It is so funny actually if you look from a distance at people’s reactions to rejection. People get smashed away by the fact that somebody doesn't want them.
So, let's say you like another person and you come to this person and start to talk but you do not see the interested on another side. This is what happens for many, many people?
You are put down and shut down. You say: you will never ever do it again.
You feel small and so alone… just by the fact that somebody 'rejected' you.
But. The truth is nobody rejected you.
It is actually impossible to reject somebody. It is just a choice of not hanging out with you. For any reason - it doesn't matter that much - every person has a choice to talk, spend the time to be or not to be with somebody.
I had the same fear. Actually, I can say it was one of my biggest fears.
Especially, around the topic of men. Fear of rejection by men. It lasted for... as long as I can remember… we are talking about 20 years here!
And, if I think now, how many opportunities I lost because of this fear I can only… laugh right now. Really, imagine it from a distance...
How can one be destroyed by an actual illusion of rejection?
I was so afraid of rejection that I wouldn't even come or talk to a man I liked.
Well, what a loss… and high time to change it right?
As awareness brings responsibility to change what you are aware of right?
I talked about it in my blog on Development is NOT a Straight Line. But I’ll recap it here for you in simple words. If you are aware of something, it is not enough to be aware of it and continue the 'bad' habit; your job is to work on it, change it.
Your job is to choose to think and act differently.
Many people will say that it is not that easy…
...but I can't agree now that I am over this fear.
Actually, to change this in my head took me … watch out: 24 hours.
24 Hours after the right conversation with a friend.
And, done literally.
So, how big and deep was it, if I could change it after just one spontaneous conversation?
Each interaction with another human being shows us our strong and our weak points.
It shows us what needs to be 'healed' in us.
I think I felt rejected because I felt I was not enough (not smart enough, not pretty enough etc).
Where is the real reason for feeling bad?
Maybe the real reason is that you actually feel you are not enough and you project this outside and then you believe that you were rejected because of this reason which might not be true at all…
If somebody rejected us and we think it happened because we were not good enough in this conversation - what does it mean again? Work on your belief of being enough, full.
Work on self-acceptance.
When you Have Self Acceptance, Nobody can destroy it.
The thing is that if you have a core solid belief that you are OK, nobody can reject you.
I don't have time for you to be playing at being small. Yes again. Do not play at being small. You know who you are deeply in your heart, soul, mind (choose what suits your beliefs;) You are who you are. Accept it (there are many fancy words for this: embrace yourself, shine, light up) - I prefer to keep it practical and simple also with words.
Now: The Rejection Mind Challenge
Or, how I transformed the fear of rejection in just one conversation (and by practicing it later of course.)
This is what my friend said to me:
Ula, you know. There are people who are afraid of a pinprick right?
I said yes, right everybody is afraid of it.
He said no, not everybody.
There is this small % of people who actually like it right?
They have this fetish for this particular pinprick pain right?
I said yeeee (with anxiety where is he going with this “metaphor”) - I'm sure they exist.
He said exactly they exist, not many but they do.
So now Ula, listen. Most people are afraid of rejection like you, right?
I said yes. Exactly he said. Now listen and don't freak out.
I want you to be in this small group of people who likes rejection like the people who like sting of a pinprick.
I want you actually to head for… rejection.
I want you to set a goal for rejection. I want you to look for rejection.
Your goal here is to be rejected 10 times this year…
We were walking when he said this and I was like, what the hell?
And, you know what …. I said ok.
I will process what you said in my brain and see what happens. The same evening I got it all.
I think it was genius. And I headed for this 'rejection challenge'.
So, my goal is to do be rejected 10 times this year ( i have still one month for it).
Guess what happened until now?
1. It’s Not Easy to Reach the Goal as it turns out. People do not reject you as often as you imagine they would.
2. And, when they do - I See it as a Success as I reached the goal right?
So, I get a new habit or new interpretation for not panicking when it happens. I see it like: yes I have won another point in my game:-)
3. And, you can guess how many things are changing in me during this process.
For example you learn that very often the reason for this 'rejection' is something completely different than you think - it’s not you, not the way you are, not the way you look and so on. The biggest reason is very often the fear of the other person - the exact same fear - the fear of rejection he/she has towards you…
So, my advice here is practice rejection like any other thing you practice. Be more than that. And when it actually hits you, see what 'weak' point it is reaching and what needs to be strengthened in you.
Thank you my friend Tomek, for this mind-blowing story, metaphor and exercise you gave me.
Disclaimer: Tomek is not a coach, not an NLP person, nothing like this, he is a friend brave enough to say what he said to me. Creative enough to create this crazy story and sell it to me.
And, what is most important he overcame his own fear by doing this exercise as well.