Why Rejection Is Not About You

“Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

Reconcile With Your Self-Esteem

Your heart throbs rapidly, appearing to grow faster by the minute. In a matter of seconds the uncomfortable sensation to flee your body has taken hold. The rejection coursing through you is now palpable; a dull piercing pain in the pit of your stomach which quickly rises into your chest.

Rejection is an all too common experience many cross paths with. Notwithstanding the emotional trauma, rejection can teach us vital life lessons if we are willing to heed its call. Rejection strikes at the heart of one’s self-esteem. Our fight or flight system is activated within seconds, while the brain struggles to make sense of the situation.

Whilst I have titled this blog article rejection is not about you, one would be forgiven for thinking otherwise when caught up in the ensuing emotions. However, in owing to the theme, rejection is rarely about you and more in keeping with the person offering the rejection.

Rejection is not intended to crush your self-esteem, since the other person rarely has a complete picture of who you really are.

As we wrestle our inner battles, seldom do we consider the feelings of others. Each of us is managing their own inner demons, which is a substantial task of its own. To be mindful of other people’s feelings as well as our own can be stifling, since we have a limited understanding of what lies beneath the surface of others. What you see is not what you get as it relates to one’s emotional constitution.

In order to deal with rejection in a healthy way, it is vital that we acquire a degree of emotional intelligence. If handled with care, rejection may be reframed within an enlightened context. This does not underscore the underlying feelings which abound from being rejected. How you DEAL with rejection should be your primary motivation, since if left untreated it can embitter one’s emotional wellbeing in countless ways.

A unique approach for dealing with rejection is to consider it a process of putting yourself out there, i.e. dating, job opportunities, sporting competition, music performance, etc.

Many people regrettably turn rejection inward via a contracting self-worth. In many instances, rejection triggers unresolved childhood traumas which have not been adequately confronted. Turning the rejection inward, the recipient lays blame on oneself, believing they are lacking in some way. Invariably the person takes to dissecting their flaws and insecurities, rather than evaluate the rejection as an opportunity to move forward.

Let me be clear – rejection is not your fault. Those who are not rejected are either lying in a coffin underground or sitting at home watching the evening news as armchair critics. Our focus is to accept rejection in light of forward progress, thus creating an empowering inner dialogue.

Transform Your Inner Dialogue

Reframing rejection does not deny you of your feelings. It reasons that you transform those feelings into useful and empowering states. Rather than dwell on the rejection by ascribing it to your self-esteem, you choose to see it as part of the process of exposing yourself to new opportunities. Viewed in this context, not only do you encourage a healthy mental focus, you consent to the ensuing emotions of rejection to pass through you instead of holding on to them.

Rejection can gnaw itself within the mind and body by creating unhealthy emotions if left untreated. The tendency to be victimised and turn the rejection on oneself, lies at the heart of why rejection needs to be attended to rather than left to heal on its own.

“Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.” – Harvey Mackay

The following points are prompts to help you steer your way through rejection.

  • Oftentimes rejection is simply a way of communicating, “No thanks, this is not for me right now.” Rejection pertains to the choices of the other person. They are tending to their own needs and desires first, rather than cause others emotional distress.
  • Ask yourself the following questions to help you deal with the thoughts and feelings which accompany rejection:

“How can I turn this rejection into an empowering state?”

“Am I really being rejected or am I self-imposing unresolved emotions?”

“Who do I need to become to be more valuable to others?”

“Why do I feel hurt by these feelings of rejection?

“Is there something else beneath the surface that I must attend to?”

  • There is an aphorism that states no one can reject you unless you give them the power to do so. Therefore the only dependable way of handling rejection is to REFRAME it. Regrettably despite people’s best intentions, the use of positive thinking is of little value since it creates a DETOUR for your thoughts. You are negating thoughts associated with rejection by masking them with positive thinking. We all know that what you resist – persists.
  • Assess the rejection as an opportunity to look deep within yourself. Sometimes rejection can be a hidden blessing rerouting you to a new and better opportunity. Don’t wallow in self-pity for too long – pick up your bootstraps and continue ahead.

In closing, rejection is inevitable if we are to live a rich and authentic life. When we put ourselves on the line, rejection is an inevitable event which helps us identify our true wants and needs.

Rejection serves to remind us that at a deeper level, no one has the authority to reject us if we don’t give them power to do so.

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