Unless you are not truly living your life, merely inert and existing, then life will inevitably fling a good measure of knock backs for you to handle. Rejection can present itself in many forms; exclusion from peer groups, not getting that job, or never hearing off Mr Right after your first date.
Us Homo Sapiens seem hard wired to always perceiving rejection to be a painful and unnecessary experience. Rejection can set us off on a negative cycle of battered self-esteem, a knocked confidence, and a loss of motivation. All of these negative outcomes just make the chances of further rejection to be far more likely.
There is no rocket science to the fact that the stronger the initial self-esteem, confidence and motivation was, prior to rejection, the less painful, less negative and far stronger, the bounce back when we are knocked back.
Don't get me wrong, even the strongest of us will have down days, when rejection plays on our confidence, and we will lose hours of our life asking ourselves questions ("Did he not like me because I am overweight?/Why did I crack that bad joke in the interview/Why did I wear that outfit?). However, before you resign yourself to a lifetime of psycho-dynamic counselling sessions, try a few of the following ideas:
* Take time to look at the positives in the situation, even if some days you have to look a little bit harder to find them. You only need to find one positive ("I am a good listener/I am independent/I am good fun") and think or write a few sentences and examples about your positive attributes.
* Talk it out with a friend rather than talking to your biased self. Over-analysing things internally will only make the scenario grow to all new negative proportions whilst gnawing away at your general well-being. Sometimes, when we talk aloud or feel heard by others, we will hear the answers and solutions to our recurring questions and negative thought patterns.
* "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" and by this, I do not mean try, try and try again the telephone number of Mr Right who has not responded to your first thirty-eight missed calls and twenty-three texts that followed your disastrous first date. I mean, try, try again at similar situations in the future (different dates/different jobs/different image) and do not become stuck just from one of life's little knock backs.
If rejection keeps happening again and again in the same situation, such as a job interview, try and figure out if there is something you could change or do differently. Use the rejection to seek constructive feedback, ask the interviewer/company how you could improve your presentation at a future interview, what do you have to lose? Rejection often helps us to see things from a new perspective, helps us learn and grow too, but it should never teach us to give up or quit.
You are made of stronger stuff than you probably realise in this very moment. So, chin up, shoulders back and go get 'em, tiger!