Think back to the last time you were rejected by someone special or failed at something you worked hard on. How did it make you feel? Like bricks falling on your chest? You must have then been told cliche statements like
Think back to the last time you were rejected by someone special or failed at something you worked hard on. How did it make you feel? Like bricks falling on your chest? You must have then been told cliche statements like,
“Failure is the stepping stone to success.”
But does knowing this automatically fix how you feel?
When we face major rejection or failure, things seem like they’re spiralling out of our control. Your self-esteem and self-worth take a major hit, and it isn’t very easy to recover from. It’s not really your fault, we humans are wired that way. In fact, several studies have shown that the emotional pain caused by it activates the same parts of our brain that physical pain does, the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex. One such study found that social rejection activates these areas.
But we always tend to bounce back, it’s just a matter of how and when not if. So, here are 5 ways you can recover from failure and rejection, and reclaim your life:
1. Analyze What Went Wrong
First, you need to get proactive and work on the very thing that put you in this predicament in the first place. Maybe it was an exam that you didn’t do well in or an interview that you got rejected from. Sit down, and give it some thought, maybe ask for feedback from others, find out what exactly didn’t go well, that led to this result. You can’t fix it if you don’t know what went wrong.
2. Treat your “Injuries”
As mentioned earlier, emotional pain activates the same portions of the brain as physical pain. So how does one recover from this? By maintaining good physical health. Get an extra hour of sleep than you usually do, map out your meals in advance, make sure that there are sufficient quantities of fruits and vegetables in your diet, stay hydrated, and exercise for at least 30 mins every day. This releases endorphins into your brain, which will improve your emotional well being.
3. Use Positive Affirmations
This is an easy one. You just need to remind yourself that this one failure or rejection doesn’t define you. Take a diary, or a piece of paper and write this down – “This <Insert your setback here> doesn’t define me. I shall overcome this”. Do it a few times every day. Guess what? You’re going to find yourself believing in this more and more every single day you practice it, and this will aid you in your recovery.