Heartbreak happens to all of us, and it can be a great opportunity for growth.

Shannon Ashley
Jun 19, 2018 · 3 min read
Via Pexels.com

Breakups, job losses, thanks-but-no-thanks letters… rejection can be heartbreaking. Devastating, even.

For some people, one single heartbreaking moment of rejection can lead to a life-long detour of misery or plain mediocrity. A crushed dream can become the defining moment of a dissatisfied life.

When you’re going through the pain of rejection, there’s no easy formula to help you get through it because we all process pain and failure differently. But there is one single goal which we all can aim to reach that will help anyone overcome rejection.

We can outgrow it.

Years ago, I struggled to get over my daughter’s father. I was reading about getting over a breakup and how the best way was to become the kind of person who would never even want to be with your ex. To outgrow them.

I’ve realized over the years that it’s good advice not only for failed relationships, but also for professional rejection too.

That’s not to say you need to change, but you do need to grow. It’s also not to say your ex wasn’t a good person, or that job opportunity wasn’t a great one. It simply means that if those things didn’t pan out for you, it makes sense to hope and plan for even better things ahead.

I’m convinced that outgrowing any rejection is the most positive action we can take... mostly because I’ve been though so much rejection and I’ve discovered first-hand how easy it is to let temporary setbacks become long-term ones.

Wait! You might think that breakup or job promotion you didn't get was a long-term setback, right? Because it changed the direction of your life.

I get that, but whether or not a rejection is permanent or temporary is completely your call.

Because only you get to decide which direction is next. You can move forward, you can move back--hey, you can even make a lateral move and basically stay in the same damn place. You can get stuck too.

Wherever you go is up to you, so you get to decide ultimately if a rejection will hold you back or push you forward.

But I’m guessing that what most of us want is to get through the heartache and move forward.

Am I right?

No one actually wants to fail, so when we face rejection, let’s not turn it into our identity. Instead, let’s use it as an opportunity for growth. To get better.

Years ago, when I first read that the best way to get over a breakup was to become the kind of person who would never even want to be with your ex... I couldn’t understand. I wasn’t there yet. But the more time I spent focusing on being a good mom and making positive choices for me and my daughter, it finally began to make sense.

Her dad and I are not on the same page about parenting or even life in general. I'm not the same person who loved him. I want more out of life.

Today, I can look at past heartbreaks and see how outgrowing those broken dreams worked out in my best interest. The people who broke my heart are now in places I’d never want to be. A job I thought would be perfect for me ended up getting cut from the company.

In a nutshell, I outgrew my broken dreams and replaced them with bigger ones.

Like I said, there’s no magic formula to get through the heartache of rejection. But if you focus on moving forward by outgrowing those broken dreams, it will most certainly help inform your journey through the pain.

Shannon Ashley

Written by

Single mama, fulltime writer, exvangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Top Writer. http://www.patreon.com/shannonashley

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