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Ayodotun Rotimi-Akinfenwa: 5 Ways to Make the Most of Rejection



Rejection. As you take in this word on your screen, memories will doubtless rush through your mind. These recollections may be of trivial occurrences or of major life-changing concerns that have evoked feelings that shook you to your core.

Rejection is a phenomenon that we all encounter in diverse forms, shades and intensity levels and at different times. Some days you feel its full impact – only comparable to a gunshot or any other pain that’s bound to accelerate your death. On other days, you don’t even realize you are experiencing it. Any, which way it goes, each of us have come across a reasonable dose of rejection.

Most of us think it’s only when we get a big NO to our faces by someone we respect, or by an institution we aspire to, or suffer a public embarrassment that we are rejected. But do you recall the call-back you never received, the silence or hesitation from your friends and family, being passed over for that promotion after you’d worked yourself to the bone, not getting that loan you desperately needed? Those are subtle shades of rejection.

Many of us have been through the no-one-seeks-you-no-one-wants-you-no-one knows-you feeling at some point(s) in our lifetimes. It’s an ache the best of us know too well, no matter our station in life. Ask the biggest businessmen and politicians, the intensity of the put-downs, and hatred they feel from their various publics is almost proportional to their levels of influence. So, you see, you must have experienced more than your fair share of rebuffs whether you agree or not.

And if this issue is a common problem, shouldn’t we figure out a way to tackle it?

My submission is this, therefore. You can apply the rejections you have suffered in your life, as raw material, fodder for your personal growth, fulfillment and prosperity. Here are the following ways to do this.

Take the feedback
Nigeria’s Premier Life Coach once said to me, Failure is feedback. It means you need to change your approach when things don’t go right, in order to get the results you seek.

It may not even be that you are doing something wrong, it could mean that you are doing the right things for the wrong person or in the wrong place. It also could be that what you are vying for the wrong role at work or you are investing in businesses for which you lack true passion, or that the guys you keep falling for, are taking you for granted. It could also mean, you are not ready. The situation needs to be ‘diagnosed’ rightly. Ask yourself the ‘’why’’ very carefully Think about rationally.

Channel your frustrations
Sometimes, you feel extreme pain, loneliness, rage and possibly, a drive for revenge from getting nothing out of the people you have served for so long. Channel those emotions into what you actually have. If you look inward, you may find that you still have a job while others are looking, or that you still have a decent home while others are struggling, or that you still have some money, while others are searching. Identify what you have and put it to work. The best revenge is making something out of the nothing others gave you. History has proven that, with time, they will turn around and seek your favour. Results don’t lie. Take it all and use it for something good.

Document the pain
Depression, frustration, anguish and all the mess that come from being rejected are great material for a life-changing book, whether fiction or true life accounts. Just ask Toke Makinwa!
Harness the judgment, pain and regret, take those hurtful, imaginary conversations in your head and write some poetry, an article or accept speaking engagements as outlets to express and purge yourself while helping others. The greatest sorrows make for the most compelling (and hopefully inspiring) stories.

Enjoy your freedom
Chances are, the people who do not want you are letting you off on some form of obligation or responsibility. Bank loans come with arduous periodical repayments, marriages come with expectations and responsibilities, that new role would take you out of town more often than desired and so on. Enjoy the fact that you’re exempted from the burdens that will, doubtless, come with that desired thing for now.
If you’re down today, there’s no-where to go but up so enjoy today!

Acquire your results and enjoy them
My guess is, if you put in the hard work, your results will show in time and the people that rejected you will see their error and return to you. Accepting them back is entirely up to you.
Give yourself the permission to enjoy your results and count your blessings, they add up.

All that being said, I put it to you, that rejection is a friend that will coach you and take you on a journey towards your best self . Acknowledge it, understand and turn it around.

Ayodotun Rotimi-Akinfenwa is a Brand Manager turned Writer, Blogger, Brand/Social Media Consultant, Content Creator. She is founder of , a lifestyle blog where she shares inspiring personality interviews/stories and discusses today’s issues with a slightly eccentric perspective. She's currently running a Canva MasterClass to empower business owners manage their own branding, by designing most of their graphics themselves, saving time and money. Find her on Social Media @lifestylehues on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


  1. Marie

    January 2, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Thank you so much……I have been angry at someone since August last year for rejecting me…up till nau he hasn’t replied me…… nothing…after all the support I gave this dude….I said to myself success is always the best form of revenge…..And I’ll work @ being better and accomplishing better….

