I Keep Getting Rejected But It’s Okay — I’m Actually Learning A Lot About Myself

I spent a long time running from rejection. I avoided it at all costs because I thought I’d be crushed under the weight of being dismissed by someone I liked or loved. Surprisingly, it’s happened a bunch of times recently, and I’m learning that I’m not broken down as easily as I thought I was.

  1. I’ve been putting myself out there for the first time ever. Until very recently, I kept my heart tucked away behind an enormous wall I had built. I even kept long-term lovers at arm’s length because I was terrified of getting hurt. Lately, I’ve been disassembling my wall and letting people in. In fact, I’ve been walking outside of the wall to knock on other people’s walls. It’s been a marvelous process to act so bravely, but it also means people get to keep their walls up without me having a say in the matter.
  2. I’m not afraid to be vulnerable. I kept that wall up around my heart because I was terrified of what would happen if I exposed myself. Rejection was an exaggerated monster that kept me shaking in my boots for too long, but eventually, I learned to swallow hard and look it in the face. I unabashedly told people how I felt, once even telling someone I was falling in love with them, only to have them walk away. But, you know what? I was left feeling dignified and like I spoke my truth.
  3. I could always use some humility (however begrudgingly). In the past, I was the one to end romantic relationships. I drew an inflated sense of confidence from this because I thought I was better than the people I dated. In reality, I was a scared little girl. Well, that same scared girl grew into a woman who became willing to walk through her fear. I consider being broken up with a sign of growth now. I can swallow the fact that it does sort of make me feel less-than and instead know that this is just the reality of dating.
  4. There’s a lesson to be learned in every experience.  This may be a mild cliche that no brokenhearted person wants to hear, but it’s proven to be true to me time and time again. I learn so much from each experience if I’m willing to be open to the lessons. In Pema Chodron’s book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times, she writes: “Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of sh*t and not be squeamish about taking a good look.” All real growth happens from examining what we could do differently next time.
  5. What doesn’t kill me really does make me stronger. Tired of the cliches yet? They’re spoken often for a reason. I’ve found this one to be incredibly true. I experienced a heartbreak where I felt like my insides were gutted. I absolutely hated how little control I felt I had. Still, as I moved through the pain and I survived it, I gleaned a valuable lesson. I learned that while I’m trying to feel out a relationship and listen to my gut, others are also doing the same. Prior to this relationship, I really hadn’t considered that fact. Now I approach relationships in a totally different way.
  6. Experiencing rejection has made me slow down. Speed used to be my M.O. in relationships. If I met someone I thought I really liked, my energy was frantic. I’d want to be with them all the time and I’d be dreaming about our future together right from the beginning. All of this projecting into the future was a delusion, it had no basis in reality. After being rejected from countless people I thought could be “the one,” I started to pump the brakes. I realized I got way too ahead of myself without even feeling out if we were a match. This also means the radical act of holding out on sleeping with one another.
  7. Sometimes what I wanted wasn’t actually what was best for me. I used to regularly let endorphins and fantasies get the best of me. I’d gladly put on my rose-colored lenses so that I couldn’t see any red flags. Even when someone possessed serious deal breakers, I didn’t want to see them. So, when people like this would end a relationship with me, I’d be devastated, then I’d realize they did me a favor. The Dalai Lama said “Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” I finally understand his sentiment.
  8. I know that my self-worth is not dependent on any outside sources. I don’t know that I would have been able to handle rejection before now. One of the most significant reasons I can move through it so gracefully is because I know how utterly lovable I am. I have deep spiritual practices where I tap into this unwavering source of love and worth. I’m convinced through to my bones that my source of love is divine. That means that no human can take it from me, so I will always bounce back from rejection.
  9. I get to use my experience to help another broken-hearted woman. The universe has some weird tricks up its sleeve. I’ve experienced a devastating breakup that wasn’t my choice, then a few months later I’ve had the same thing happen to a close girlfriend. That girlfriend picks up the phone to call me and I have so much empathy for her. I’m able to share my experience, tips, and offer the hope that she really can get through it.
  10. How I feel is ultimately all about perspective. Abraham Lincoln said that “we can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” The practice of gratitude really can work miracles. If I take a step back from my situation, I can shift my perspective towards being grateful.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.