Rejection is something EVERYONE faces, probably every day. Every time you offer someone your heart and hand in friendship, there is the possibility that for whatever reason, they may not reach back to you. And there is an equivalency between your ability to accept rejection/failure and your rate of successful endeavors.
Facing one’s FEAR of rejection and going through it is a good thing. You had a positive result? That will build to the next positive result.
But what if you are frozen in your fear?
How many times in my life have I allowed fear of rejection to sway my decision to proceed? How many times have I let fear of success overwhelm me and stop my forward movement? How long will we allow other people’s picture of who we are make our decisions?
Prior to and alongside my art/garden design/horticulture interests, I have training in ECE— Early Childhood Education with nearly a degree in Child Development. It’s one of the projects I let MY fear of SUCCESS stop me from completing. This was one of the places I allowed someone else’s idea of who I was to rule the day.
I have been a child advocate in varying circumstances for 30 years. Mostly though, that part of my education helped me raise some pretty wonderful kids.
Why is what your parents and family think of you so important? What kind of hold do they have on us?
Fear of rejection is something pretty deeply built into us on an instinctive level. Early in life it’s what makes us want to please our parents/tribe. Yes, most of us love our parents and we naturally work to please them. But their approval of us is what helps assure our survival.
As a child, if we are physically abandoned there is a distinct possibility that we might die. If we are abandoned on the mental or emotional levels, a part of us MAY die or be severely crippled.
The essential feeling though, is that WE WILL DIE. Anyone who has abandonment issues can attest to the powerful nature of those feelings. And I’m not sure I know anyone who doesn’t face at least some abandonment issues.
So, we carry forward that fear of death and we do whatever we have to to survive. We are built to survive. And whatever gets us through, we carry on with… until we find a better way.
That is what we’re working on now: finding a better way. We are working on becoming whole, healthy humans being. Yes Penelope, I meant to write — humans being.
How to get there?
Have you ever been around a baby that is learning to walk? How do people respond to that child?
They get cheers. Good boy, keep going. Atta girl. You’re on your way.
In no instance on the first, second, or fifteenth attempt to walk does anyone say WOW! You have that down. You are a perfect walker now.
No, children learning to walk are encouraged to keep trying until they have enough control over their feet, arms and other body parts to successfully circumnavigate their world.
What if our parents and those who surround us responded like that to each new step we take on this adventure of our life? What a difference it would make.
This is what I am receiving from my community. Encouragement to keep trying — even when I fall. I know it’s okay to get back up and try again. And believe me, I’ve fallen many times in my life. But I keep going.
How many of you have family who tell you not to set your sights too high — because they don’t want you to be disappointed? It’s out of love of course. YEAH, right. They just don’t believe you can walk, let alone run. A couple of things at work there. One is that it might force them to change. You might grow beyond them and just watch the process of homeostasis in action. Everyone else has to change. Even if it’s just their opinion of who they believe you are. Sometimes your family and close friends will fight the changes you are making in your life, tooth and nail.
Isn’t it better to try and fall short, than to never try? If we learned to walk using that kind of discouragement we’d all be serious cripples. In what areas of your life are you crippled?
And what are we learning about the body/mind connection? Body/mind/spirit all tied together? We are learning to heal crippled aspects of our lives.
People who have known you a long time have a picture of who they think you are. But perhaps that picture is no longer true. Or you have a desire to make changes in your life. You want to change the picture.
This is where finding a new tribe… a group or community, can aid in your growth. This is why it’s important to gather those who see who you are at your core, people who believe in your brilliance, people who are open to the possibility of change.
You need friends, mentors, loved ones who will be authentic. People who will support who you are becoming and can help you stand back up, without tearing you apart and discouraging you from continuing to move forward.
Believe in your self and find people who believe in you.
The best — absolutely best thing I remember my father ever telling me was — I don’t know what to tell you, but I have confidence you will figure this out.