"A clear rejection is better than a fake promise." - Anonymous
We all fear rejection. We want to avoid it at all cost. Rejection makes us feel bad, low. But what is rejection in the first place? It simply means dismissal or refusal of a proposal. But what we generally do? We give our own meanings to rejection and allow that story to play in our mind. We then operate from that space again & again. We let the word rejection mean something about us, we take it personally. We use this formula: Rejection = I am not good enough, Rejection = I am not worthy, Rejection = I am a failure, Rejection = I am not enough, Rejection = I couldn't convince, Rejection = I am __________. You may fill in the blank as you give meaning to it. And that's when the problem lies. Later in our lives, we become so good in avoiding the rejections that we stop playing where we feel there's a chance to be rejected. We start playing low even without realizing it. All rejection meant was, the other person failed to see what you had to offer. So, does it mean that you will stop offering to others who might be eagerly waiting for you and what you have to offer? Or should we make peace with our self-sabotaging definitions and live with it indifferently? We can be indifferent to anything we wish to be. That's one of the most easiest things to do to avoid feeling the pain & regaining ourselves. Feeling the pain is tough. And who wants to be broken every time. But, if you rewrite your definition of rejection, then the heartbreak would have a different meaning for you. It will be an opportunity for you to see beyond just the emotion but what you might improve not because you got rejected but because you are committed to your growth and highest version.
Let me quote a live example here of my rejection story. There was a story that played in my head for long. Most of the time I would speak up, bring forth an idea or something that I deeply believed in & thought might serve an organization that I was serving; I used to face rejection. Rejection can be of two kinds: one is you get ignored totally or you bear the consequences of non-compliance, cornered. And I used to be in one of the zones mostly. Never to be accepted. I gave meaning to all of these to mean something about me, I took it personally and so I stopped sharing, to be accepted. I stopped being authentic to be with the bandwagon without analyzing if it was good/bad, I stopped sharing my views to please people with whom I had worked with. But, on the inside I felt terrible. I was doing something that wasn't authentic to me. I was doing something that I didn't believed in. I was doing something that wasn't me. And what did this do to me, the fear of rejection gave me acceptance, superficial love and feel good factor for a while; but it robbed me off me. Slowly, I started becoming who I wasn't. I felt unhappy on the inside. I felt conflicted and so I decided to confront my definition of rejection. What does rejection mean to me? I decided to explore that which I hadn't perceived earlier. My previous definition was: Rejection = Nonacceptance & Cornering. Deep down there was this need in me which longed for acceptance & involvement. That's my stuff and the emotional baggage that I was carrying. I dealt with that separately and came out of it. Then, I decided to redefine the terminology 'rejection' in my dictionary. Rejection for me is simply next one now. No arguments, no defense; simply acceptance of the other person's views because I know that is personal and has nothing to do with me or my potential. It's the way they choose to see it and I honour that. But, I will put forth what I believe to be true of course with an attitude to re-look at my views not to mean anything about me but for greater good. Now, approaching others and getting rejected doesn't feel bad. Now I don't refrain myself from speaking authentically. Because now my focus is not me, but the bigger intention of creating a greater impact.
When we allow rejection to mean something about us, we loose our power. But when we allow the same to mean something about the fact that there was a mismatch in perception, all things fall in place. No defense required, no justification required. It just opens the doors to creating newer possibilities and doesn't curb me from being who I am. But, of course, who I am doesn't have to be rigid again. Acceptance of the fact that we do make mistakes and it is okay to learn, grow & not know is the key. Ah, I wish I would have had this lesson earlier, I would have approached so many people & things; may be my trajectory would have been different. But again, I do know that everything comes to you including the guidance of the Universe only when you open up to its mysteries. Nothing before, nothing after. Just at your right time, depending upon your willing to receive it.
Our stories recreate our experiences of us, people & life. To have a newer & more meaningful experience, we need to investigate the stories playing in our head. Are we tightly holding on to that or willing to let go to create newer & more powerful ones? This simple awareness will enable us to make a shift, a tiny shift that will lead us to exponential growth.
Some of the areas that you might reflect on are:
1. Are you hiring people that you are comfortable with? What does this pattern reflect?
2. Are you resisting to see a different side to the issue that you are facing? Reflecting on why & your resistance might help you?
3. Are you unwilling to take support because you believe this is who you are? Diving into this arrogance might lead to a breakthrough you might be resisting all your life?
4. Am I playing small fearing rejection?
5. Am I not open to newer perspectives?
6. Am I being guarded & not vulnerable?
7. Am I showing that I am too good to even need any support?
8. Am I not being aware of my emotions & indifferent to that side?
9. Am I sensing some resistance while reading this blog? What thoughts, feelings & sensations you are having as you read this?
10. Am I getting triggered by something outside of me? That could be a great place to start with.
Believing in you,
#leadership #authenticity #rejection #fearoffailure #ourstory #meaningweattachourselvesto #lookingbeyond #uninvestigatedthoughtsandstories
Life & Organizational Development Coach