How to Get Over the Pain of Rejection

Rejection can come in many forms, but the gut punch feels the same as it shatters your ego. And while the history of your rejection has been written, but the legacy of it is for you to decide.

The way you craft this legacy can result in some of the most meaningful wins of your life, and in this week’s video, you’ll learn how to make that happen. . . .

Let’s Rewrite Your Legacy Together on The Virtual Retreat.
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Rejection is awful. It is an incredibly painful experience.

I was, a few years ago—I think it was about 10 years ago now—making a video. I was in the middle of Beverly Hills, I remember this very well, on the little patch of grass in front of the Beverly Hills sign. And I was shooting a video that was about how to get over heartbreak. I rattled off these three tips for getting over your heartbreak. And at the end of it, I noticed that there had been a guy standing and watching me the entire time I made the video. As soon as it finished, he sort of sauntered over to me, and this older gentleman said, “You’ve never had your heart broken, have you?”

My initial reaction, firstly, was, “I hate this guy.” Anytime someone just really calls you out on something. I hated him. But the funny thing was, he called it: This wasn’t a video made by somebody who had truly had that heart crushed. Because anyone who has truly had their heart crushed doesn’t talk in that tone about heartbreak. They don’t go, “Hey, guys, it’s Matthew Hussey here! I’m going to give you three tips to getting over your heartbreak!” What happens when you’ve been through that, is you have a respect for just how fucking difficult it is to be heartbroken.

Rejection has a lot in common with heartbreak. Rejection is the crushing of an ego, our identity, and it can come from many different things in our life. It might come from the end of a relationship that wasn’t our choice. It might come from being terminated from a job. It might come because we’re an artist and we created something and poured ourselves into that thing and then didn’t get the reaction we wanted. Maybe you’re someone who aspires to make YouTube videos or make content online. And you put out that piece of content that you’re really proud of, that you thought was going to be your way to launch yourself, and then you got comments that made you feel really rejected and not seen. Maybe you went on a dating app and somebody ghosted you that you were talking to. Or maybe you put out your opinion in a big way and someone rejected that opinion, and that felt like a much deeper rejection.

There are so many different ways we get rejected in life. But when we truly feel the pain of a rejection, at our core, it can feel like a fracturing of our confidence, of what we believe we’re worth, of who we think we are in this life. Because at the end of rejection, through the catastrophizing that our minds do, we arrive at this terrible destination of “I am worthless.”

So this video is not going to be three tips for getting over your rejection. In this video, I want to talk to you about two crucial phases in your rejection and in the life cycle of the emotions you feel when you get rejected and how you can use them wisely.

The first phase: Deep, unbearable pain. Now this is a phase where it feels like you can’t get anything done, where it feels like other parts of your life are slipping, because you can’t focus, you can’t get it together. It’s a phase where you’re prone to acting out, because you’re in heightened states of emotion, so you’re liable to say the wrong thing, to do the wrong thing, to make erratic, irrational decisions, burn relationships, burn bridges. This is a time where the potential for the negative externalities of your rejection are incredibly high. So I’m not going to tell you how to transform your life in phase one.

Phase one is survival, “Please, God, let me get through this.” And when we’re feeling that we want to limit the damage we could do when we’re in that place. Because when we begin to heal, we don’t want to wake up to a life with a whole bunch of problems created by our reaction to our pain when it was at its worst. So I think of this as limiting the downside of the rejection. Anytime you find yourself about to send a text, or make a phone call, or make a decision, in this moment that could be damaging, say to yourself, “I’m going to delay my reaction until I can trust the person who’s reacting to make the right decision. If I still want to do that thing in a month, or send that text in a month, or in a week, or whenever, if I still want to do that thing, if it still feels like a good idea. Fine. I can do it. But I’m not going to do it now.” And I guarantee, nine times out of 10, with a lot of thought and a lot of clarity, you will thank yourself that you didn’t act out in the ways that your emotions told you to when they were at their most despairing.

The second phase is when you actually are able to create a little space between you and the rejection. Doesn’t mean it’s not hurting at that point. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t still feel like a deep wound. That you’re over it. Rejection’s a kind of trauma at its worst. But you can get to a point where it’s a little less raw and there’s just enough space to create some perception around it, to decide what the meaning of the rejection is. And I think of this as finding your leverage.

