Three little words that may change your life… afraid of rejection.

April 29, 2014

Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences or phrases (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence or phrase that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.

I read a story today from one of the real estate news feeds that I get that reported that many would-berejected buyers, especially first-time buyers are sitting on the sidelines right now because they don’t believe that they could succeed if they applied for a mortgage. They haven’t tried, but they’ve read all of the newspaper reports and seen the stories on TV about how hardline the mortgage companies have become; so they are frozen in their tacks because they are  afraid of rejection.

Boy, do those three little words bring back memories all the way back to high school and spending prom night without a date, or walking home alone from the bar in college (and later in life) or even being reluctant to interview for the job that I wanted or to ask for the raise that I deserved. Or how about later in life not asserting a point of view in a conversation or not bidding on that house that you really love; all because you were afraid of rejection.

Fear of rejection or of failure tends to limit what you try in the first place, so it limits your potential for success and that is the greatest danger of all. The fear is usually about the unknown, since there would be no reason to worry and fret if you knew the outcome already. The unknown plays terrible tricks on our minds because it allows us to mentally explore all possible outcomes and we tend as humans to focus upon the negative alternatives. Good motivational coaches would work with you  to turn that around and tell you to focus upon visualizing the best outcomes to avoid being afraid of rejection.

In an earlier post titled Just do it, I talked of not letting fear uncertainty and doubt about something keep you from doing that thing. That post was more oriented towards trying new things and taking turtlerisks. One of the risks that life throws at us is the risk of rejection. You may have finally worked up the courage to ask that pretty girl that you’ve been admiring to the dance and then you get rejected. So what? You may have finally gone in to see the boss about that job opening in the department and got rejected. So what? You may have displayed your art at a show or fair and nor had a single buyer. So what? You’re still standing. The only blood spilled was that of your ego taking a hit. You’ll still be here tomorrow and tomorrow may present another chance; and, if not then, maybe the next day will be your day. You can’t be like a turtle and pull back into your shell from life because you are afraid of rejection.

Stuff happens. Rejection happens. Life goes on. In fact I challenge you to stop and think for a minute when rejection happens – Did that hurt as much as you feared  it would or was it really just disappointing? Did all of the terrible things that you had imagined come to pass or did the moment pass without all of that drama?  Did you go into whatever it was with a positive attitude or were you thinking,anxious “I’ll probably get rejected,” from the get go.  If you can admit to yourself that you went into it with that negative attitude then you’ll know what to work on for the next time. And, there will be a next time – a time when you won’t be afraid of rejection.

That’s the next thing that you’ll realize if you stop and think about it is – it didn’t kill me; I’m still here;  I’ll have another chance. If you can get to that point mentally, you’re on your way to where you really want to be – that place where you boldly go ahead with your dreams and plans. You’ll get there once you’ve been knocked down a few times and realize that you got back up and went on. You’ll get to that place of self-confidence because you’ve looked it in the eye, you got back up and you are no longer afraid of rejection.

Congratulations when you get to the mental place that you need to be at; you have discovered self –confidence. Self-confidence isn’t blind, stupid belief that you can do anything (we have the Jackass facing new daymovie franchise for that) but rather a logical and calculated belief, based upon experiences, that you can accomplish great things because you are not afraid to try. You have reached that state where, as  Nelson Mandela said, “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny” and you are no longer afraid of rejection.

Go for it!

Dealing with rejection…

February 19, 2014

rejectionWe all want to be loved, to be friends, to be accepted; however there are times that we are rejected, that someone may not want to be friends or may not accept the love that you have to offer. That can be tough to deal with for most. Once you have opened yourself up enough to express love or the desire for friendship with someone else, their rejection of that affection can seem devastating. Part of the reaction that you may have is embarrassment at having been rejected and part is anger at them and at yourself; and part is probably self-doubt. Does this make you a loser? How could they reject you? How could you allow yourself to be vulnerable to a rejection like that? It’s all very raw and emotional and frustrating and maddening at the same time.

It’s time for a “So, what!”  So, what if they didn’t want to be your friend? So, what if they rejected the love that you thought that you had for them? Did you keel over and die? No!  You’re still standing. You may be flushed with embarrassment right now or feeling very hurt; but you’re still here. Rejection hurts; but, it does not kill. You now have to find your way through a very complex set of emotions and feelings and get past this. Start with “So, what.”

We’ve mentioned that you may be embarrassed. Well, at least that moment has passed. Hopefully you sayyes-no something to yourself like, “damned that was embarrassing, but not as bad as that time when… (put your funniest memory of an embarrassing moment here)”.  Sure you’ll also be mad and maybe you’ll even need to express that out loud (but maybe not in public). Go into a room or closet by yourself and shout it out a few times. Maybe you’ll feel hurt by the rejection. That’s a hurt that will take a little time to heal, but maybe you can put a Band-Aid on it by giving yourself a little treat – a cookie or a chocolate is a good start, but don’t go on an eating binge.

One thing not to do is to withdraw completely from others and keeping this all inside. You need to be able to let it go, to say “So, What” and move on. Rose Gumbo in the newspaper cartoon A Rose is a Rose uses her “leaning tree” sometimes to deal with things. She has a favorite tree that she goes and leans against as she thinks about things. The tree is really just a symbol of having something or somebody that you can lean on in times of need. For many that something is their faith and for them that someone may be their pastor. For many it may be a sister or brother with whom you can share you innermost feelings. A few may have a BFF who really is a best friend with whom they can commiserate. Find you leaning tree.

Another thing not to do is to seek comfort in drinking or drugs. Neither really provides any real relief. Walking around in a fog of alcohol or drugs does nothing good for you and may just get you further into you own personal “Dungeon of Resentment” – another of Rose Gumbo’s symbolic places to go when things go wrong. In the case of drugs and alcohol you’re really not trying to help the situation (and yourself), so much as to run away from it. There are no answers or solutions in that bottle or syringe.

It is important that a rejection in life as in business not be taken so personally that you turn against yourself. Maybe it was  something that you did or said that lead to the rejection, but that doesn’t mean that you need to beat yourself to a pulp over it. Learn from it. Don’t do that next time (and there will always be a next time) you are in a similar situation.

eight ballJust as you shouldn’t spend the rest of your life thinking that the person who rejected you is to blame; you also shouldn’t end up concluding that you are somehow to blame. Michigan is a no-fault state for auto insurance,perhaps it should be a no-fault state for rejection as well. Let go of blame. It happened. So, what. Who really cares about blame? How will assigning blame fix anything?

Some more positive things you might try include exercise. Get on that treadmill at the local “Y” or gym and walk and walk until you have walked all of the anger out of your system. If you really have a lot of anger that needs exorcising, sign up for one of the kick-boxing or boxing workout classes at the gym. You may end up being healthier, too. Try something new, like signing up for a class in something that you’ve always wanted to do.

“The good and the bad things are part of life. Accept it. The bad is a learning process, you will surpass it. If you do you will be happy and it will be a good thing.” ― Ann Marie Aguilar