It can be with work, relationships, or just about anything in life.
It is so hard because ultimately to be in a state available to receive rejection we're offering up ourselves or our work with vulnerability. This is hard because people can respond with disproportionate scrutiny.
We have to learn that we can't control other people's responses, but we can control our reactions to them.
But that is hard.
I've had various forms of this in my life.
A simple example for me was what happened this week- I was submitting an end-of-unit project for university, only for it to be rejected by my advisor.
She said she wouldn't read it because I had done too much.
This frustrated me slightly because I didn't see that as an issue but she obviously did. Once I accepted that fact I dissipated that anger and recognised I would have to redo it.
That silly story was used to illustrate we can't have control within all these contexts.
It's stepping back realising although we are the main character within our own narrative that's not the case for the world for everyone else.
You might have a teacher who's running the shop, it's their movie.
You might have a colleague or boss and this is their TV series.
It's their narrative and it's their way or the highway.
There are points where you have to use some emotional and relational intelligence to recognise that you do not have ultimate control within those situations and it is better to let somebody else have their way.
But this doesn't mean you become a pushover and just accept everyone has superior power to you.
You have to work out when and when not to accept rejection and learn to use it as a tool for growth rather than a lingering pain you carry with you.
Understanding when and where you should feel deeply about something is essential.
You can't allow yourself to be hurt by harsh words and rejection from people who know very little about you, nor should you lash out with passion.
Quietly listen unaffected recognising that rejection is inevitable.
For the university work, I recognised that that's not a context to get disturbed and annoyed at. I simply received a response on my work based on the only field of reference the lecturer has on me (that work) so that critique shouldn't be taken to heart.
That is not a full representation of me as a person.
But we still do have to be open to rejection.
This is where you listen and encourage those who know you more holistically to critique you and reject bad things about you.
It is in this space that you can radically make change rather than from every single bad thing said about us.
What often happens is due to the fear of rejection we have lots of passive people.
We have lots of timidity in just allowing things to happen, not wanting to make disturbance or get called out or rejected from groups. And I mean that is okay if you are to be the teacher's pet, but you'll never be a leader.
Leaders do annoy people, but they make a change. They make a difference.
But it's knowing when and where you make a difference, when and where you listen, and actually developing the ability to take hard advice on the chin and when to disregard it.
So, with all these things in life, they're learning lessons and can give wisdom along the way if we allow them to.
I used to be super scared of rejection but in actual fact, it alleviates that space of overthinking and allows you to move on.
Regret is worse than rejection.
Additionally, rejection in your work or in popularity can be a good indicator that you are doing something distinctive- something that can make a difference.
So recognise you will inevitably be rejected. Embrace that feeling, dig deep into the lessons it teaches you, and go out there and strive onwards with your mission in life.