Don’t Take Rejection Personally

Don’t Take Rejection Personally

Do you ever see other women kicking butt in business and life?  Perhaps you read about them on Facebook.  Their status updates drive you nuts.  In your heart, you know that you should be kicking butt also.  But you are not doing so.  Oftentimes, you don't kick butt because you are afraid of rejection.  You take rejection personally.

Sometimes rejection is real and humiliating and painful. But we cannot control.  There will always be people who will hate on us.  The bigger and bolder you live, the more likely it is to happen.  We are all destined to be rock stars in our own unique way.  To help you become more resilient around rejection, look at the following five reasons people reject us (there are a lot more than five):

1. People need to blame others.  Brene' Brown says "We're so desperate to get out and stay out of shame that we're constantly serving up the people around us as more deserving prey."  Face it–we all mess up.  Sadly, some  some people are unable to look at their own mistakes without feeling that they are fundamentally flawed. Feeling shame is painful so some people dodge it by finding other people (YOU) to blame first.

2. They feel poorly around you.  It's not about you. Your being awesome, smart, accomplished, talented makes them think that there is something wrong with them. So keep right on shining. If it brings up other people's crap, it is because they are attached to some old paradigm. 

3.  They are unmotivated.  In The Joy Diet Martha Beck said, "criticism is an alluring substitute for creation, because tearing things down, unlike building them up, really is as easy as falling off a stump. It's blissfully simple to strike a savvy, sophisticated pose by attacking someone else's creations, but the old adage is right: Any fool can burn down a barn. Building one is something else again."  There you go.

4.  They no longer feel you.  I have a friend who I have know since college and we were very close up until recently.  She suddenly stopped inviting me to outings.  I was a bit hurt initially, but then I realized that I don't do a lot of those crazy things we once did together. It is okay for relationships to change. 

5.  It is a bad day for them.  I recently had a day when everything went wrong on so many fronts that I eventually found myself thoroughly pissed off.  I did not want to have anything to do with anyone for a good hour. Sometimes people need some space. It has nothing to do with you.

Of course, there are many reasons why people reject you. Put things into perspective and light a fire under yourself to be YOU uncensored.

How many of you remember Janis Joplin? Below you will find a link to snippet of the interview she gave regarding her thoughts on rejection.  It was recorded four days before her untimely passing.  I share this video because we often get so caught up in our "own minds, feelings, beliefs" that we fail to recognize that others struggle with the same issues that we do.


Not one of us is unique in our concerns around being rejected.  The difference between those who succeed and those who do not is:  To succeed we must be willing to take the risks and accept the failures as loving feedback, learning experiences or course corrections so that we can grow, achieve and THRIVE.

Key: Don’t get caught up in taking things personally and making it about YOU!

Take an inventory of how are you are preemptively rejecting yourself so that you can avoid being rejected? What specific things would you do in your business if you stopped avoiding rejection?



About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. Just love this, Rachel. And so true–rejection and criticism is rarely ever about us, but about the other person’s need to do so. Once I learned that–really learned it–the experience was so freeing. Now when someone does that to me, I say a silent prayer for her well-being.
    Susan Mary Malone recently posted…Are You the Cause of Your Bad Luck?My Profile

  2. I loved watching that interview with Janis, Rachel and what a wonderful post to remind us that negative judgements and rejections are rarely about us.So true that we can get caught up in our own minds, feelings and beliefs and it can stop us in our tracks if we let it. Your advice to NOT make it about you is spot on. Thank you.
    Tamuria recently posted…EASY WAYS TO PAINT LIKE A PROMy Profile

  3. Agghhhh, it’s hard not to take it personally, though… right because when people reject our services, cuz that’s our industry, they are rejecting us, our brand, our personality, our knowledge/experience of our industry….however, I have learned that people just don’t invest in themselves and won’t pay to boom their business… sadly! Thanks for this… great reminder.
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…Be Careful Where You Get Your Images – It Could Cost YouMy Profile

  4. I think we tend to make it about us is a knee jerk reaction to early years of developing friendships. Remember those feelings of being left out of the ‘in’ group? Sometimes an adult rejection feels like the old ones & we just triggered. We may know better now, so we work our way out of it.