My dad taught me this. Every time something terrible would happen in my life, anytime there would be something that was so unbelievably disappointing or devastating, my dad would tell me, “Matt, there’s leverage in everything that happens.” There are things that have happened in my life, whether they’ve happened to me or they’re self-imposed mistakes and pain, those moments have created incredible leverage for me in the form of my coaching. Because the reason that you’re hearing from me with a different tone on this subject than the me from 10 years ago, who gave three tips to overcome your pain and heartbreak, is because of the pain that I’ve actually experienced since. So you get a different me now. I get to be a more powerful me. I get it to be a me that connects more, that inspires more, that’s able to reach more people, truly reach their hearts because of that pain. That’s leverage.

If you worked really hard on something for your work or for a passion project and it didn’t go well, you got rejected, you didn’t get the response that you’d hoped—what’s the leverage? Think about that for a moment. What’s the leverage? Sometimes the leverage is, “I’ll show them.” Someone points out a weakness in it and someone pointing out the weakness makes you develop a strength in that area that’s 10 times better and more resilient than it otherwise would have been. I’ve been on TV shows before where someone has exposed a lack of knowledge I have in an area And that exposure made me go home and read three books on that subject so I was never in that situation again.

So now I have a well of knowledge that’s a result of being exposed. But I never would have read those three books if I didn’t get exposed in that way. We can call it rejection, but it was this amazing light that got shone on something that could be better. You could be on a dating app and experience the rejection of someone ghosting you and that rejection can be the thing that makes you say, “You know what? I’m going to speak to five more people on here so that this person becomes irrelevant.” That’s the leverage. “This is going to give me a fire in my belly to go and find someone who’s actually what I want.” See, rejection is just energy. That’s all it is. Rejection is energy and that energy can be parlayed into anything that’s important to us in life.

We have to find the leverage and the leverage becomes the legacy. The history of your rejection has already been written. It happened. That’s the history, that’s the historic part. Whatever it was, it happened. But the legacy of it is for us to decide. We get to decide where the energy of that rejection goes and what it creates in our life that never would have existed if it wasn’t for that rejection, whether it’s a new standard, whether it’s a resilience, whether it’s an actual thing that we create in our life as a result of that rejection, whether it’s time spent on something more important than the thing we were spending time on, or whether it’s just getting better at that very thing. Getting rejected and saying to yourself, “You know what? I’m going to get a fire in my belly and I’m going to show whoever this is or whatever this is that I can do this thing. And I’m going to get 10 times better at it, because of this rejection. Not in spite of it.”

The leverage becomes the legacy. And it’s in crafting the legacy of our rejections that our life becomes really, really interesting. To me, that’s where the opportunities are.

If, by the way, you’d like to do this with me: In September, I have a Virtual Retreat coming up from the 24th to the 26th. It’s the final Virtual Retreat of the year. For the unacquainted among you, this is my flagship event. It’s three days of immersive coaching, where I walk people through the blueprint for creating the life they want. And part of that, of course, is rewriting the legacy of your pain, your rejections, the things that you’ve struggled with in your life, and turning them into the treasures of your future. We’re going to be doing that together.

So if you’re watching this video and you’re fired up and you want to do this, the Virtual Retreat is the practical application of this. I’m going to leave a link here. It’s at MHVirtualRetreat.com. It’s in September, but get your ticket now. Why? Because it’s $100 off until the end of the month, but only until the end of the month and that’s the best price it’s going to be for the rest of the year. So you may as well take advantage now. And then it’s in the diary and it’s booked, so you know your growth is taken care of this year. You’ll also find out when you get to that page, MHVirtualRetreat.com, that there’s a couple of other bonuses that are only available until the end of the month. So go check that out. I sincerely hope you come and join me there. It’s the best work that we do in my company and it’s transformative beyond anything else I do with people.

