4 Ways to Strengthen Self-esteem After Facing Rejection


We all have some negative thoughts about ourselves which can cause low self-esteem and that’s ok.  It’s normal to feel like you’re not good enough, in fact over 85% of Americans feel like they lack confidence. 

A lot of things in life can chip away at our self-image one of them is rejection.  It happened to me in middle school (and that was just the beginning)

But I’m going to share with you ways to cope and how to build positive self-esteem so you can overcome your insecurities.  

I experienced a lack of confidence in myself when my best friend singled me out. 

“You can’t hang out with us anymore because you’re not cool. ”

Angela said those words to me in front of our group of friends I felt so embarrassed, lonely, and sad! 

How could Angela say that when walked home together from school every day since the 4th grade?

The day before, we were just playing hide and seek but the moment we became 6th graders in middle school, I was no longer cool. 

I cried to the bathroom, through 5th period, and on the way home because I thought that would be the end of my social life. 

Have you ever faced rejection? 

I wish I could say rejection only happens in our younger years, but we’ll face rejection through many stages in life, love, friendships, school, work, family, and business, it’s a terrible feeling but it’s also inevitable. 

And while you can’t control how others will accept you or how they think and feel about you, you can control how you handle rejection. 

Here are 4 ways to boost your self-esteem in the face of rejection.

1. Turn to your community

Surround yourself with those who build your confidence. When I came home crying that day, my mom and sister gave me big hugs, words of encouragement, and some reasonable advice “Don’t worry, you’ll find other friends”  and “Maybe Angela is going through something, be patient with her.” 

Your community knows you best and can provide you with a perspective you probably didn’t think of.  Be thankful for this group because they can always help you start feeling good about yourself.  

2. Get Self-help Inspiration.

Where do you find inspiration? Through podcasts from Jay Shetty and Mel Robbins? Or through Simon Sinek’s books? These books will help build a mindset of gratitude and help you believe in yourself and your abilities.

While all those are some of my favorites,  I’m a sucker for a good “underdog” story and one of my favorite books is “Facing Your Giants” by Max Lucado.  The book highlights the story of David and Goliath from the Bible and how David was no match for Goliath, but having faith and being smart helped him beat the giant. 

3. Don’t think everything is about you.

Ok, remember Angela? My mom was right, she was going through something, her parents were separating and she may have taken her feelings of hurt and rejection out on me. And over the years, I’ve found that most people react to you because of something they’re going through. So don’t take it personally, sometimes it’s not even about you. 

4. Look good, feel good.

Do you have a favorite pair of jeans or a very flattering top? If they make you feel powerful, wear it. Seriously, slipping into that favorite outfit feels like stepping into your superhero suit. 

The right clothes and accessories have the superpower of making you stand a little taller, strut a bit more confidently, and flash that winning smile. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about feeling like you can take on the world. 

That power tie, those killer heels, or even that funky pair of earrings—they all contribute to this epic ‘you got this’ vibe.  I find confidence when I wear my glasses. They serve as a shield or a cape. It makes me feel smarter and I think people take me more seriously. 

The good news is that my social life didn’t end the day Angela rejected me…in fact it forced me out of my comfort zone to find other friendships and I found a home with my new set of friendships because I was surrounded by more “like-minded” people who shared the same values and goals, but most importantly they became my community and helped me build up my self-esteem. 

The importance of having confidence

Boosting your self-esteem is like strapping on a superhero cape for dealing with rejection and disappointments. When you’ve got a strong sense of self-worth, rejection feels more like a detour than a dead end. It’s like having an inner cheerleader, reminding you that your value isn’t tied to a single outcome. 

When you find yourself faced with rejection, self-esteem acts as your shield, softening the blow. You’re less likely to take it as a personal attack or let it define your entire being. Instead, you see it as a small bump in the road, a chance to learn, grow, and pivot toward something even better.

Self-esteem helps you bounce back with a smile, knowing that your worth isn’t determined by someone else’s decision or opinion. It’s your secret weapon in the face of life’s curveballs, keeping you resilient, optimistic, and ready to conquer whatever comes your way.

If you or someone you or someone you know needs a little reminder, send this blog their way. 

And if you’re Angela, I want to thank you for helping me to grow.