Help Clients Handle Rejection Beautifully - 5 Reframes to Really Give Them Something to Think About!

Coach and Client discussing possible reframes

As coaches, we know the power of perception and belief, but many of our clients do not. Over the years I have come to deeply realize that what ultimately drives us is not logic or 'reality' - but how we think and feel about things. Even what's right in front of our eyes is interpreted according to our beliefs about ourselves and the world.

So, why the big deal with rejection? If you think about it, when someone is rejected nothing actually changes: Before your client asked someone out they had no date, and after they have been 'rejected' they still have no date.

Reframing is a great coaching tool to 'pull the rug out' from under our clients and help them see that it's their thoughts - and not the situation - that's making them suffer.

Here are 5 Reframes - New Ways of Looking at the Situation:

  1. Ask your client, "What has actually changed before and after your Rejection"? Of course it's a trick question, nothing has changed – except that our brains make a big deal about it. Rejection doesn't actually exist - except in our minds.
  2. Just say, "Next!"  Jack Canfield's wildly successful book "Chicken Soup for the Soul" (also a TV series) was rejected by 144 publishers before finally being accepted. Walt Disney apparently lost his job at a newspaper because his editor accused him of "having no good ideas." People are the same after 1 or 100 Rejections!
  3. Remind your clients that Rejection is simply the asking price for living a richer life! If clients are working with you it means they already want more from life. So, while they may feel disappointed after a rejection, there is something much worse than receiving a rejection – not to have tried.
  4. Ask your client, "How would you feel if you weren't attached to the outcome?" We feel 'rejection' when it's something we really want, but if it's something we don't want we feel less 'rejection' - and may even feel relief or pleasure! Ask them to imagine they're terrified of heights and are NOT picked to join someone doing a parachute jump - would they still feel rejected?
  5. NB. Just because your client feels rejected does not mean they are 'a reject'. Ie. just because we FEEL it does NOT make it true! This is a fabulous reframe and jump-off point for clients to learn more about their thoughts, feelings and (limiting) beliefs with you.

So remember: It's not the rejection itself that hurts, what hurts is the beliefs we have around it - and the stories we then tell ourselves!

Watch out for: Sometimes, to really help your clients move forwards from a rejection and let go,  it's important to dig into how they FEEL. If your client is struggling to deal with the intense emotions that come with rejection, you may need to explore feelings and underlying beliefs further before reframing or moving them into action will make a difference.

If you liked this, you may like our other articles on Rejection:

Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

Image of Coach and Client discussing possible reframes by fizkes via Shutterstock


  1. Barry

    This is by far the best explanation of the correlation between 'fear' and 'rejection'. Fantastic use of the 'parachute' scenario. Thank you very much indeed. Priceless.


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