Other than that, leave me a comment on this video. Let me know . . . Here’s the comment I’d love you to leave me: What is the thing that you feel is holding you back from being the most confident version of yourself? Maybe it’s an inadequacy you feel, maybe it’s something you feel you’re lacking, maybe it’s a trauma, something that happened to you, something you’ve experienced in your life, or something you never had, but you feel it’s preventing you from being as confident as you can be in life. Let me know what that is in the comments, because next week I want to talk about those comments. I will see you then.

20 Responses to How to Get Over the Pain of Rejection

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  1. N says:

    The first person I ever loved ended up already having a girlfriend. I gave him plenty chances to admit but he never did. I found out from his mum who thought we were platonic. Some of his friends knew but never told me until I asked. I can’t get past why her? Why not me? How unfair it was he let her in. Preferred her was available to her and not me. I feel that it was because she was better than me he liked her more. Obviously he was capable of caring just not for me. The whole situation broke me. I’m still struggling to move on. I still feel like I wasn’t good enough

  2. Andrew says:

    I tend to put others ahead of myself, because that is the christian thing to do. And I never learned to ask for what I want or need. And when I do, I get labeled an awful horrible person with no backbone. That could be because I’ve dated a series of narcissists. I don’t know. Wish I could get to the bottom of this. I just moved half ways across the country and I’m away from all of my friends from these past 15 years. Ugh.

  3. MELANIE WISE says:

    I’ve been forced to move after nearly 21 yrs from my Home after my Landlord served me with a Repossession Notice, without having to give a reason! Due to Covid I had 6 months rather than one month and at first I was devasted and fearful of ending up Homeless, which at 64 yrs of age with health issues was very worrying, but after taking advantage of Free Webinars I totally changed my thinking! Looking back at all the challenges I have faced in my Life, I realised I always overcame them, so decided that I wouldn’t allow myself to give in to negativity and instead accepted that everything happens for a reason and I would get through this too and be stronger for it. Once I let go and allowed things to happen, everything fell into place. It wasn’t easy, as everything that could go wrong, went wrong,but I got through it by receiving help and support from unexpected places. I found a new home which is perfect for me in every way, cheaper, bigger, more secure, I feel so blessed and know I’m going to be really happy here, despite a few teething problems. The only thing missing now is someone to share things with. After 38 years of being alone, I’m more than ready to be in a relationship. I thought I’d found a Man that was everything I ever wanted, who makes me laugh, helped me move, sends texts saying he’s there if I need him, phones me up and we talk for hours, but I just don’t know if he sees me as a potential partner or just a friend, as every time I invite him over to share a meal he makes an excuse. It’s driving me crazy as I really like him, but don’t know if he likes me too, or just felt sorry for me and wanted to help!

  4. Fiona Campbell says:

    The thing that’s holding me back is my anger towards my parents for using shock treatment on me as a child genius to restrict my intelligence so that my sister didn’t feel jealous of me. And the life I’ve had to lead to keep sane instead of the one I was destined for.

  5. Leah says:

    I’m now going through my worst heartbreak. After following a lot of your advices, I was able to put my dating life back on track. Fell in love for this awesome, mature guy and we got in a relationship. He has a lot of child trauma issues, but it never was a problem for us. Until he went for another country (for a 1year volunteering work) and went deep in his dark thoughts. Just a week away and said to me that I am amazing, waay to good to him, and that he didn’t deserve me. I’m totally broken. Everything we had was amazing, we nurture each other so much. He feels like he is in a very unstable place and didn’t want to leave me hanging in here for 1 year.
    This is too much for me. We broke up and I’m devastated. I don’t know how to get back on my feet…

  6. Dianne Hewitt says:

    LOL, my comment is this…if I knew what was holding me back I might be able to do something about my single situation. Okay, so I paid for Match, and then tried POF free version. Not only did I get ghosted by someone I was intimate with 6 months. Ghosted again by someone I was intimate with for over a month (which was more fun than the 6 month guy) I also was ghosted by someone I conversed with for over a month, we went on a nice walk once. I was also ghosted by someone I chatted with (while he was at work) and I guess he opted out but never said a word. I don’t want to ask why, wtf am I doing? Lol, maybe boys are just dumb from where I am in there world? No luck for me. Lost in Love.

