Nominations for the 91st Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning, highlighting this year’s most talked-about films, including Black Panther, Roma, Vice, Green Book — and finally, A Star Is Born. The heartbreaking musical drama, directed by Bradley Cooper, made headlines for collecting eight nods, but audiences were surprised to discover that Cooper himself didn’t get a nomination in the Best Director category.

The actor and filmmaker did get nominated for Actor in a Leading Role, along with Lady Gaga for Best Actress, but when it came to Best Director, Cooper’s name was nowhere to be found. Cooper has spoken about the labor of love directing this film was for him, telling Time, “It’s the exact movie I wanted to make,” and calling it “an artistic catharsis.”

“From a psychological perspective, rejection hurts,” Elayne Savage, Ph.D., author of Don’t Take It Personally: The Art of Dealing with Rejection, tells Thrive Global. “When someone tells you you’re not a fit — or that you’re not good enough — negative self-talk can take over, and the disappointment can take a toll on your well-being.”

Savage says when we feel rejected, or that our hard work has gone unacknowledged, old memories of failure can surface in our minds, often amplifying our current feelings. “Former experiences can add to the negative feelings you’re experiencing in the present,” she explains. “It’s important to take a moment to reassess, and separate the ‘then’ from the ‘now.’”

If you feel snubbed at work, it’s normal to experience feelings of sadness and disappointment, but according to Savage, there are ways to reframe the situation to make yourself feel better and move forward in a positive way.

Notice your emotions

While most people will react to rejection immediately, Savage says that stopping to simply notice your feelings can put you in the driver’s seat, and can help you see the situation from a distance. “Pay attention to what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling, without any judgment,” Savage says. By simply acknowledging our racing thoughts, we can slow them down, and be less hard on ourselves.

Consider your options

When you feel let down by a certain situation, Savage recommends stopping to consider your options. “To make a change, you have to make a choice,” she says. “If we don’t know our choices, we can’t do much about it, so we end up feeling stuck.” While it’s important to acknowledge your feelings of disappointment, it’s equally important to consider your next step. Instead of dwelling for too long in your disappointment, talk to a loved one about your next move, or write down three things you’re currently grateful for. Sometimes, it takes an extra push to place the past firmly in the past.

If it’s professional, acknowledge that

“If we get rejected from a job, we tend to to take it personally — but it’s important to separate the professional from the personal,” Savage says. Getting told you’re not the right fit for a position can sting, but it helps to keep in mind that most workplace decisions factor in plenty of components that can have little to do with who you are. “Try your best not to fill in the blanks,” Savage adds. Instead, remind yourself that other opportunities will come your way at the right time.

Remember to slow down

“There are ways to ease up on the dwelling that often happens when we’re disappointed,” Savage points out. And one of them is actually slowing down. “One incident can spiral into a pattern of messages that we tell ourselves about our world, the people in our world, and who we are,” she says. The key to ignoring a cascade of those messages is to slow down and notice what we’re telling ourselves, and remind ourselves  that our negative self-talk is rarely based in fact.

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  • Rebecca Muller Feintuch

    Senior Editor and Community Manager


    Rebecca Muller Feintuch is the Senior Editor and Community Manager at Thrive. Her previous work experience includes roles in editorial and digital journalism. Rebecca is passionate about storytelling, creating meaningful connections, and prioritizing mental health and self-care. She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Media, Culture and Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the relationship between women and fitness media consumerism.