Fear of rejection is often portrayed as as an ‘enemy’ sneaking up on us and our relationships and ruining everything. It’s natural to let off some steam by blaming a fearful part of ourselves when something doesn’t go the way we like. The part itself is also natural – if you look at why nature chose to give us fear of rejection and let us keep it, you will easily see its value. A core component of our ability to form connection and belonging with others, it gives us an energetic state that asks ‘How can I be more pleasing, more kind, more perceptive to the people around me?’.
The trouble with fear of rejection is when it goes out of balance with its natural counterpart – the energetic state that allows us to accept and express ourselves authentically in front of others. A very good illustration of this is a situation that one of my clients shared recently. He told me he’d often have this experience of feeling really happy and joyful while working or taking some time alone, but as soon as he’d bump into someone, he’d feel this immediate automatic pull to get down from that state and meet the other person in whatever he felt theirs was. Which in turn created some anxiety over that connection, from which he’d walk away even more triggered by the fact that he felt his truth was not welcome with people. I resonated with it so much! Has that ever happened to you?
As we dived into it together, we found that what was lying underneath for him was the belief that ‘If someone doesn’t respond to my energy with the same energy, they are rejecting me.’. We then looked at what he wanted instead and it became clear – he wanted to feel connected and accepted. If you feel this is the case for you too, here are some things to go through:
- Think about how you define connection! Although there are no right or wrong definitions of things like that, some will make you feel better than others and you can always choose and update your definition! Is connection for you conditional on similar energies meeting? How about seeing it as a layer that’s always there, on top of which different energies meet and interact with one another? How about directing curiosity towards this interaction, welcoming any energy to it and exploring it from the safety of knowing that connection is always there for you, regardless of the forms it takes?
- Create a mantra. If you are afraid of rejection, what you want is acceptance. You could focus on the former or on the latter. Focusing on what you don’t want will make your brain spot more evidence that you are not getting what you want. Focusing on what you want will make it look for what you want and celebrate when it’s there. How do you get your brain on the second track? Practice. Reminding yourself daily that what you are after is acceptance. And not just any acceptance – if you tell your brain it wants acceptance from others, you will lock yourself in a loop forever seeking external validation. Instead, you can recognise that everyone around you is a reflecting back your own ability to accept yourself! If you accept yourself, it will allow you to express freely and confidently, which will allow others to accept you too. Thus, your mantra can be: “As I accept myself, I see that reflected in my relationships with others”. To let that statement sink down to your subconscious, you need to repeat it daily at least for 30 days and as you do – feel each time what does it feel like to accept yourself, how does your body posture change, what images come with it, letting in fully sink into your being for at least 30 seconds or a minute.
Here you go. Two ways to find a sweeter spot on the spectrum of rejection and acceptance.
About Lessons in Paradise
I believe we already are in paradise, regardless of where we are and what’s going on in our lives. I believe life is a journey towards becoming aware of this and enjoying as much of it as we can in the limited amount of time we have here. The ‘Lessons in Paradise’ youtube vlog is the space where I share my process of shedding patterns and beliefs that obstruct our view in order to replace them with presence, joy and wonder. It’s also my invitation to you – an invitation to connect and journey together in creative ways, as we help each other see through to the greatest expression of ourselves. I also love creating spaces for growth-oriented people to connect to their soul power and life purpose. I do that in the form of coaching and workshops. Reach out if you feel curious to explore these topics with me.