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  • Writer's pictureDr. Cristina DiPietropolo

Rejection is Tough, but it’s Necessary

When we feel rejected, it becomes almost too easy to take it personally, even in business. When you anxiously anticipate a specific outcome, whether you are hoping to land a new client or just looking to be promoted to a new position, rejection can be painful. Still, it is a part of life, and you can overcome it. Let’s explore what you can do to come to terms with being rejected and come out stronger in your professional life.

Embrace the Pain, but don’t Wallow in it

Yes, rejection comes with quite a bit of pain and disappointment. No one plans for it, and most of us hope that we can avoid it. Emotional resilience in business is something that a lot of us are still working on. To be resilient, you need to have a little bit of grit to push through it all. You are allowed to feel the pain of being rejected, but you can’t give yourself over to it.[1]

Tips for Overcoming Painful Rejections

  • Avoid fixating on the rejection.

  • Don’t focus on who received the opportunity that you were hoping to have.

  • Talk through your pain and why you are upset.

  • Allow yourself to be comfortable with the outcome, even though it wasn’t the outcome you expected.

  • Don’t stop yourself from being upset or act like you aren’t bothered by the loss. Embrace it, give yourself time to deal with it, and then pick yourself up.

Learn through Humility

Though we need grit to gain resilience in business, it isn’t always about being tough. Humility is an important consideration when we face rejection. Focusing on humility instead of our loss is a great way to learn more from the situation.[1] It helps us remove our ego from the equation, allowing us to view the issue from a differing perspective.

Tips for Embracing Humility

  • Consider why you were rejected.

  • Focus on whether or not it was a good fit.

  • Ask yourself what you can learn from the experience.

  • Go the extra mile and be open to learning from individuals who have succeeded.

  • Ask yourself what you can do better next time and use it as a growth opportunity.

Let Go and Move On

To bounce back from rejection, you will need to allow yourself to move on—sometimes easier said than done. It can be difficult not to feel hurt when you put your heart and soul into something that doesn’t work out. Moving on means accepting your rejection and making a conscious decision to move past it.[1]

Tips for Moving On

  • Embrace a growth mindset and use what you have learned to propel you forward.[1]

  • Incorporate change based on the feedback you received.

  • Look for new opportunities and ask yourself what you can bring to your next attempt to make it a better one.

  • Talk with a third party to receive an unbiased view of the situation.


We need reminding that rejection does not define who you are, and realistically, it is an opportunity for growth and learning. Every rejection can turn into a learning opportunity if we allow it to. Remember, failure is a part of success! It’s how we strengthen our resilience and keep moving forward and not allow ourselves to be paralyzed and ineffective in our future.

Dr. Cristina Rosario DiPietropolo is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Leader Essentials Group, an executive consulting firm focused on strategy execution and leadership development. Extensive experience across multiple industries and highly skilled in the areas of strategic planning, organizational behavior, human resource management, change management, leadership, and digital marketing. Over ten years of teaching experience as a Visiting Professor of Management, with a special focus on leadership in entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and international management.


Carucci, R. (2020, March 2). How to bounce back from rejection. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved October 1, 2021, from

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