I had one of my readers reach out to me recently who asked me to make a post about rejection. She said she had read some articles online about it but felt frustrated that there was little information or tools about how to move past feeling rejected.
Rejection is defined as: to refuse to accept, submit to or make use of. The roots of rejection run deep. We often believe what we’re feeling in a moment is the result of that actual moment or situation. I believe rejection is rooted deep in our childhood and often family of origin stuff. Sadly, those feelings that we learned early on, hover over us like a cloud throughout our lives and every relationship we experience. The opposite of rejection is acceptance.
Being rejected sucks. It hurts, and many times we allow those feelings to define us. Instead of saying to ourselves, “I feel rejected.” we believe the story that “I am rejected.”. We all live in a story. It may be that romantically someone doesn’t want to be with you. It could be that your employer doesn’t see your value or contribution. The weird thing is until we become aware that it’s the story we’re telling ourselves, we fall victim to it over and over.
Maybe you really were rejected as an adult. Maybe you didn’t get what you needed as a child. The good news is you don’t have to live there. You don’t have to be rejected and let it be who you are. How do we change the story?
The first step to overcoming anything in our emotional lives is to notice it. Yep, there it is. That feeling. I notice it. I see it. I feel it.
Step 2 is to acknowledge that we are powerless over others. There’s nothing you can do or say that will change the way someone treats you, speaks to you or thinks of you. Say out loud, “I am powerless over this person or situation.”.
Step 3 is to change the internal dialogue. What is the story you are telling yourself? It may even help to write this out. I feel unlovable. I feel unworthy. I feel rejected. Then, replace the story with a new one.
How do we change the story?
It starts with waking up to what you’re believing about yourself.
YOU ALONE have the power to change the story. This is where the practical steps come into play. When you notice that icky feeling, say out loud to yourself, “I see you rejection.” Then next I would recommend several deep breaths, put your hand over your heart and change the story. Say out loud, multiple times, “I accept you. I’m not leaving. I’m here for you. I love you no matter what.”
Sounds simple, but I promise it’s powerful. You don’t do it once. You say it over and over. It’s a practice. You say it in the car. You say it while looking in the mirror. You say it when your thoughts are swimming as you lay in bed at night.
I believe no one wants to be in pain anymore. We drink, take pills, watch tv, have sex, go shopping or stay ridiculously busy. We are doing ourselves a huge disservice. Pain is telling us something needs attention. We need attention.
No one on this earth will love you the way you alone can love yourself. If you reject parts of yourself, you unknowingly give other people permission to do the same.
It has been my experience that when I love all the parts of me that I think are unlovable I become empowered to rise above the rejection. That is the power of self-love. It takes practice. Will you join me?