Tuesday, September 30, 2008

how much do you fear rejection?

If you were to track the daily happenings that flatten people's emotions, you would likely find rejection at the core. The sore feelings that accompany such thoughts as, "Why did my friend brush me off this morning?" or "My husband is watching TV when he should be paying attention to me!".

Yet feelings of rejection are very real. I used to feel it… my heart became numb, my mind already closed, and I had already accepted the fact that i was about to be rejected again. Fear of rejection is having your little mind inside your head imagining all sorts of ways that others may reject you. One of the reasons why rejection can cause us so much suffering is that in our minds we often tie rejection to so many other ugly words that cause us even more pain. Humiliated. Inadequate. Useless. Loser. Not good enough. Pathetic.

Fear of rejection can strike in many areas. Love, life, work, choosing friends.

If you are terrified of rejection, you may have thoughts like, “My self worth depends totally on whether other people approve of me and accept me. If people do not approve of me, I’ll be completely devastated and feel horrible because it means I’m worthless. If anyone rejects me it means that probably everyone will continue to reject me my whole life.”

Fear of rejection can come from many sources; from being rejected as a child, or feeling abandoned or unloved, and in addition, people often spend a lot of time looking for, and finding, 'evidence' to support their idea that they are being rejected… A partner talking to someone else can be transformed from an innocent chat into a 'sure sign' that they are about to leave you. Lack of contact from a friend can lead to feelings of anxiety and anger as you assume they don't want to spend time with you. The most important thing to understand about fear of rejection is that it is driven by emotion.

The key to understanding fear of rejection is recognizing that this fear is driven by emotion (what you feel) rather than thought. People often mistakenly attribute their fear of rejection to their thoughts about what the behaviour of other people means.

I never use to understand this. I use to think it was me. I assumed people saw right thru me and judged me for it, which reinforced that feeling in me and kept me in a constant lock and key status, and fed my insecurities even greater.

But seriously, whats the worst thing that can happen? Someone looks at me and says no? Ok well that sucks but hey I know I cant please everyone. Not everyone has the same thoughts, ideas and perceptions as me, and I now accept that. Not everyone has to like me and that’s fine. Over time I have grown a lot and I am so proud of myself for the risks I have taken and the times Ive put myself out there. I haven’t always gotten the answer I was hoping for but I can at least be proud of myself for taking the chance.

I wouldnt say ive totally overcome my fear of rejection, but ive realized that roughly over the last year ive made HUGE progress in getting over my fear taking chances and putting myself out there like I never would have before. I put my heart on the line numerous times more then words can explain, and every step along the way I was terrified to be turned down and get hurt but ive taken my chances and risked so much that ive come to the point where I can say that even if things dont work out how I want, at least I did everything I could of done and took every chance I had available.

For excellent resource reading I highly recommend this:

The Root Cause

Help Overcome Ocd, Phobia, Panic Attacks, Depression And Fear Of Rejection, From An Ex-sufferers Point Of View.

Confidence Building

Learn The Secrets To Acquiring A Genuinely Resolute Confidence And Self-belief To Tackle Many Of Lifes Challenges, Such As, Competing, Meeting New People, Making Friends, Flirting, Public Speaking, Charm & Magnetism, Handling Rejection Etc.