What Are Good Ways To Handle Rejection In Life?

By Darnell Hill

San Quentin State Prison

I totally believe how one handles rejection is a matter of perspective: how one sees themselves, the motives behind getting their needs met, and is it a want or a need? Psychological and emotional development has a lot to do with how our perspective is formed based on low self-esteem or too much pride.

The best way to handle rejection that consistently works is building your self confidence. If we look at the “core issue” with handling rejection, it’s not about you being turned down for the job, date, marriage proposal or pay raise, it’s truly about how you feel about yourself after and where are those feelings coming from? For example, when I applied for my first job, I assumed that I would get the job so I started spending the money in my head before I had the job. I got my bubble burst when I was told that I was not picked. My devastation stemmed from the wrong motive I had with expectations of spending the money that wasn’t even mine yet to spend. The rejection of not getting the job triggered my abandonment issues, causing me to embrace my low self-esteem and fear of applying for another job. How did I handle it? I handled it by surrounding myself with good family and friends who believed in me and continued to encourage me. But even that wasn’t enough because until I started believing in myself and having the courage to step out on faith with persistence, sooner or later I got my heart’s desire.

The other issue with handling rejection is most people don’t want to wait for the later, because pride and expectations always want the sooner. How do we handle this? By having enough confidence in yourself to know that with persistence, life has never failed you. We only fail when WE give up. So, the next best way to handle rejection is to never give up. If one job says no, try for another until you get what you want. If the date turns you down, continueto work on his/her heart or someone else’s until you get a yes! The key is no matter what, believe in yourself! and continue to work on your self-confidence. Life has a way of allowing us to learn from the psychological and emotional stress that comes from handling rejection we may not think or feel we need at the time, but suddenly our motivation for life gets strengthened and we find ourselves back in the cycle of life that come with handling rejection in better ways than we thought we could all because our confidence level has risen. There’s no better way to handle rejection than to believe in yourself, be confident and never give up!!!


All communications between inmates and external channels are facilitated by approved volunteers since inmates do not have access to the internet. This program with Quora is part of The Last Mile San Quentin. Twitter: @TLM

  • Jerry

    Its amazing that you can have such a positive considering your situation. It will definitely make me reevaluate my situation, and look for a positive perspective. Keep the faith. 

  • H!

    AMEN! Dead on!

  • Thank you for this post!  It’s so true!  The more self-confident we are, the less we’re bothered by rejection.  Because we know that WE are just fine and whatever didn’t turn out the way we wanted is ok because something better is coming along. 
    Also, like you said, it’s key to keep going!  One rejection isn’t the end of the world.  It’s just a step along your path, leading you right where you need to be!  You weren’t meant to get THAT job or be with THAT person because the Universe has something even greater planned that’s on it’s way!  Keep at it!  Keep your head up!  Keep the faith! 


    • TVJackieM

      That is so true!  Healthy balanced self esteem and confidence are the antidotes to being rundown by rejection when there is no need to be!

  • This is very well put!  Thanks for your post and God Bless!

  • Kirsten Xavier

    Thank you this essay. I have been dealing
    with some rejection issues in my profession and it made me stop and look at some older shut down parts of myself that care too much about what other people think of me. This is an old family wound that I’m now healing more deeply because of this supposed “rejection”. Ultimately we are the only ones who can approve, accept and yes, love ourselves. The outside world mirrors back to us how much we approve of ourselves. I’m in the process now of sending the children’s books I’ve written to agents/editors and it is really teaching me how to not be so damn defensive. If I can learn to get my old ego out of the way I can do so much more action and participation in the world. It is so true that giving up and shutting down is the only failure.

  • Lowesw

    The ego is such an amazingly powerful thing. It’s power is used for driving the “go getter” in each of us. Sometimes though, the ego can send us down a trail of miserable circumstances. I’m over 55 and I have learned that keeping my ego in check makes for a smoother ride for my life. When I find myself working really hard at something I am very excited about, I have the feeling that I am beating my head against a brick wall. I am “leaning” into the project wanting it to come to fruition so badly that I really cannot see the forrest for the trees. I then realize that I am following my ego and am not on the real path for the purpose of my life. My understanding of my real purpose only comes from God. Praying for the right path and listening for guidance makes all the difference for me. If I honor God with “Godly” actions and thoughts throughout my day, it allows me to follow His guidance. My life is much better and more successful because I am not being held hostage by my ego.

  • Ema

    Thank you so much for this. You lifted me up today. A HUGE THANK YOU! 😉

  • Luckyforme

    How do you handle rejection by a parent?