  7. Shelby says:

    My biological father abandoning me at 3 years old. And my step dad neglecting me; not giving guidance ,or attention.

  8. Circuit says:

    I’ve been rejected several times by my bestfriend. On love yes, but even as bestfriends, the relationship and dynamics just changed. He was a geeky, moneyless video game guy, suddenly started losing weight, started self improvement activities, earning money now.. hes a late bloomer. Suddenly has a fitness partner (girl) who he claims he just pays for fitness but actually became a friend. I feel replaced. He started to create a group for activities among new friends, which is good for him, but I’ve been left out. I’ve been rejected as a friend, and a lover as well. I’ve been with him during his down times and when he was in a rut, big and no money, and just comes around when the partying stops and he needs a break.
    Ibdont like it and even if you feel fired up to prove yourself and prove them wrong, that I’m just too jealous and obsessed, the bad feeling is there and the fear that you can and will be rejected again and again lingers. It’s not really good for the soul and the mind and spirit.

  9. Andrea says:

    Hi Matt,
    What holds me back is the fear of being rejected by men. It feels like I always put to much into a relationship or over think that it’s going better then it is and I’m always afraid that when I met a guy I really like, he is never actually going to fall in love with me and I’m never going to get married.
    The worst part is that I constantly have people telling me that I am way to gorgeous to be alone and not be married at this point in my life- which always makes me feel bad that I’m doing something wrong by not being married at this point in my life. (I’d like to point out that I am only 28 with a masters degree and professional license).

  10. Diana Downes-Alleyne says:

    Thanks I enjoyed the reading

  11. H says:

    I have always had a feeling that I will never meet someone and that no one would ever want me log term. I’ve always felt invisible when it comes to a man wanting to love me. I’m in my 40’s now and feel like I’ve missed out on so much opportunity to be loved. I really feel like it’s now too late for me. I can’t shake that feeling of having left it too late to find love.

  12. Melanie says:

    So I got creamed by this guy I had been dating for the past year and a half. Someone else shared that phrasing with me, creamed. I adopted it because it is completely true. I had been working on manifesting this amazing love. And sure enough, I did manifest a man and I fell in love with him. I do believe he fell in love with me too, even though I’ve questioned that in my
    mind numerous times. It was a brief time he allowed himself to seem to me to be in love with me. We hit a tough spot and that was the end of his willingness to be open or vulnerable. You see, he had been in a relationship a couple of years earlier that he had said was like a marriage. When it ended I think it must have hurt him tremendously, that rejection like we are discussing. I didn’t understand why he would be so protected, give up on us so easily. Treat into drinking, other women and say he just wants to have fun, when we had this seemingly once in a life time chance at love together. Well, because for me, this is what I had dreamed of and wanted to create my entire life. No joke. He went on to shut down his emotions completely. He drank a lot. He flirted with other women constantly. He relegated me to a place in his life of essentially using me for sex. Then he also started to demean me in for t of other people. Completely deviated me and broke me down to where my self esteem was next to nothing. It’s true. And it’s very painful to experience and also to admit. I’ve been through some difficult things in my life; A childhood trauma, my Father tragic accidental death, and these past month of the pandemic, this relationship and My Mother unfortunate diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Altogether those amounted to huge emotional challenges. But because for so many years I had dreamed of finding this love in this relationship, i was hardest hit by what happened with it. It’s been two and a half months and I still can’t stop thinking about this man and my heart in this weird way longs for him. Usually I don’t like the men I meet. And if early I do, I forget about them very easily. Not this dude. I hear what you’re saying Mathew, and now I’m begging to see the leverage and the legacy, which is powerful! And I don’t feel so silly or embarrassed or ashamed of what happened. I actually am starting to feel proud of myself that I wanted to feel that kind of love and I did it! I feel brave. And I also am starting to feel some empathy for this man. He had been hurt badly before and was desperately AFRAID to be open to that hurt again. After this experience of feeling so hurt I understand now. So Mathew, here’s my big question: I find it very very very easy now to lie to myself about my willingness and availability to be open to open my heart much like this man was. It becomes easy to think I am open. Live my life thinking I’m open. I say to myself and others, certainly I’m open to taking a chance again. And it’s very easy to live in that space. But it’s essentially dolling myself. So how do people genuinely overcome that level of denial and fear to be able to be open to loving again?