  2. TheMarieyouknow

    January 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Bien dit!

    I can totally relate with some of your submissions.

    Whilst rejection might hurt, all you need do is identify the (objective) cause(s) and do a self appraisal.

  3. Chattymind

    January 2, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Channeling my frustrations and documenting the pain works every time for me. Great piece!

  4. Ayobami

    January 2, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    You hit the nail on the head and drove it right through! The Toke Makinwa part,I couldn’t agree less. Its amazing how much rejection we face in our lives everyday without even knowing it. The best way to get over it is to re-strategize and change the direction of your sail. Thanks for this beautiful write-up. It blessed me.

  5. Dejinmi

    January 2, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    This article was an eye opener, I have to learn channel my frustrations into something positive. Didn’t think of it this way at all, relocating to another country had been one rejection after another and it does begin to affect ur self belief and confidence. And the desire for revenge..:.hmmm. Thanks for this piece Ayo, just what I needed.

    • ayodotunrotimiakinfenwa

      January 2, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Hey sis, glad I could help! Guess its a part of life, get even by succeeding Mwah!

  6. mystory

    January 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Thank you for this piece…Few days ago,a comment was made about my wedding day and the pain came back again.A day that was meant to be my best day turned to be a day of mockery because people we trusted disorganized all our plans and everything looked like a child’s play.I know it can’t be repeated but I pray God helps me with the rejection I’ve been experiencing since that day and continue to prosper my home

    • ayodotunrotimiakinfenwa

      January 2, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      Thanks! I can so relate! Just put it behind you and they will celebrate you in time.Happy New Year

  7. Esosa

    January 3, 2017 at 1:58 pm


    Talk about enjoying my freedom. Last year 2016 I had one mission in mind, and that was to GEY out of an organization I had worked at for 8 years of my life. When I started to put myself out there the opportunities came pouring. Boy or boy where they juicy,l. The juiciest was one came with a brand new car, six figure monthly pay (after tax) and a job description that would have taken me across Africa. I had successfully scaled through all the interview stages and presentation tests and got to meet with the chairman (name with held) but he’s one name you hear in Nigeria and you stand attention. His interview with me was splendid but then there was this lady in the room. She kept asking me questions that didn’t pertain to anything and sizing me “UPANDAN”. Ladies you know that look women with complex issues give when they think you are competition ( Ayo you must write a piece on women being our own worse enemies btw). Back to my gist any way, when I left that building on Marina street Lagos, I walked back to my car with my confidence half shaken. Of cause the next mail I got was the usual ” You did well but we are looking in another direction”. When I mentioned the lady’s name to people who work in that organization they responded that she’s the human equivalent of the Berlin Wall… oh well their loss I said, shrugging it off after one full week of questioning myself. Going over every stage, wondering what I did wrong. Was my hair wrong, did I wear too little or too much makeup, OH I should have said this or that, my shoes weren’t high or low enough…..from every sane to every stupid thing. I moved, I soon got another offer and today I have a new job with another organization with less pay than a six figure salary after tax but with MAJOR perks. If I had gotten my six figure salary job, I would have kissed every holiday good bye, but not this job. While everyone resumes work today the 3rd or the 5th I have one more extra week to rest. Hehehe

    • ayodotunrotimiakinfenwa

      January 3, 2017 at 6:18 pm

      Hey sis, thanks for sharing ohhh. I know the feeling of second-guessing one’s self all too well! But, hey, we gotta dust ourselves off and move on! Babes, you need your holidays oh, lolll. Hmm @ the article on women being fellow women’s enemies, been thinking about it ohhh. Will get to it when I have sufficient material on subject. Cheers babes!

  8. Presh

    January 3, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Rejection is a friend… First lesson of 2017. Thank you and God bless you Sis

  9. Delphine

    January 4, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    I’m definitely at the “Enjoy Your Freedom” bit…
    All that space is scary at first but I’m learning to make the best of it.
    Thank you for this Ayo!

  10. Tolulope Onifade Babatunde

    January 4, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks for the tips on handling rejection.And ways to channel the frustration. I believe that’s one challenge I have been facing with rejection.At least I am now a stronger and better person reading this article.Thanks for the insight a great way to start the New year

    • ayodotunrotimiakinfenwa

      January 5, 2017 at 7:27 am

      Thanks for stopping by sis… rejection is something we all know too well and it stings but you see..we can’t die abeg. We can only apply the bitterness and anger and make lemonades.

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