Most of us live with a deep-seated fear of rejection. On some level we have all experienced it, and let’s face it, it hurts like hell.
Maybe it was being left out in the playground, or feeling inferior to the favourite sibling, or abandoned by a parent. Maybe we failed in exams or came last in the race.
As we move into adulthood, those rejections stay with us, affecting our behaviour and outlook on life.
Because it’s impossible to avoid rejection, we experience it again and again. As we get older, our frame of reference becomes littered with past hurts, and feelings of rejection can take on more power.
Sometimes the fear of rejection brings out anxiety, stress or depression and we avoid situations, experiences and people so that we can stay in a safe bubble of denial about what is really stopping us from moving forward.
In our determination to avoid having to deal with rejection on any level, we won't commit, we find excuses, we play safe or we self-sabotage.
In switching off who we really are, we diminish our own self-worth, we believe the hype, or allow the power of the emotion to define us. Our story becomes one of, "not quite good enough, not lovable enough, not the right fit, too loud, too quiet, too ambitious, too lazy, too emotional, too cold.
For most of my life I suppressed my sensitivity and tried to avoid situations where criticism or rejection could come my way. I became disconnected and disempowered from who I was.
I was running scared and constantly waiting for the rug to be pulled from under me, and it did...over and over again. Each time I was rejected it hurt so deeply I stepped back, retreating into myself.
The relentless signposts kept coming up, in people and situations that were forcing me to see what was going on. Each time I was being called to stand up and acknowledge what was at the heart of what was happening around me. My fear of rejection and lack of self-belief were showing up all over the place.
A perfect visual representation of what was happening inside my head was being played out in my life experiences.
And the more fearful I became, the more they showed up to remind me. It was like trying to run from my own shadow.
The realisation was not a swift one, more like being dragged kicking and screaming and finally becoming exhausted with my own story of how life was/would be for me. At that point, an acceptance of where I stood came forth.
"I am where I am - it is what it is."
There is great power in those statements. I was so tired of repeating the patterns, and seeing the same shit turn up for me, that I realised there was a turning point, and I wasn't going back.
As I reviewed my own life experiences with a new sense of detachment, I came to a rather powerful conclusion, albeit one that was glaringly obvious to those who knew and loved me.
All the rejections, all the fear and all the struggle had been my point of activation.
They had propelled me forwards, and when I finally gave in to what they were trying to show me, I acknowledged they were in fact my greatest gifts in this lifetime. For each rejection shaped the person I had now become. Each one helped me to realise what I didn't want, how I would not wish to be treated, how I wanted to see myself, and the life I wanted to lead. And that life would not be possible had I not learned and gained wisdom and insight from all those difficult and painful experiences.
My greatest fear became the foundations I built a new way of being on. The work I do is in a divisive industry, people have profound opinions on spiritual and intuitive gifts. Each time I show up for a reading, I put myself out there to be rejected. In showing the world my name, my brand and my own vulnerability I lay myself wide open to rejection. To overcome my greatest fear, I have faced it head on.
I now embrace rejection. I know that I will face rejection sometimes – we all will. But in understanding the lessons that rejection offers me, I grow closer to becoming the truest, most authentic version of myself. In a sense, rejection can be a powerful and great gift if you allow it to be.
I’d love to understand how your experiences of rejection have affected you, or taught you something about yourself. Please share your comments below. And of course, if you’re looking for ways to discover your truest self, I welcome you to book a place on my next retreat or a 1-1 intuitive reading with me.