Rejection is rough, no matter how you slice it. But it's also an inescapable fact of life, and our ability to deal with failure and rejection has a hand in determining how successful and happy we are.
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Happiness isn't the opposite of depression -- resilience is, according to psychologist Peter Kramer. Think of the people you most admire -- many of them didn't get where they are just by sailing through life without any negative experiences or failures. Most of them distinguished themselves by their ability to get right back up every time they fall, a truism reflected in countless inspirational quotations on the power of perseverance (In the words of Winston Churchill, "It is the courage to continue that counts.").
So how do resilient people differ from those who become paralyzed by every failure and setback?
Here are seven habits of highly resilient people -- and ways that you can improve your own ability to cope with challenges.
They fully experience both positive and negative emotions.
Building resilience isn't about blind optimism. Rather than looking only on the bright side and pushing away negative emotions, resilient people let themselves experience what they're feeling in any given situation, whether it's good or bad, according to Positivity author Barbara Fredrickson.
"The resilient person isn't papering over the negative emotions, but instead letting them sit side by side with other feelings," Fredrickson told Experience Life. "So at the same time they're feeling 'I'm sad about that,' they're also prone to thinking, 'but I'm grateful about this.'"
They're realistically optimistic.
A recent Taiwan National University study found that adopting an attitude of "realistic optimism," which combines the positive outlook of optimists with the critical thinking of pessimists, can boost happiness and resilience.
"Every time [realistic optimists] face an issue or a challenge or a problem, they won't say 'I have no choice and this is the only thing I can do,'" researcher Sophia Chou told LiveScience. "They will be creative, they will have a plan A, plan B and plan C."
They "reject rejection."
Rejection chips away at our self-esteem and confidence, making us fall harder with each subsequent setback or failure, Elaine Dundon, founder of the innovation group, said in her TED Talk on the subject, adding, "Rejection also steals our joy."
But rejection is inevitable, and coping with it effectively is essential to becoming resilient. As HuffPost blogger Alex Pattakos puts it, choosing to reject rejection can ensure that "you don't become a prisoner of your own thoughts."
"It's important to understand that everyone is in a different 'space' and, in some cases, no matter what you say or do, they will always reject you or your ideas," says Pattakos, explaining that taking this mindset helps you to not take the rejection personally.
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SOURCE: The Huffington Post