  5. Great question, Rachel. If I wasn’t fearful of rejection, i would share my blog posts more often. I am starting to do that so I guess it is not bothering me as much anymore. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  6. Rachel, when people reject us, it rarely has anything to do with us. Mostly, it’s about them and what’s going on in their lives. I’m not saying you should ignore rejection — particularly if everyone around you has suddenly vanished from your life — but do a gut check first, to be sure you are being the real “you,” before you decide it’s something you need to deal with.

  7. As a self-directed perfectionist, I fear I do take not accomplishing my “goal”, personally. I don’t take other people’s rejection as personally, as having read The Four Agreements, I know that it is always about the other person. The key is to be able to look at ourselves objectively and see when it is us, or when it isn’t’. Great post on an important topic, Rachel, as being human, means that at times we will feel rejected and not to able to step back and see it isn’t really about us at all!

  8. This is a great reminder. You need to be resilient to weather the storms of success. Brene Brown gives great advice.

  9. It’s amazing how much a fear of rejection, acknowledged or not, can affect how we show up. Love the Janis interview!

  10. Awesome perspective and insights into what we need to do to make sure that we DO NOT take rejection personally, as it can happen so easily if you are an online entrepreneur 🙂 I have learned to just take the “haters” in stride and stop taking things personal because they only person it hurts when you do is yourself 🙂

    Great post!

  11. Rachel, I love your question and need to spend sometime thinking about what I would do if I wasn’t worried about rejection. I suppose I would make more phone calls. I do think that the majority of the time rejection isn’t about me but about that person. Trying not to be “I” centered can help easy the pain of the loss.

  12. Hi Rachel

    I can relate to this post. So many people are afraid of standing out because they are afraid of what people would think about them. I do agree with the reasons people fear rejection and it is sad because as you shared, we are meant to make a difference in our unique ways.

    If we get past the rejection, we will see that it is not so bad but a great way to get feedback and awesome insight. Take Care
    ikechi recently posted…3 Emotions that Decide Your Life Long DecisionsMy Profile

  13. Hi Rachel,

    For years I’ve ‘tried’ to live with the following attitude: What people say about me, good or bad, means the same – nothing.

    One of my favorite poems, while simplistic, is the essence of happiness. By Stephen Crane: ‘A Man Said To The Universe’
    A man said to the universe:
    “Sir, I exist!”
    “However,” replied the universe,
    “The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation.”

    For the most part, people just don’t have time, or inclination, to consider our interpretation of their actions, or words. As you said, “It’s just not personal” Have a great week,
    Edward Thorpe recently posted…The Truth About Combining Cataract and Lasik SurgeryMy Profile

  14. Rachel – Loved, loved, loved this post. The J.J. clip was wonderful. I think another aspect to all this is that when we feel rejected or “not enough” we have to remember that in this day and age, seeing others is largely through social media which is NOT real life. Everybody else’s life is going to look glamorous, uplifting, and successful – and they probably won’t post their own rejections, failures, etc. The feeling of rejection then becomes that much more acute, since its easy to feel that we’re the only ones not living some glamorous, successful life. I think that’s why its especially helpful to be in social groups that are real – where people are usually positive, but share their own real struggles and rejections, helping us to get ours into perspective.
    Joan Potter recently posted…My Diet DiaryMy Profile

  15. There are times in your life when you care about what people think of you and you try to live you life to their standards. And, then there comes a time in your life when you realize you will never meet their standards, you will never be good enough and you will die if you continue to live that way. Then it’s time to pack your bags and find the wonderful people in the World who will love you for who you are. Great post Rachel. The Janis Joplin piece brought back great memories of old friends who taught me to be myself.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…How to reach your reader’s brain.My Profile

  16. This is some excellent advice Rachel!

    It can’t be a coincidence, the biggest critics, rarely if ever,
    build anything worthwhile!yet they always really good at
    using matches to burn, (or attempt to) burn, someone
    else’s dreams or accomplishments down!

    Thanks for reminding us to stay focused and let the haters
    do what they do best!LOL!

    And we’ll keep moving forward!
    Mark recently posted…Why Every Serious Small Business Owner Should Learn How To Make Money Giving Away Free Stuff!My Profile

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