Rejection is not something we typically esteem. If anything, we avoid it, hoping that if we do experience rejection the effects will be short-lived. Yet, what if we stopped viewing it as a bad thing and started to see it as a good thing? After all, there are a lot of things in life that may not be fun, but are absolutely beneficial to our well-being.
Depending on who you are, you might put flossing your teeth, exercising, or eating vegetables into that category. You might not like doing those activities, but you might realize their value and do them anyway. In the same way, rejection also has its advantages.
They aren’t as obvious as getting that piece of spinach out from between your front teeth. However, they are there nonetheless. In fact, just last week I discovered three surprising benefits of rejection.
Rejection Tempers Our Ego
The ego doesn’t take too kindly to being rejected. Yet, if left to itself it can lead to our becoming egotistical. Being rejected once in a while can actually protect us from this malady. If all we hear is people singing our praises all day long, our egos will go unchecked. That might be fun for a while, but in the end it will lead to our undoing.
Rejection Tests Our Determination
When I feel rejected, either by outright disapproval or the more subtle form of disinterest, my first reaction is to become discouraged and give up on my dreams. Yet, I’m learning that rejection can actually serve to strengthen my determination. After all, if I am going to allow the slightest breeze to knock me off my course, I’m not going to get very far in life.
Rejection Clarifies Our Vision
After experiencing rejection in several forms over the course of several days, a third benefit began to emerge. I was forced to look closer at what I believed. Challenging the discouragement I felt with the encouragement of what I chose to believe actually ended up being a blessing. Not only did it restore my peace, but it also lead to an even stronger, surer and clearer vision.
In the end, I began to see that rejection has many more upsides than downsides. Although it isn’t pleasant, it can actually do us a great service. If we don’t take it personally, rejection can serve to temper our ego, test our determination, and clarify our vision. Just like flossing, it can lead to greater overall health.
So next time I feel rejected, I’m going to try not to let it discourage or derail me. Instead, I’m going to remind myself that it is a refining fire. Perhaps if I treat it as fuel that has the potential to propel me onward and upward, I will find in it a new source of untapped energy.
In fact, if I’m really serious about embracing it, I might even tackle the 100 Days of Rejection Therapy offered by Jia Jiang. Since the whole point is to experience rejection, what’s the worst that could happen? Someone might say yes?