Rejection: the Ultimate Teacher – Guest Post by author Tina Frisco…


Image courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

LuSt 4 ART

Rejection comes in many forms, from many places, and is very painful. What makes rejection so devastating? What causes us to react in a particular way? How can we use rejection to our advantage?

On a purely instinctual level, rejection threatens to extinguish our life force by depriving us of vital nourishment. No being can truly thrive without some measure of love and acceptance.

Rejection devastates when we attach our personal worth to someone or something outside of ourselves. Feeling worthy only when liked and accepted by those with whom we engage sets the stage for rejection.

When feeling disliked or ignored by another, it’s wise to step back and view that person’s behavior as a mirror our own subconscious. Often the things we don’t like in ourselves are reflected back to us by others, giving us an opportunity to examine what prompts us to react and how we might change. This not only buffers the impact, but also opens the door to personal growth. Becoming the witness rather than the recipient allows us to determine if our behavior rather than our essence is being rejected, or if the other person’s bias in play, and/or if we’re simply misreading all the cues.

In childhood, our behavior is largely determined by conditioning. When we incarnate, we become blank slates to be imprinted upon by everyone and everything around us. We react to external stimuli positively or negatively, based on whether our basic needs are met or neglected. As we mature, we learn that we have choices; choices including how we feel and whether we react to or act on those feelings.

The key to using rejection to our advantage lies in remaining objective. However, behaving as an unattached witness can be difficult when our impulse is either to strike or withdraw. If we recognize impulse as being instinctual – a reflex action rather than a thought process – then we’re taking a first step toward understanding our feelings and turning rejection into a positive learning experience.

When observing animals in the wild, it becomes clear that instinct is, in part, a survival mechanism. Although we humans don’t live in the wild, we find it impossible at times not to react. Generally speaking, however, our survival doesn’t depend on ‘fight or flee.’ Most often we have the advantage of time and space within which to consider our options and teach ourselves to behave differently. We are capable of changing our behavior and, quite possibly, our feelings. With a little practice, we can move ourselves to the threshold of choice: act or react. Success in achieving this pivots on focusing our intention.

Change occurs in three stages: (1) we witness our behavior after we’ve reacted; (2) we take note while we’re reacting; (3) we stop ourselves before we react. When we reach the final stage, our behavior reflects choice (act on) rather than reflex (react to). Since most change occurs over time, perseverance becomes vital to success. Yet once we’re rooted in firm resolve, observing ourselves can be fascinating.

In order to use rejection to our advantage – in order to grow from what would otherwise be a devastating experience – it’s imperative that we detach the measure of our self-worth from anything external and, instead, focus our attention inward. We start by witnessing, acknowledging, and owning our behavior; then we commit to changing the behavior and persist until we reach the level of choice; and finally, we consciously manifest the change.

Deciding not to change is also a valid choice. Either way, the key element lies in remaining objective and being our own best witness.

Emotions are raw and capable of consuming us. It’s important to recognize what we feel and what we do as mutually exclusive. Feeling rejected is arguably an instinctual response, while wallowing in rejection is a choice that wastes precious time and vital energy.

The line between feeling and wallowing is of the utmost importance. It’s on this line where we acknowledge, examine, and own all of who we are and how we behave. It’s where we give voice to what we feel and allow that voice to be heard by our body, mind, and spirit. It’s where we accept ourselves in totality and recognize self-acceptance as a vital element in the process of change. Without recognition, negative emotions infest our subconscious and compel us to wear a false face in the world, for we are controlled by that which we refuse to acknowledge.

Gratitude is equally as important as recognition and acknowledgement. Just as food sustains the body, raw emotions serve in sustaining our life force. Thanking them before letting go and moving on will put the subconscious at ease, discourage it from seeking a detrimental substitute, and encourage it to welcome and accept the changes we’ve worked so hard to make.

Even if we’re unable to change our raw emotions, we can change how we act on them. Owning all of our behavior and accepting ourselves completely makes it easier to view another’s behavior toward us as a mirror of our own subconscious.

What we think, we become. Raw emotions can become a force for positive change. Rejection can be experienced as a welcomed teacher. Energy follows thought …

Until the next time, my friends,


Tina Frisco

Barnes & Noble





85 thoughts on “Rejection: the Ultimate Teacher – Guest Post by author Tina Frisco…

  1. came here from Marsha’s re-blog- and glad I did.
    this was great.
    you have much wisdom and write so well.

    “Without recognition, negative emotions infest our subconscious…”
    so true – and to the rest as well…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We’ve all been there, and yet life goes on, and here we are still working at being ourselves. You spoke eloquently, Tina. I think sometimes we perceive that being rejected is a personal affront, when really it is necessary. We are not right for everyone, nor are our works. That doesn’t mean we aren’t worthy of something. I work through this constantly as I’m sure all writers do. 🙂 Thanks again for sharing, and thanks, Chris for publishing this post. 🙂 I think you hit a nerve!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you’re right, Marsha. I certainly didn’t expect so many reblogs. But as you said, we’ve all been there ~ an intense and trying experience shared by many. And you’re right… we are all worthy. If we think we’re not, the feeling is self-imposed. I appreciate your thoughtful comment ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so true in our lives…rejection is such a double-edged sword…we can’t live with it (hurts emotionally) and we can’t live without it (being rejected is the ultimate feedback from which we can learn, and thus change our behavior or improve upon something). Thanks for an inspiring post, Tina, and to Chris for guest posting!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post Tina. It is so hard to take rejection especially with writing because your book is your baby and no wants to be told they have an ugly baby! You are so right that although we cannot change our gut reactions we can change our behaviour, and I suppose that in itself will change how we feel about the universal experience of rejection. I also think that with our writing it is worth bearing in mind that when agents or publishers reject it, they are not necessarily commenting on the quality of the product (unless they specifically say it’s unreadable rubbish – which might be a bit of a clue) but commenting on its likely success in the current market. Their job is to make money. Our job is to spin dreams! Hugs P

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Paul. I agree: Changing our behavior will often lead to a change in how we feel. And your point about literary rejection is well-taken. It would be in a writer’s best-interest to remember that! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  5. This is a very informative and well thought-out post. It is true that we all face rejection at some point, where it be an application for a job, audition, failed friendship or relationship or something else. Well done on pointing the points across on this topic so well.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Excellent. A timely post for everyone. It is not only children who suffer from raw rejection but we adults as well. Best to grow a thick skin and step back. Self-confidence is key, I’m sure, or a huge positive in turning rejection around.
    🙂 ❤ ❤

    Liked by 3 people


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