Have you ever experienced the fear of rejection? Outside of the genuine fear of physical harm – this is one of four fears that can totally control us if we let it – even without it being obvious.
In other words, this fear is a sneaky little devil.
When we can be aware of where the fear of rejection plays into our decisions or actions- it is extremely freeing as it leads to self-acceptance and ultimately bold new thoughts or ways of being.
As always, one of the best ways to understand how something is affecting us is to ask some good questions of ourselves. It’s not enough to just say, “oh ya, I don’t like feeling rejected- it sucks” because that doesn’t give us enough intel yet to go on and do things differently.
We all want to belong and have connections that are strong and good- this is a core human driver. Belonging and connection absolutely bring out the best of us when we are interacting for the right reasons and we are doing it in a way that is authentic and congruent with the best of who we are.
To get to congruency though we must take our self-understanding to the next level and get into some conversations with ourselves or others and take a look at our behaviour or habits (hint: this is when you will be tempted to not face what truth comes up…)
Did I mention that when we face our truths or our fear of rejection- it is often accompanied by the sister-fears of ruin, regret, and responsibility…(which we will talk about in Part 2,3, and 4 of this series).
But first…a little of my story from my 20’s and 30’s…
I was a person who thought I knew who I was and my words and actions sometimes aligned with that picture…but I was not solid enough in knowing myself yet which led to some huge compromises in how I showed up.
I wanted to belong to my first husband’s family. I was living in Kenya, far from home, and had become determined to be accepted in that community.
I sure didn’t enjoy being pointed out as being an outsider with a funny accent -and more importantly- being judged for my level of education or my mixed-breed bloodline (which I had always been quite proud of).
Inside, I started to feel rejected and rather than stand tall, own who I was, and then LEAVE, I started to change my habits and behaviours to mimic theirs so that I could blend in.
I started to speak with an english accent. I added racist vocabulary to how I talked. I stopped speaking up about things I didn’t agree with and made what was important to them important to me.
In short, I rejected myself for them and the result was I didn’t like who I was and I stopped knowing who I was. I started to become full of conflict and living in that body and mind was torture. What I feared I actually made happen by my own hand.
BTW, it’s way easier to blame others for our downfalls and slip into being a victim. I did that for years and I don’t want that for you.
Now, you may be at this point and be wondering why I am writing about the fear of rejection- and you might even be asking ‘What in Sam’s name does this have to do with getting my health together?’
Exactly. Good question.
Let’s see if the following might be familiar to you:
You eat something that is not on your health list because you are under public, friend, family, or co-worker pressure to eat the donut/cake/etc
You don’t exercise because the kids activities ‘took precedence’ and other parents were sitting around gassing and you didn’t want to not talk to them because you might look like you were being stand-off-ish
You find yourself doing a lot of extra work or O.T. because you don’t want to appear like you are a ‘slacker’
You don’t talk about the incident you had because you don’t want the others to think you can’t handle it
You don’t say how you are feeling or address an issue to a loved one because you don’t want to make it a big deal or risk their upset
You don’t work on your health or dream in life or even talk about it because it sounds like a pipe dream and you just may be seen as ‘too ambitious’ or to be playing ‘out of your league’
You give a ton of attention and energy to the haters on social media and get caught up in all kinds of negative feelings and conversations.
Guess what, all of these have the fear of rejection running underneath. Let’s work on stopping that.
What if you asked yourself the following questions:
What would I do if I finally stopped worrying about what others think of me or I stopped trying to please everyone all of the time?
Is there someone who’s opinion has too much sway over me? What if I were to only be concerned today with holding to my own integrity and what I need to do to make my health and life awesome?
How would I speak differently to myself or what would I do differently if I accepted myself? Is there anything I am doing right now that is sabotaging the outcomes I want, or compromising myself in because I am too concerned with the acceptance of others?
Answering these questions is a powerful exercise- it is where you can gain the upper hand and create the change you want.
You can never live in regret if you face your fears and take the actions that are aligned with the health and life outcomes that you want.
If you are ready to ask the hard questions, we are ready to help you answer them and then implement the changes that those answers will require of you to create the kind of health you desire.
Let’s do it together- jump into our community or into one of our programs and let us guide you to the best health of your life.