The Fear of Rejection often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
All of us have been hurt – one way or another. We’ve been neglected or forgotten. Overlooked or dumped. Made to feel worthless or pushed away. Not appreciated or laughed at. Had our dreams crushed or been fired from our job.
What are our options?
How will we respond to a life that has dealt us seemingly good reasons to believe we are not good enough and that we will be rejected again?
Will we run away from those who try to love us? Will we give up trying to achieve our dreams? Build walls around us so that no one and nothing can get through? Shut down and be hurt?
For many people the Fear of Rejection and the desire for acceptance become the main motivating forces for all actions in their lives.
It is because the Fear of Rejection is one of the deepest human fears.
We have been biologically wired with a longing to belong, and we fear being seen in a critical way.
Being rejected brings up our existential fears: as the human species we were able to survive only with the support and protection of others. Human babies are defenseless and need to be protected for many years in order to mature and survive. Early humans were able to survive only in groups/tribes; a human being left behind alone, was doomed to die – usually eaten by wild animals, not able to protect himself/herself.
And so – we have become anxious about the prospect of being cut off or isolated.
The times have changed and civilization has equipped us with many tools/means that we can use in order to survive. Yet our Fear of Rejection remains the same.
What are we really afraid of?
Perhaps we fear that rejections confirm what we feel about ourselves: that we are unlovable, not good enough, doomed to be alone, unappreciated, that we have little worth or value.
The Fear of Rejection often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Drawn by the Fear of Rejection, we sabotage our own efforts and relationships. We become less assertive, hide from life and don’t reach for our dreams.
The Fear of Rejection takes over not because of the experiences we go through – but because we don’t know how to handle the situations of being rejected or controlled.
It is very important to start making a distinction – drawing a boundary – between being and behavior.
Most of us grew up in dysfunctional societies (or families) – where we have learned to judge the worth of others and ourselves based on external appearances.
We’ve been led to believe that being loved was conditional upon our behavior: if we didn’t behave as our caregivers (or society) wanted us to – we were denied love, and it meant we were a bad person. On the other hand – someone who behaved the way they wanted them to – was proclaimed a good person and rewarded in various ways.
We need to stop judging our worth based on the dysfunctional standards of our society (or family) that taught us it was shameful to be an imperfect human being.
Every human being is equally important and special. One among billions.
But often, at the bottom of our hearts, we feel worse than others, not good enough to deserve love, happiness or success.
It is not our behavior but the essence of who we are that makes us all equally precious, lovable and worthy of living the most beautiful life.
How to overcome The Fear of Rejection:
Step 1: Look into yourself:
– What kind of imprinted beliefs make you judge yourself, and others, based on the expectations/demands of society’s (or your family’s) standards?
– What kind of actions or the lack of them followed your beliefs?
Write down your answers on paper: it is easier to distance oneself from own thoughts and emotions that way.
Step 2: Think back to your past – what kind of emotions did you feel in situations when you were rejected:
– Have you felt ashamed? Disappointed? Worthless? Or perhaps you became paralyzed with fear to the extent that you decided not to try to reach again for whatever/whomever you desired?
Again, write your thoughts down.
Step 3: Think back to your childhood:
– Do you remember when it all started? Have there been particular situations that you can recall now or was it an overall atmosphere that affected your attitude toward life?
This is very important: you need to find out what affected you in the past, and how – so that you can understand that what happened to you WAS in the past.
Remember: if you let your past experience affect you in the present – you let something that is ONLY a memory perpetuate your fear and pain.
THIS IS ONLY A MEMORY. In the present – it exists ONLY in your mind.
Step 4: Promise yourself to look into your own Heart to find within what you need:
When we stop expecting from others what they’re not able to give us, we find all what we need inside ourselves. This does not mean that we have to be selfish in order to feel loved from the inside.
It’s not about being selfish. It’s not about the ego pride and seeing oneself as better than others. It is important to understand our own value and stop craving recognition from others – while keeping in mind that just like everyone else, we too are unique. Not better, and not worse. Just like everybody else, we are beautiful and special.
Our happiness is not a prize in a “contest of life”.
Such a contest doesn’t exist. It is only an illusion which we keep recreating in our minds. Happiness is our birth-given right. And all we need is to accept it.
Step 5: Challenge your negative thoughts and work on developing positive thoughts about yourself.
It takes ONLY six weeks to reprogram your subconscious, and there are some helpful tools one can use (more about that at the end of this chapter). And if you keep your positive attitude for another six months – it will become your lifestyle. It can be done. If others could do it – we can do it too.
Step 6: Embrace your life – breathe deeply and enjoy every day, remembering that happiness in life does not depend on any external circumstances:
Every day presents a new opportunity to accept and appreciate our experiences – eagerly, with courage, dignity and joy.
Life is a package containing various experiences. All of them are wonderful gifts enabling us to become better, more beautiful and more conscious.
It is good to express our gratitude in any way we want to – and to remember that tomorrow will bring us more gifts. More of the unique experiences designed especially for us, so that we will continue to grow, and become who we are becoming.
Our life is a reflection of who we are becoming. So it’s important to live our life to the fullest, and have an open Heart.
No matter what happens, no matter if we can get rejected or hurt.
Nobody is able to maintain the state of happiness while running away from what life has to offer.
REMEMBER: OUR SUBCONSCIOUS rules 90% of our thinking and behavior. It is responsible for our habits, emotions, automatic reactions, defensive mechanisms etc., which may keep you stuck in unwanted situations in life. You can reprogram your subconscious and get rid of the negative patterns stopping you from Living The Life You Want.
“I can feel the forward motion of my Mind, Body and Emotions as I breathe in today’s air. I can focus with ease on anything that is joyous or important to me. I know that where I am going in my life, I will find more of the valuable experiences and rewards I can give to myself.”
“Today, I am awakening in me the knowledge that I am the true creator of my life experience, since I have control of the focus of my thoughts. My personal Power over my life is greater than that of my environment, employers, government, relationships, or anything. I can progress and thrive under any and all conditions.” – From the award-winning book “365 (+1) Affirmations to Create a Great Life” by Johanna Kern.
Johanna Kern, multiple award-winning author and transformational teacher, has extensive experience in counseling people on life and career paths, spirituality, health and emotional problems, relationships and family issues.
Drawing from her experience and knowledge from over 20 years as a successful professional and counsellor, she has designed a special program included in her award-winning book “365 (+1) Affirmations to Create a Great Life”: an easy step-by-step method for overcoming subconscious programming and improving any life situation.
She recorded also a series of CDs to be listened to in a state of deep relaxation, while she is guiding the listeners through the process of reprogramming their subconscious.
These or similar tools are very effective and you can find what will suit your preferences and needs.
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