Whether it be standing on stage or at the front of a boardroom, being in an interview or on a first date, the FEAR of REJECTION is in us all.
This fear is the major root of stage fright or “performance anxiety” and prevents millions of people from performing optimally at their jobs and in life.
Back in the days of our savage ancestors, the human connection within a tribe was relied upon for survival. In this day and age, we depend on the connection of our guardians in our early years of development to keep us alive.
In either case, there is no escaping the neurobiological hardwiring that exists in all humans, which causes us to ache for human connection from the time of birth until the time of death- even once we are able to take care of our basic survival needs independently.
Because of this predisposition, we connect being rejected to lacking self-worth or value, which unconsciously triggers an association with death.
It’s easy then, to see why we’re so greatly disturbed by rejection- no matter how big or small and why we go to extreme measures to mitigate it, even if it means we hold ourselves back from our passions, love interests and well-being.
Understanding how to shift this fearful perspective around rejection can increase our resiliency after getting rocked by it.
Here are 4 tips to help you “Rally after Rejection”
- You are not in danger of death As soon as you feel the warm wash of shame, the fire of fury, or the swells of sadness after perceiving that you’e been rejected, remind yourself you are not going to die. Although extremely uncomfortable, these are natural human responses to rejection. Allow these feelings to be present, so they can be processed and released.
- Practise the “TrifectA” (Awareness, Acceptance, Adjustment: 3 actionable A’s vital to create any change) tool from the Performance Mindset Program The sooner you can be brave enough to find awareness and acceptance for your feelings around rejection, the sooner they can be adjusted. If you blame or project your feelings onto the subject you feel you were rejected by, you’ll only get stuck in your suffering and prolong the process.
- Rejection isn’t personal Sometimes “rejection” is actually just a political choice and has nothing to do with you. However, even if someone says “I don’t like you,” it’s their own limiting beliefs that are resulting in them feeling this way. Their inability to like you does not mean you’re unlikeable, thus does not take away from your worth as a human being. The real question is: Do YOU like yourself? Do YOU believe your a worthy human being? If the answer is “no” to either of these questions, rejection is going to sting a hell of a lot more for hell of a long time until those answers turn into “yes.”
- We are not our mistakes Our mistakes may lead to others wanting to turn away from us, but while there is always something to be learned from them, they do not have to define who we are. A wrong move does not make us wrong people. A flaw in our character does not make us flawed characters. Most importantly, a fear-based action that results in someone else wanting to deny us of their love, does not mean we are unloveable.
Rejection might be something that always disturbs us, but the solution isn’t to try and avoid it altogether, it’s to become braver with our feelings. Part of what makes life so beautiful is the dance between rain and sun, darkness and light, pain and joy, fear and love. This ebb and flow of yes and no doesn’t have to be something that takes us to our knees. Instead it can create a catalyst for courage to face the internal struggle that arises with rejection, which is more often than not rooted much deeper than in rejection itself.
Ask yourself this: “What do I need to heal inside of me to feel worthy? Accepted? Loveable?”
Answer these questions bravely and honestly; the worst rejection of all is the rejection we bestow upon ourselves when we haven’t yet learned to fully embrace who we are- flaws and all.