Dealing with Rejection or Failure

This relaxation script is for dealing with rejection or failure.

Our own self-talk can contribute to the pain and low self-esteem that is sometimes associated with rejection or failure. This relaxation script will help you to identify the feelings and thoughts related to rejection and failure, and to change this negative thinking.

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Get comfortable in a quiet place where you can relax.

Begin to relax your body by first tensing a muscle group, and then releasing to create a feeling of relaxation. Start with your arms. Close your hands into tight fists, and tense your hands and arms...all the way up to your shoulders. Hold this tension for a count of five: one...two...three...four...five. Now release, allowing your hands and arms to become limp.

Rest for a count of ten.

Now repeat, tensing the muscles of your hands and arms...holding very tight...very

Relax, letting the muscles become relaxed and loose. Relax your arms even more deeply...allowing a feeling of heaviness to grow with each

Focus on your legs now, tensing these muscles from your your your feet. Hold the muscles of your legs very tightly...filled with tension...hold for a count of five. One...two...three...four...five.

Release this tension, allowing your legs to relax completely. Rest for a count of ten.

Repeat, tensing your legs again, holding very tightly...feeling the tension in each

Now relax, releasing the tension you have been holding in your legs. Relax completely, feeling your legs become heavier and more relaxed...relaxing even more with each

Tense the muscles of your back

Tighten the muscles of your chest and stomach.

Now practice holding and releasing tension with your breath. Breathe in deeply and hold that breath. Hold...feeling the tension...and then relax...breathe out...releasing all the tension with your breath. Take another breath, breathing in deeply...and hold. Now release, relaxing as you breathe out.

Allow your next breath to occur naturally...smoothly breathing in as much air as you need, and then releasing the air naturally, exhaling fully. Breathe slowly in and out...letting your breaths occur at whatever pace is comfortable for you. Feel your breathing slow naturally...becoming very calm.


Now that you are feeling more relaxed, think about the feelings of rejection or failure you would like to deal with.

Think about a time when you felt rejected or a time when you believe you failed in some way. When did this rejection or failure event occur? What happened? Imagine this rejection or failure event in detail, remembering as much as you can.


Now think about how you felt when the rejection or failure event was happening. What emotions did you experience at the time?


What about afterward? What emotions did you have after the rejection or failure occurred?


How are you feeling right now, as you think about the rejection or failure? Notice how you feel emotionally and physically in this moment.


Now examine the thoughts that go along with your emotions. Picture the event when you experienced rejection or failure. What kinds of things were you saying to yourself during and after?

For example, perhaps you were rejected by a friend who told you that he did not want to see you. You may have had thoughts such as:

He does not like me.

I am no good.

I am not fun to be around.

No one likes me.

I’m a loser.

These types of negative thoughts lead to the unpleasant feelings you experienced. If you want to feel better, you can change the negative thoughts to more realistic ones and your feelings will become more positive.

One way to change negative thinking is through affirmations to build confidence and increase self-esteem. Let’s work on increasing confidence now.

First, focus again on relaxing your body and calming your mind. Let all your previous thoughts go, and be only in the here and now.


Breathe away the thoughts, just allowing them to pass...letting each thought slip away...

You do not need to do anything in particular...just relax...and let your thoughts pass, without dwelling on any of them...


As you begin to relax, allow yourself to open up to the idea of feeling confident and secure...strong and positive...imagining what it would be like to experience positive feelings and believe positive things about yourself.

Imagine what it would be like to look at a situation with new eyes...with self-respect...

Imagine how you would handle rejection or failure as a self-respecting, confident person...treating yourself with respect and love...

Think about the idea of accepting imperfection...of allowing mistakes and learning from them...think about all the true, realistic things you could tell yourself if you experience rejection or failure.

Instead of saying, “he does not like me" or “no one likes me," you can tell yourself the following types of statements:

I cannot read people’s minds. The thing that happened does not necessarily mean that he does not like me. There are people who care about me. I care about me.

Instead of saying, “I am no good," you may say:

I made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. I do not like making mistakes, but I can learn from my errors. I choose to learn from this experience. I have many good qualities and I also have flaws.

Think about the more positive, more realistic, encouraging statements you could say to yourself about the situation where rejection or failure occurred.


It is normal to experience rejection sometimes. You are a human being and all human beings go through rejection.

Remind yourself that you are a good person.

It is okay to feel upset. Know that these feelings will pass. You will soon feel better.

Be kind to yourself. The most painful rejection is the act of treating yourself unkindly. Be a support to yourself.


You are a human being with both strengths and weaknesses. It is okay to have flaws. You, like all people, will make many mistakes in your life. Errors are part of being human.

We all fail from time to time. Failing at one thing does not make you a failure and it does not generalize to you as a person. A failure at one thing can be better described as a mistake, rather than a failure.

Failing at many things, that is, making many mistakes, is a healthy, normal process. Successful people fail many times. You are a successful person.

Mistakes can be turned into positives by growing from them.


Now you can simply need to focus on anything at all.

Just drift...relaxing...


Allow a feeling of confidence to begin inside...deep within your may feel like warmth...such a solid, strong feeling...

Let this confidence grow...getting bigger...radiating from inside you...filling your entire body from head to feet...shining from you and lighting up the room you are in...

It feels so good to be filled with confidence.

Allow the confidence to grow...all on its grows without you doing anything at all...getting bigger...even stronger...feel the confidence that fills you...

Any negativity in your life can be a trigger for this confidence to grow. Rejection or failure... upsetting events...anything negative in your life can remind you of this feeling of confidence you have right now.

When something negative happens, find that a feeling of confidence begins inside and grows...filling you with strength and poise to deal with the situation. You can feel good and feel confident even in circumstances that are less than ideal. Negative situations can be a cue for this confidence to grow.

Feel the confidence fully, right now...filling you with complete confidence and calm.


Keep a feeling of confidence with you as you complete this relaxation exercise. Take a few moments to re-awaken your mind and body.

Open your eyes and look around the room, becoming re-oriented to your surroundings. Stretch if you want to, and feel your body waking up.

When you are fully awake and alert, you can return to your usual activities, feeling confident and calm.

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