Updated: Feb 3
By Dr. Rob Carpenter:
Rejection can be one of the worst things to experience as a human being. Not only do you feel excluded, but the mental and emotional pain that you suffer as a consequence can sometimes last a lifetime.
In my own life—and in the lives of many of the most successful people I know—rejection played a big part, especially early on. For me, I was rejected by my own biological father (he never once called me, sent a birthday card, or had any interaction with me, even though he knew where I lived and was in close physical proximity to me growing up). In others’ lives, I know, they too experienced various types of rejection from authority figures and different people who left hurtful and negative memories that, in some cases, scarred them for life.
Yet, even though rejection was very painful, it also provided me and others with a valuable choice that was soul-changing:
To choose to be bitter or to choose to get better.
In your own experience with rejection, you will now be provided with that same opportunity: to grow and heal from this or to stay trapped by the unfair things people said and/or did to you.
While it can be challenging to take on the responsibility to heal from rejection—particularly if it psyched you out or brought great turmoil or trauma—you can still do it for the sake of your happiness and for the sake of your soul. If you want to heal from rejection as I have (and as others have), here are a few practical steps you can take:
Accept and love yourself unconditionally.
Acceptance is the first step toward self-love. When you accept yourself—by simply saying or writing it—you can begin to realign your identity from one of “rejection” to one of “acceptance.” This may take some time, but if you do it a little every day, you will rewire your thought process and be oozing with self-love.
Forgive the people who rejected you.
Forgiving those who have rejected you—who were probably rejected themselves—will make it easy for you to remove the label of “reject” from your soul. By releasing them from being the criminal or tormentor of your thoughts and emotions, you can stop yourself from reliving their hurt toward you.
Intentionally spend time with those who will accept you no matter what.
By hanging with your “tribe”—and your tribe does exist, even if you haven’t found it yet—you can feel love and acceptance from others that you desperately crave. I realize it might not seem like there are people out there who will accept you unconditionally, but there are. Find these people, and never let them go.
Start to see yourself as a healer of others who have been rejected.
As strange as this sounds, when you begin to help others who have been rejected, you will be healed in the process. And I would know: when I started doing this my life changed, my soul healed, and I became happier than I could have ever imagined. So can you.
Dr. Rob is an author, filmmaker, and host of The Dr. Rob Show. He advises celebrities, pro athletes, and everyday people on how to live their best lives and has been published in The Oxford Business Review and The Harvard Journal for Public Health, among others. His book, The 48 Laws of Happiness: Secrets Revealed For Becoming the Happiest You, is available where books are sold.
Read our interview with Dr. Rob here!