can be LIFE-changing!
This is such a big deal for a lot of people. It certainly has been for me. “What if they don’t like me? What if they don’t like my stuff? What if they don’t like the things that I say?” In fact, my feelings about rejection kept me pretty quiet in life for a long time. But what is rejection really? It is someone making a choice about what is right or wrong for them. What makes us feel bad is that we then start analysing internally why they made that choice. We dwell on it. We rub it in a bit, just to check how it feels (not good usually, stings a bit sometimes), and then we pick it up and run with it as one of the stories that we tell ourselves about how we are not worthy in some way. The truth is that most of the time, the other person, the Rejector, is not thinking about us at all. They are thinking about themselves, often slightly concerned about what we might think of them having made that rejection – “will I be black-listed somehow now I’ve turned this down? Will they ever invite me again now that I’ve said no?” How we interpret rejection really depends upon our past experiences and how we use them to write the stories that we tell ourselves in our life. So, “if I was rejected before, it could happen again, and it was painful before, so how am I going to cope next time it happens?” The reality is that we cope. If we can reframe how we think about rejection, and think about it from a position of a neutral observer, we can use the experience more as a learning one, or as information. The rejection may become “now I have information about what that person doesn’t want right now”.
This is a mindset shift. It requires effort as it is also a habit to think in this way, as our first experiences of rejection often occur in childhood, so we learn from a very early age how to defend against rejection.
This learning and habit can mean we get stuck in later life, too fearful to take risks or experiment with our lives. It can keep us safe, comfortable. But really rejection is just information, and if we want change, the mindset shift is something that can develop or rejection-receiving skills to the point where we learn from it and move on.
How do you deal with rejection? I’m practising it at the moment, collecting no’s. Changing habits, mindsets: LIFE-changing!