Tips for Coping With Rejection

Aug 19, 2015

You know what word you hear a lot when you’re a full-time freelancer? No. That’s right, no matter how wonderful you think you are or how great you are at what you do, you probably get the dreaded “thanks, but no thanks” way more often than a “yes”.

I won’t sugarcoat it — all of that rejection can be exhausting. And, as sad as it might sound, there comes a time when you sort of get used to it. Those dreaded rejection emails start seeming way less earth-shattering, and more like a standard part of doing business.

Regardless of what you do, rejection is inevitable. It’s a fact of life. But, just because we’ve all had to deal with it at one point or another doesn’t necessarily mean we’re great at dealing with it. I’m not sure this is something to brag about — but, being that I’ve been a full-time freelancer for a little over a year, I like to think I’m pretty much a pro when it comes to coping with rejection.

Looking for some tips to pull you out of that black hole that beckons you to just wallow in your own self-pity and sob into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s? Look no further! Here are a few of my favorite ways to deal with that unavoidable b-word we call “rejection”.



Whenever you get a message turning you down, it can be tempting to throw both middle fingers up in the air and be bitter about the entire situation. And, while that might nurse your ego for just a second, there are much more productive things you can do with the unfortunate situation.

Whenever I receive a rejection notice from a potential client, I always ask for feedback. Was there something I could’ve done better? What did they think of my pitch email? Do they have any suggestions for how I could improve?

Sure, it still sucks getting turned down. But, at least I was able to walk away with some real, actionable advice to help me improve in the future.


Admittedly, I’m famous for this. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “Wait, they didn’t want me?! Well, then who did they hire? This girl?! Well, where has she written? Oh, she’s been published in the New York Times. I’m terrible at everything.” You know where that self-deprecating train wreck of an internal monologue gets me? Absolutely nowhere.

As tempting as it can be to churn and churn over the reasons why you’ve been rejected, you’re better off just taking a deep breath, sending a quick “thank you” email, and moving on. It’s the best thing for your sanity, trust me.


There’s no doubt about it — being rejected can put you in a real funk. So, I always recommend doing something that boosts your confidence. Whether that’s dancing around your kitchen to your favorite songs or calling your best friend for a pick-me-up, I can guarantee you’ll start to feel better after a quick five minutes.

Me? I love to call my parents so that they can remind me of how intelligent, beautiful, considerate, hilarious, and just all-around wonderful I am. Parents are pretty good at that, aren’t they?


You know what makes rejection even more frustrating? When you were so sure that you had that thing in the bag. In your mind, it was a sure thing. You just needed them to seal the deal.

Counting your chickens before they’ve hatched is a surefire way to set yourself up for a big ol’ letdown. So, approach each new opportunity with optimism — not expectation. Of course, you can be hopeful about the new job or potential client, but don’t start picturing your cubicle or byline before it’s a reality.

Rejection is something we’re all familiar with, so I’d love to know how you deal with it — particularly in a business setting!

Until next time!