How to Deal With Rejection: 6 Proven Tips for Freelancers

Reframing your view of rejection benefits your career and mindset.

Did you recently experience rejection in your freelance career?

Maybe you put a ton of effort into a proposal, and the client passed on the project. Or perhaps you were working with a brand who suddenly ghosted you.

Whatever happened, experiencing rejection can be hard. Especially when you’re first starting out as a freelancer.

But rejection is actually often a good thing. Rejection steers us away from opportunities that aren’t right for us and creates room for ones that are. 🧭

I know it may be hard to see the positive right now. So, here’s everything you need to know about reframing your beliefs around rejection – and the actionable steps you can take today.

Reframing Rejection to Redirection

First things first, give yourself a pat on the back. 👏

If you’re experiencing rejection, that means you put yourself out there. 

You pitched to the client.
You sent the proposal.
You tried something new.

Taking risks and stepping outside your comfort zone is always better than keeping yourself small, no matter the outcome.

When you have the right perspective, rejection can actually guide you towards a freelance career that’s more enjoyable and in alignment for you.

  • Rejection is a sign of growth. If you continue to work towards your goals, you’ll experience rejection at some point. This means you’re putting yourself out there and going after new opportunities – that’s courageous, be proud of yourself!

  • Rejection is redirection. Always. Each time you hear “no,” it creates space for a new opportunity that could be even better for you. Plus, learning from each rejection helps you reduce them in the future.

As they say, when one door closes, another one opens. But you have to look for the open door. That’s why it’s so important to view rejection as a sign of redirection and to take action instead of letting rejection keep you down.

Let’s say one of your consistent clients decided they no longer needed your services. At first, this could feel frustrating – and it’s okay to experience those feelings.

But now you have a choice…

  • You could let the rejection keep you down, throw on some Netflix, and give up for the month.

  • OR you could view your extra time this month as an opportunity to find a new client more aligned with you. Maybe you decide to repackage your services and raise your prices before pitching to your ideal new clients.

At the end of the month, you have a brand new client you’re excited about – that’s paying you more than the one you lost. You’re in a better position than before and the rejection was a catalyst for the change.

Sometimes, rejection is the spark we need to push ourselves towards something better and more aligned. 💥

6 Ways to Deal With Rejection

By now, we’ve established that experiencing rejection is normal as a freelancer. So, how do you make sure you’re equipped to handle these scenarios when they come up?

Here are six ways to deal with rejection using your mindset and tangible actions:

  1. Explore Your Feelings. 

    If you’re feeling super anxious and triggered by rejection, exploring this feeling is essential. Triggers give us insight into our subconscious thoughts and deeper fears.1

    Take some time to free-write about your experience. Maybe you discover that the rejection triggers a deeper fear of the unknown. Having this perspective may help you realize where you need to reframe your thoughts.   

  1. Strengthen Your Self-Worth. 

    If experiencing rejection is really hurting you, it could be a sign that you’re over-identifying with your work. It’s not your fault – in many ways, our culture teaches us to tie our self-worth to our occupations.

    This is why it’s so crucial to cultivate your sense of self-worth outside of your job. You are worthy, no matter how “productive” or “successful” you perceive yourself. You are worthy, no matter how many “rejections” you face.

  1. Release People-Pleasing Tendencies. 

    You may feel bad about a rejection because it’s in your nature to want to please other people. This is a common feeling many of us experience.

    Take a moment to prioritize yourself and your feelings. If you view the rejection objectively, you may even realize it wasn’t the right situation for you in the first place.

  1. Restructure Your Pitch.

    Do you still feel strongly that you and a potential client are the right fit? You can go back to the drawing board and re-pitch them with a new or revised idea.

    You have nothing to lose, and adjusting your idea shows you’re solution-oriented.

  1. Learn From Rejection. 

    Your freelance career becomes much less stressful when you take the pressure off yourself to be perfect and view every event as a learning experience instead.

    If you experienced rejection, simply write down what you would do differently next time. There’s an abundance of new opportunities, and rejection helps you navigate the next situation better.

  1. Find New Opportunities. 

    If you hear a no, what can you now say yes to? Maybe you can take on an extra project you feel passionate about. Or use the extra time to focus on your own marketing.

    Use the rejection as an opportunity to find openings that are more aligned and better for you. Remember, a rejection is only a problem if you let it keep you down!


Failures, rejections, and mistakes become the roadmap to your success. You learn about yourself and how to improve your processes along the way.

I know it may not feel like it right now, but every time you hear a no, it brings you closer to the next yes. So, give yourself permission to hear a few no’s along the way and trust the process. Everything is moving you closer to what’s truly right for you.

Mastering Your Mindset Around Rejection

We talked about how important it is to cultivate your self-worth and reframe your beliefs. But maybe you’re wondering, “how do I actually do that?”

Changing your mindset happens through consistent, intentional mindset practices. When you’re ready a positive change, Master Your Mindset is here to show you how.

This comprehensive mindset course teaches you how to…

  • Explore your triggers. Learn what your feelings are trying to tell you and how to listen. 

  • Develop affirmations. Create the statements to cultivate self-worth on a subconscious level.

  • Stay calm. Understand how to bring yourself back to your center when you feel stressed by rejection.


And so much more.

Sign up for Master Your Mindset today to learn the exact practices I’ve used to be intentional with my thoughts. Now, I’m able to remain calm during a time of stress or rejection.

Of course, there are always moments where rejection stings. But developing these mindset practices helps you not let it keep you down and create something rewarding out of it.

Prefer to Watch?

View my Youtube video on how to deal with rejection. Subscribe here for more tips on mastering your mindset to create a life and freelance career you love!

Resources:

  1. Psychology Today

About Sarah

I’m an entrepreneur on a mission to help other people become entrepreneurs.
My blog is a place where I provide business building advice and explore how we can create more meaningful work.

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