  13. Anna says:

    I’m scared to go back to reviewing for my language proficiency test for citizenship here in Scandinavia. Have had rejection traumas related to me being an Asian and not having the citizenship yet. From dating, to career improvements, social settings, etc. I’ve managed to pick myself up from a toxic relationship 3 years ago and have turned to a better lifestyle now. That’s where I came about your work. I was reading books of self-improvement and follwing a couple of them on instagram. Your voice spoke to my inner self. I’ve yet to conquer my fear of rejection with moving forward with this test, I’ve had traumas of people here making fun of me when I communicate and that condescending look that people give you when you try. I feel in my bones that I have to just review and take the test again to get the 1 point (yes, 1 left!) for me to qualify. Your work has catapulted my self-esteem and confidence on most of my issues. This video’s short but candid enough for me to get my head a few knots around to making that move again. Love your work and I’m grateful for you and your team.

  14. Pam Wright says:

    His opinion of me can’t become my opinion of me

  15. Katy says:

    Great video and something I can relate to. What holds me back is not knowing how to meet someone and just reintegrate into the world. I have been single for 9 years and spend most of my life completely alone (especially over the last year). I don’t have many friends and I don’t quite know how to get back out into the world. I have a lot of love to give and I have made a lovely life for myself, I’m not unhappy, I am used to the way I live, meeting someone to share it with would just be the perfect cherry on top.

  16. Rebecca says:

    Hi Matt, I‘m definitely in that phase 1 you talked about and pretty far away from seeing any leverage. Could be, because it‘s kind of a mixture between a broken heart and rejection. I told somebody that I‘ve known for almost a decade now that I feel something more. Long story short: He doesn’t. I guess the friendship will stay, but it still hurts.
    You asked what hinders us from being the most confident version of ourselves. Well in that case I was pretty confident and brave, but I guess the problem is that I didn’t have something that deserves to be called a relationship in the past 9 years (and I‘m only or if you wanna take the part of the society already 28) and I feel like it kinda haunts me.

    All the best and a lot of fun reading this,
    Rebecca

  17. Libby Hutfles says:

    Thank you Matthew! I have been following you for 2 years! Almost two years ago, at 54, I made a career change. I had a dream. While I continued on that course, 2020 altered it. I finished all my education and got into my field, it just wasn’t the speciality that I had been educated for. Five months in, I was terminated for a misunderstanding. A blessing in disguise because I secretly hated the work, none the less, it was a blow to my ego. In the midst of all that I have been dating a man who is definitely a ‘one day wager’. I feel crushed at the termination, yet hopeful in my future and stagnate in this relationship, because he is who he is and I don’t want him to change for me. What I feel awful about is the lack of courage to end the relationship. For 15 months our lives have become intertwined and separating them is going to be painful. I’m not sure how to get the courage to do what I need to do, or the words to say what needs to be said.

  18. Holly says:

    I honestly don’t feel worthy of love right now. I have enormous guilt about some past decisions I made . I hurt so many people… and for that I am truly sorry. However, it’s left me with an emptiness, and emotionally drained… I keep choosing unavailable partners… because I believe that to have someone choose me would mean I would need to show up.. and I’m just not ready … I need to be alone for a while ….
    Thank you Mathew xx

  19. Murielle says:

    This video saved my life today, I’ve been chronically down cuz I trusted a hypocrite with my heart, and my heart was shattered just to discovered who he really was. I have forgiven him but I still feel this pain of being deceived and hurt and I’ve been trying to move on because I know I have not done any wrong to the guy, and he took advantage of me being nice. And thankfully I watched this and I have an idea on how to write the legacy of this rejection. I am a final year medical student , I’m 2 months to my final exam and I am trying to push hard to finish. Thank you

  20. Stefania says:

    My shyness stops me from mixing sometimes,and i drop my standards when i really like someone even though i know my standards are higher. But i’m now working on my shyness and i feel more confident. And doing my besto keep up my standards, and i am making progess

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