Major changes happened, are happening and will soon happen in my life. Unfortunately, fear and rejection have been my constant companions and they have refused to leave. To get rid of these very strong emotions…
- I’ve been to therapy
- I’ve watched movies
- I’ve blasted music
- I’ve read self-help books and books for pleasure
- I’ve listened to family members and friends who try to encourage me
- I’ve unselfishly given of my compassion, time and talents
- I’ve screamed until I was hoarse
- I’ve prayed to a God who apparently isn’t talking to me
- I’ve meditated until I actually fell asleep
- I’ve used yoga exercises
- I’ve taken long drives to nowhere
- I’ve gone on long walks
- I’ve stared out the window aimlessly
- I’ve cleaned obsessively
- I’ve slept too much
- I’ve not slept enough
- and I’ve cried until I was unrecognizable since my eyes had become so swollen and puffy.
Why can’t I get rid of the fear and rejection?
Before I can answer that question, I’ll have to make sure we are on the same wavelength and tell you a story.
What Is Fear And Rejection?
You can have fear of many things, but when you have a fear of being rejected because you’ve experienced a very painful rejection, the emotional stress is phenomenal. So what exactly is fear and rejection?
Definition of rejection: the action of rejecting or the state of being rejected
Definition of reject, rejecting, rejected: to refuse to accept, submit to, believe, or make use of; to turn down or refuse to accept; to refuse to accept someone as a lover, spouse, or friend
Definition of fear: to be afraid of something or someone; to expect (usually bad or unpleasant) or worry about
In other words, when you fear rejection, you are afraid to the point of worrying about someone not wanting, needing, accepting or believing in you enough to offer you a job, support you as a friend/family member, or desire you as a lover/spouse.
To make it quite clear, this is a subject that I can give ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC advice, but I am somewhat lacking in BELIEVING and following the advice for myself. I think many people fit into that category, so I’m not going to berate myself about it.
Making Fear And Rejection Personal
I have been rejected in many ways, but the two that have been weighing me down are being laid off of my job as if my skills/talents/worth are as valuable as Bella‘s poop and having my love taken for granted and dismissed as invaluable as an old bald tire. That gave you a couple good visuals didn’t it?
The reason that those two rejections are the worst to me is because everything I base my life on is LOVE and HARD WORK/SUCCESS, so when they are not wanted and thrown back in my face, it tears my heart up.
The closer the relationship, the greater the pain of the rejection. So a family member, best friend, boyfriend or spouse rejecting me doesn’t just tear my heart up, it demolishes my heart. I have a very hard time coping with this kind of rejection because I put so much of myself into the relationship.
I have spent many, many hours in therapy trying to sort through the rejection I’ve experienced in close relationships. To be honest, it is going to take me a lifetime of constantly reminding myself that THEY are not perfect and that when they lash out or leave me, it isn’t because I’m a bad person. Every mean or cruel thing THEY say about me is not true. If THEY don’t want to be with me or in my presence, then I just need to find other people who will love me for who I am and what I have to offer in a relationship.
This next statement is something we all need to remember…
Just because ONE person finds you and your love undesirable, it doesn’t mean that you ARE undesirable. This is the essence of coping with rejection – recognizing that the rejection doesn’t define you as a human being.
Yes, I said that totally insightful statement.
Stop Loving Or Investing Yourself
Because rejection causes so much pain…Do you know how much pain you feel when being rejected? According to psychological research, people said that the emotional pain of rejection was as severe as the physical pain experienced during natural childbirth and cancer treatments. Who wants to feel that much emotional pain? Oh come on, you know that you just love, love, love to suffer! Right?
I do not like or cope well with emotional pain, therefore I have a fear of rejection that will cause this much pain to my emotion filled heart.
What is the easiest solution?
Maybe the easiest solution is to just stop loving and trying so hard to succeed. Do you think that is the answer?
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
To love is to be vulnerable.”
~ C.S. Lewis ~
Okay, the answer isn’t to stop loving and working hard towards being successful.
Believing In A Happier Future
There are several truths about fear and rejection…
- You can’t make someone love, need or want you.
- You can’t make an employer keep you as an employee.
- Your self-worth should not be based on how other people feel about you.
- Your self-worth should not be based on how much money you have in the bank, possessions you own or power you have in your job.
- Fear will hold you back by clouding your thoughts and actions that will lead you to success.
- Your fear and the rejection you’ve suffered do not define you as a valuable person.
- Rejection from something good usually leads you to something better.
Oh really? Did you catch the last one?
“Rejection from something good usually leads you to something better.” ~ Sherry Riter ~
Through each rejection I’ve experienced, I have learned valuable information which made me better equipped for future opportunities.
Last night I watched Jim Carrey give a speech to graduates at Maharishi University. One of the most profound statements he made actually caused me to stop and stare for a moment.
“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” ~ Jim Carrey ~
It is so true! If you are going to put your time and energy into succeeding at something you don’t really like, why not put all your time and energy into succeeding at something you love?! If you fail at doing what you love, you are no worse off than if you failed at something you didn’t really want!
“Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen for you, but to open the door in your head and when the door opens in real life, just walk through it. And don’t worry if you miss your cue because there’s always doors opening. They keep opening. Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” ~ Jim Carrey ~
Stop being scared.
Stop fearing failure and rejection.
Stop thinking and worrying about the future so much that you allow fear and rejection to hold hands and double their emotional strength within you.
The best actions you can take are to believe in yourself and work to make your dreams come true. If you miss the mark a few times or a few hundred times, that’s okay because you will learn something with each missed mark. If someone isn’t thrilled to be with you and share a portion of your life, let them go and then find someone else who WILL be thrilled to be with you and share a portion of your life.
Life is an adventure of learning, growing, sharing and loving.
The Latest Story
I have been fighting with myself about several choices and directions for my life. With each choice, I have held back because of fear of failure or rejection. This week I have made decisions about many things and have started taking action on them. Some are too personal to share, but one of them is about being hired by a company again. It just hasn’t happened, so I’m changing direction on the job search. I’ll share more about that over the next month, but it should be an exciting adventure and one that will hopefully bring me much happiness.
I’ve also made decisions about some relationships in my life. My approach is totally different because I’m not going to allow other people to hurt me just because they have unresolved issues. I love the people in my life and will do anything for them, but I deserve kindness and respect. If they can’t provide that back to me, I have to accept that I can’t spend time with them or allow them to drag me down with their vicious words or actions. My brain is telling me that I am important and it is time for me to make my life centered around my own dreams, so that’s what I’m going to do.
It won’t be something I can do totally alone and I will need encouragement, but I sure am going to give it my best shot.
“There is nothing bigger than myself. My soul is not contained within the limits of my body. My body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul.” ~ Jim Carrey ~