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When you feel rejected, it can be a painful experience.
In fact it’s considered one of the most painful experiences we encounter as human beings. Research shows that experiencing social rejection fires up the same neural pathways as physical pain. Who knew? Well probably those of us who are extremely sensitive to rejection.
And for those who are extremely sensitive in can also feel like a signal that they’re not good enough. We don’t talk about the fear of being rejected very much because it can be as painful an experience as feeling abandoned. And very likely comes from the same place, usually connected to the initial relationships we had with our caretakers.
I know this was true for me…by the time I was five I had acquired the feeling of being abandoned. Maybe because for the first four years of my life my father was away in the Royal Air Force and my mother siblings and I lived with my grandparents.
And one day, seemingly out of the blue as far as I was concerned, this man, who I hardly knew arrived on the scene, and we moved away from the only home I’d ever known to live with this stranger who it appeared had not only taken away my original caretakers but to some degree my mum too. She had a husband to take care of, as well as her children, which is easily understood from the perspective of an adult, but not so much from that of a four year old.
Regardless of the whys and wherefores. Fear of being rejected is one of the most limiting beliefs we can have because it prevents us from doing so many simple things like asking for help when you need it, asking someone to go out with you, or asking for a raise…because what if….horrors of horror someone says ‘NO.’
You wouldn’t want to put yourself in that position on purpose, regardless of the possible rewards. The fear of that pain is greater than any pleasure that might be the end result of being willing to ask and hear that dreaded word.
You can see how this would get in the way of you living your best life possible.
You might be yearning for something, but the fear that going after it will end in you being rejected, and be the trigger for the belief that there’s something deeply wrong with you stops you in your tracks. And you’re back to feeling that you’re just not good enough. That there’s probably something really wrong with you.
There’s nothing wrong with you. Your are awesome, not perfect, but still awesome and I’m calling bullshit on this fear right now and am offering you a different perspective.
1. So what if you’re told no!
You asked for something. And the response was “no”. So flipping what? Why would this hurt you so much? And believe me, I know that it does…I’ve felt it myself.
It hurts because it reminds us that we actually don’t believe we were worthy of getting what we wanted. This, dear ones, is a truly ugly and undeserving truth.
Turn it around, use these powerful emotions as fuel to inspire you to open the next chapter of your life story.
2. That’s all well and good…but
I still didn’t get what I wanted.
Sometimes we are so focused on how we’ll get something, or who can bring it into our lives that we entirely miss the point. It’s our state of consciousness that determines what flows into or out of our life.
Other people and events are just the conduits through which our desires flow, and the fact that one person said “No” doesn’t mean that you’ll never get what you truly want. Because every desire we have is ultimately about being happy and maybe the happiness in store for you is even greater than what you were asking for.
Stop making other people responsible for what comes into your life and you’ll discover that your feeling of being rejected starts to lose it’s power.
3. Give up end of the world thinking
Even if it feels like the end of the world is nigh when someone says “No” or doesn’t respond at all, or events conspire against us. It really isn’t and they don’t.
Yet by rehashing things over and over in our minds we can easily magnify our irrational fear of outcomes. And by so doing put our happiness in the hands of external stimuli.
Remember that no-one and no-thing has the ability to create discontent and frustration within us. We manage that very nicely by ourselves!
One thing is for certain, if you give too much power to someone or something other than yourself, you become their prisoner.
So never allow anything outside of you to steal your joy of life.
4. Fear of being rejected depends solely on one thing
Most of the time we definitely don’t need the naysayers or those who reject us to mess up our life. We do a pretty good job of it for ourselves.
Ever noticed how often people tell you how they don’t want to feel and what they don’t want to happen? But at some point we need to put our attention on what we do want to feel, and what we do want to happen.
Whether you get what you want or not, whether you climb that highest mountain or not, at the very least you deserve a life of happiness.
And if you were naturally happy from within, then being rejected would hardly matter.
That’s the shift that needs to happen to stop allowing rejection to get the best of you.
And here’s something I read about recently that sounds incredibly helpful. The 30 day challenge is a game designed by Canadian entrepreneur James Comely.
James wanted to “break the tyranny of social anxiety” by designing a real life game with just one rule. You have to be rejected by one person at least once every day. Like asking a stranger for a free ride (oh no!) or ask for a discount when buying something. You succeed by being denied – the game is designed to build resilience against rejection.
5. Check your tendencies
Because the very thing we fear is often the thing we experience, look carefully at your expectations and beliefs.
Sometimes we get fixated on the ideas that certain people will reject us so we become defensive beforehand, to protect ourselves from what we fear.
But all you’re doing is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy which, eventually brings about the feared rejection, that might never have been there in the first place. And then of course you get to believe you were ‘right’ all along.
When you feel rejected its far too easy to assume that it’s YOU that’s being rejected. Your character, your values, your very being.
Take a look at how this might be working in your life and how your reactions and fears might be influencing your behavior. And then take a stand and practice rejecting your beliefs. Notice I said your beliefs, not YOU.
Bear in mind that the whole Universe is set up on the premise that you deserve to live an incredibly beautiful and happy life. And it wants to give it to you. So are you ready to say yes?
Remember: When you say yes to life, it says yes right back.
This is going to be so brilliant. Fear of rejection? What rejection?
Encourage one another.