you should open your mind to the possibility that it could another way.

    Thanks for commenting and visiting Patti, I really appreciate it.


  • mark newsome

    Another extremely solid posts Lea!

    And great advice, for handling the inevitable! But like you pointed out, still it didn’t kill you, you were probably stretched and you needed to be!

    Because as you also pointed out, by learning “how to” push through it emotionally, you’re definitely setting yourself up for some future success down the road!

    That’s some really sound advice! Thanks!

    • Lea

      Thanks Mark!

      I wish I knew about a way to avoid rejection completely but like you said, it’s inevitable. But if I ever find a way I’m be writing about that lol.

      Yup, sometimes we need that exercise in ability. You may not like it but it’s necessary.

      Thanks, sounds like we’re in agreement and that’s great!


  • Junie

    Hi Lea,

    Great post. I’ve had many rejections, especially in the area of employment. The one that hurt the most was a teaching job I applied for at a college I did my work placement while at university. I knew the staff and always got good feedback about my teaching. So, I thought I had a good chance of getting the job.

    The interview went fairly well, but I was little nervous because I was interviewed by the teachers I worked with. They seemed to like my presentation and teaching session. Anyway, after the interview they told me they would be in touch. A few days later I received a letter telling me I was unsuccessful because I wasn’t confident enough. And the other candidate was stronger. I was really disappointed and beat myself up over my interview techniques.

    But a few months later, the college where the job was based closed down. So, it was a good thing I didn’t get the job.

    Now I use rejections as lessons to learn from. Like you said, ‘Learn from it and apply it next time. It will surely make the difference.’

    Thanks for sharing and have a good weekend. 🙂

    • Lea

      Hey June,

      You’re experience sounds a lot like mine. It’s crazy how you have all these indicators telling you one thing then something else completely different happens.

      Oh no, beating yourself up for it is the worse. I used to do that a lot, replaying it over and over trying to determine exactly what I wouldn’t done differently. But it was pointless, you can’t turn back time…

      Omg, that’s great, for you I mean. It all worked out for you. I love things like that! I bet at that point it made perfect sense why the rejection worked for you.

      Thank you for sharing your experience! Have a great weekend.


  • Barbara Charles

    Hi Lea,

    Great info and suggestions to get past it. I’ve certainly been down that road of rejection for jobs. It can certainly get you down in a spiral if you let it. I’d like to mention to that rejection can also be a part of your personal life and I’m experiencing that right now. Where certain people I care about are making me feel rejected. I guess they are ready to move on to something else or other things. The problem is they have not included me. An ultimate type of rejection and your tips are right on for me because the resolutions still apply whether it’s a job or life stuff.

    This article as timely for me and I appreciate your advice. Glad I stopped by.

    Have a good one. Nice read and really, really appreciated.

    • Lea

      Hey Barbara,

      Yes, rejection can hit you both professionally and personally. I’m sorry to hear what you’re going through. I know when I have issues within my family it can make things especially tough.

      I’m glad my tips can be useful in both aspects and that it came at the right time for you. I too am happy that you stopped by.

      Enjoy the weekend! Thanks again 🙂


  • Sorry for the late reply, Lea. These days, I was off from all the internet activities.
    I can connect with your story. I have gone through some tough moments in my life. I learn different things every day. My rejection was not of this type. But, I can relate with the aftershocks.
    I think the best way to deal with this kind of rejections is to have a self-talk. Sometimes, we are not able to express things to other people. So, it’s better to sought out things at a personal level. I have learnt that rejection happens with everyone. How to deal with it? It depends from person to person. The one who learns from this situation, comes out with all blazing guns. I am glad, I am in the process of learning from these tough situations.
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post.

    • Lea

      No problem Yatin, I’m just happy that you’ve come to share your thoughts. 🙂

      Despite the type of rejection you get, the shock tends to be all the same, disappointment.

      That is true, not everyone gets it. Self-talk is also a good way to restore your confidence.

      Good to hear you are evolving to learn from things like this. Much luck in your further development.

      Again, thanks for commenting.


  • Hi Lea,

    Great share! We all have gone through rejection in one way or another. At first, the knee jerk reaction is go into that negative space. But when that happens, a little red flag goes off in my head.

    I do use self talk a lot. It always helps me get out of a negative feeling. I liked when you said that “its not the end of the world” because when we take that view, we do remind ourselves that there is worse things that could happen to us.

    Yes, If we study very successful people in all walks of life, they have been rejected many times. It is all how we handle it.

    Great topic!


    • Lea

      Hey Donna,

      Rejection can be unsettling but you can still recover. You can apply what you’ve gained from the experience to improve yourself. It could be worse and we should be thankful that it’s not.

      Exactly! Rejection doesn’t automatically mean you can’t be successful afterward.

      Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it.


  • Hi Lea,

    Wonderful post indeed, and one that most of us can relate to 🙂

    I guess we’ve all gone through rejection, sometime or the other, and that just makes us stronger each time. I read all about yours, and there have been moments in my life too, though not all that many – but as you mentioned, you have to push those thoughts aside and lift yourself up.

    I’d say there is always a reason…perhaps a higher purpose He has set aside for us, so our struggles make us a better version of who we are. Just get hold of yourself and move ahead, without looking back. The more you dwell in the past or think about it, the more time you take to recover. Yes, take lessons from your rejections and failures, for those are the real lessons of life, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    • Lea

      Hi Harleena,

      Thank you.

      Yes, you should keep that in mind when disappointed by things going left. Very true, the past is behind you for a reason. If you choose to stay there you can’t move on.

      They certainly are life lessons, important ones.

      Thanks for commenting. Enjoy the week also.


  • Hey Lea,

    I can so relate to this, it’s happened to me many times as well. I know that when you’re desperate or just want out so bad we want the first thing that comes along because we believe that will be our saving grace. Little do we know that we’re passed up for a reason. We can’t even think that there is something better for us around the corner.

    I love hat Yvonne said though, God has something much better planned for us. If we can hold onto that thought then we know that everything works out the way it’s suppose to so don’t get down in that slump. Hold that head up high, regroup and get back to work. Your time is coming and you need to be ready!

    Great message and thanks for sharing your own experience with us.

    Hope you’re having a really wonderful week.


    • Lea

      Hi Adrienne,

      Yup, you feel like you need it so badly and typically end up putting all of your eggs in one basket. Then you’re crushed when it doesn’t work out.

      I agree with Yvonne also. It can be disappointing at the moment but it all works out.

      Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm! Enjoy your week as well.


  • Hi Lea

    Great topic, one that many shy away from of course. For me personally I have felt the blunt edge of rejection so many times, I do not even bother to think about it like that anymore 🙂 Seriously, I don’t! Simply because I have learnt that you the person being rejected is not the problem, but the one/s who rejected you.

    Rejection lets me know that God has something far better ahead, so I quickly let go of what was/used to be. Rejection have a way of pointing you in the direction of your purpose and those who rejected you can’t travel the journey with you. It is also a way of letting you know that people simply cannot handle what’s inside of you – your gift, talents, dreams or even your vision.

    So the next time rejection comes your way, SMILE!! It worked in your favor. Be blessed!

    • Lea

      Hi Yvonne,

      Yup, you just have to have faith that things are working out as they should even though you don’t see it yet.

      That’s a great and uplifting perspective Yvonne. Thanks for sharing it!