It is pretty much a given that all of us will have to face a lot of rejection, criticism and even ridicule at different times in our lives. If it is constant and happens for a long time, eventually it will lead to a situation where we start doubting our worth and our capabilities.
For people with low self esteem this is an even more grave issue as they may stop believing in themselves much sooner and thereby harm their prospects in the future. Even for people who have reasonable self confidence, getting criticized and ridiculed over and over again will sooner or later dent their self worth.
So what can one do in order to keep marching on despite ridicule and rejection? Well here are six tips that can be immensely useful.
1) Realize that there is a difference between facts and opinions.
A lot of things people say are opinions rather than facts. The difference between the two is that facts are universal, they hold true no matter what the condition. While an opinion is subject, it differs from person to person.
For example – The Earth is round is a fact (Even if you are a flat Earther!) Whether a person is good looking or not is an opinion.
Earth being round is a fact and it will continue being so until it is destroyed.
On the other hand if someone thinks you are not good looking, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t. Maybe you are attractive to another person or in a different culture.
Most of the problems people will have with you will be based on opinions not facts. Don’t let them bog you down.
2) Try to understand why the other person thinks the way they think.
Sometimes we confuse our own opinions with facts. We think that just because something is right in our opinion, everyone else should agree with it. Not the case.
You have to be willing to see things from the point of view of the other person. Sometimes you have to realize you don’t fit in with the other person’s needs and you don’t have to take it personally.
Suppose you get rejected for an interview, try and get feedback. Also ask yourself whether you would truly hire someone like yourself. Do you truly fit in with the needs of the company? Most of the times you will realize there is a discrepancy between would be the company needs and what you are giving them.
But maybe a different company is looking for exactly what you are able to give them. Don’t take things personally, keep moving forward!
3) Remind yourself of all the things you are good at.
Einstein once said that if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will go through its entire life thinking its stupid.
The main cause of people suffering from low self confidence which lowers further with ridicule or criticism is that they are only focusing on things that are not their strengths. Look, the fact is you can’t be great at everything, in fact you will probably suck at most things. But that doesn’t mean you are a failure because there are always a few things in the world which you are supremely talented at.
There is always one thing where you are the Guru and even the Gurus of the other fields will look up to you when it comes to that thing. When you introspect and find out that thing at which you are amazing, you will realize how special you are. You are immensely blessed!
4) Ask people to clarify why they rejected you.
This is one of the best ways in order to differentiate between facts and opinions. If someone’s logic for saying no to you is not valid, it will be evident with the kind of reasoning they use. If all they are making is excuses, they will not have a single valid concrete reason for saying no. If their reasoning does not make sense, there is no point to feel bad about it because they are saying no based on opinions not facts
If they have a valid answer, it is actually useful to you. Sometimes the brutal honest answer may even end up hurting you, but if it’s based on facts, correct it. If not, reject it. If you improve yourself based on the facts you hear, it will be incredibly useful to you in the future, even if it is not particularly present to hear in the present!
5) Stop Over thinking!
Once you have understood the reality of the situation and differentiated between what is true and what is not, you need to move on. Do not keep thinking about it or focusing on it beyond the point where the situation was under control or you were receiving valuable feedback. The more you give unnecessary attention to it, the worse the cycle of rumination will get. You may even fall into a cycle of depression if you don’t snap out of it quickly enough.
If you can move on quickly without wasting time on over thinking, you can then focus on productive things that will actually pay off in the future. Remember, that getting feedback and then taking action to correct the problem may help solve it but over thinking only complicates problems, it never solves them. Refocus on something else and don’t waste your time dwelling on negativity.
6) Realize that one can make you feel horrible or depressed unless you give them the power to do so.
Anything said by someone else is simply an arrangement of words and words do not mean anything unless you decide you want to give importance to what is being said. When you allow meaningless words to get inside your brain and choose to give importance to them, it is only then they can start bothering you and make you feel depressed. However, you can also consciously choose to deflect them and move on with your life.
Some of the most influential personalities have been humiliated and rejected. Edison was called mentally inept. Oprah Winfrey was called unfit for television. Amitabh Bachchan, the famous Bollywood actor was told that his voice sucked. Today it is his distinct deep voice that sets him apart from everyone else. Arnold Schwarzenegger was told, his accent was too weird. But he gained much attention in popular culture because of the same accent.
All of these people turned the attacks into them into motivation to prove their critics wrong and succeed. And succeed amazingly they did!
I hope you have gained some useful information for this piece. Analyze what’s said and if they seem to be true then use that as useful information and make a positive change.
If they are mere opinions with no basis in reality or could differ from person to person, then ignore them and move on in the right direction with a determination to prove your critics wrong.
Finally, if there is one thing you should always keep in mind is that the world remembers the doors, not the people who threw stones at them.
Use people’s stones to build your staircase to success. Let them do what they do best, while you do what you do best. They will waste their time going green with jealousy while you shine in your success.
They will be forgotten, while the rest of the world will begin to look up to you. Remember that one can pull you down when you are truly determined to climb high!
So what are you waiting for? Go create your history!