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Ep #46

A Reflection on Rejection

How many times have you put yourself out there, asked for a promotion, or asked for a number? Now, how many times have you stopped yourself and talked yourself out of asking for what you want? My guess is, if you’re like most of my clients, that you’ve rejected yourself far more times than anyone else has rejected you.

The thing about rejection, Renegades, is that we are all going to face it. You can’t avoid it, so the sooner you face it the better. Why not get curious about the feeling of rejection and what you’re making it mean about you? And get really curious about why you’re rejecting yourself ahead of time.

Tune in today where I’m sharing why avoiding rejection is both normal and common, and why it doesn’t have to mean anything about you. Renegades, you spend so much time questioning if you’re good enough and making rejection mean you’re not. I’m inviting you to inquire and seek so you can reveal your own thoughts about rejection. It’s time to practice hitting the ejection button on rejection.

What You Will Discover:

  • Why it’s normal to avoid feeling rejected.
  • How we reject ourselves ahead of time.
  • Why rejection from others may not have anything to do with you.
  • What happens when you start putting yourself out there to be rejected.
  • How rejection is a feeling caused by a thought.

Resources Mentioned:

Enjoy the Show?

Renegades,

How are you? I am doing really well. Enjoying the fact that my kids are home doing school online. That I get to steal some extra time with them this year. The weather is starting to cool down. My client list is growing. I’ve been saying no to things that, though one part of me wants to play, the other part of me knows it’s not serving my bigger picture. I’m choosing who I want to be and I’m making it happen. And even when that isn’t easy, it feels good. It feels good to be conscious of what you want and who you want to be and go for it. I want to stress conscious here; when you are planning deliberately and are aware you witness your discomfort but know that it’s not just happening to you- this uncomfortable feeling- you know that you are choosing this path. So even when you are swimming in the river of suck, you are prepared for it and know where you are heading.

Anytime we have decided to set a goal, go after the job or pursue a new relationship- with someone else or ourselves we want to prepare ourselves somewhat for the fact that the journey or the process is going to be uncomfortable. Because you are going to experience feelings. Feelings Renegades. The reason we do or don’t do anything in our life times.

And there is one feeling that I’ve noticed all my clients try to avoid- be it my client who hired me to help her get her voice back and not worry about what others think, to my client who is building their real estate business and is learning how to ask for business to my client who had his heart broken and is back out in the dating world; it’s rejection.

No one wants to feel rejected. So much so that most of my clients and you and me try to reject ourselves before anyone else can reject us.

Seriously, How many times have you been rejected?

Give this a think. How many times have you put yourself out there; asked for the promotion, someones number, asked for your lover to do that thing that turns you on, made a proposal to your team and were told no?

No ask yourselves how many times you have had an idea to start a business ask for someones number or the promotion but didn’t go for it. Or decided not to tell your partner what turns you on and talked yourself out of it? Thought about running the marathon and talked yourself right out of it?

Rejected yourself ahead of time?

I bet the amount of times you’ve rejected yourself far outweighs the number of times you been rejected by someone or something externally.

We don’t pursue our passion project because we fear we won’t make money and we will lose money. We skip out on romantic relationships because we are scared of it not working out and being hurt. We deny ourselves the ask because the idea of being told no is unbearable and well, we do be kind of comfortable where we are.

And so we sit, not evolving not asking, not growing and never knowing who are what we can be. Instead we stay comfortable at basecamp, admiring the summit from below. Thinking I bet It’s beautiful from up there, but it’s too dangerous. The climb unpredictable.
And we fail ahead of time.

Guess what Renegades? Nothing has gone wrong here. We as humans are designed to stay safe in the cave. This response is not only text book, but predictable. Gawd, I loathe both. Oh, did I just say that out loud?
Sorry. Anyway;
The idea of putting yourself out there is scary to your brain. It triggers fear; Our brain perceives rejection as dangerous and at its worst, death.

But there is another fold of rejection- it’s a double whammy if you will. We are also wired for tribal connection. We needed the tribe to protect us. Group safety was essential to survival. That wiring hasn’t changed AND we have reinforced this belief in society- one that says you need approval from others, not only do we get validation from being seen and accepted, but our brains tell us this is good. You are safe…
But what happens when you are interested in someone and they are interested in someone else?
Or you aren’t in the quote un quote cool group and find yourself being rejected from your people?
You go for the new job and are told no.
You decide to start a business, but find out right away that it’s not all yes’s and free flowing cash.
Your brain tells you you’re fucked. You aren’t good enough. You don’t know how to do these things.
Our brain equates rejection to our worth.

I was thinking about rejection recently when a client was telling me she doesn’t set goals even though she’d love a house in Europe. I asked her why she doesn’t set goals or have the desire to buy the house in Europe? She said she never follows through and besides; what if she gets the house in Europe but doesn’t have a boyfriend or friends and she’s just there alone all the time. How horrible would that be?!

I said, isn’t it amazing that you have the means to have the house in Europe and your brain offered you thoughts about being alone there, so you just abandoned ship? Our brain will do all the future forecasting and I can assure you, if you aren’t directing it and asking it the questions it will lead you absolutely fucking no where.

I said, Okay, that’s one way it could go down. You could buy a house in Europe and be alone- which isn’t the worst thing if we talk that through but what if, since we know you don’t want to be alone, you plan ahead of time to have friends come and visit. Plan work retreats there? Meet people in the community. Invite Lovers. If this is our brains obstacle, let’s come up with strategies rather than rejecting our dream of having a house in Europe.

Renegades. Y’all need to start answering all these questions your brain offers. You just let the good times roll straight into doom and gloom.

Or what about those times in relationships where you’ve been interested in someone and they chose someone else. How much time did you spend questioning what was wrong with you? Why you weren’t good enough? What did you do or not do to make them not pick you?

It recently occurred to me that what if it had nothing to do with the person who wasn’t chosen but instead it was about the two people who chose one another? What if they were meant to be? That they were experiencing a love and relationship that was all about them and had nothing to do with anyone or anything else. How wonderful is that? That even though someone wasn’t meant to be with this person that the other was and they were experiencing what so many of us want. The feeling of falling in love.
All of that is to say, if we can focus less on why we weren’t chosen and trying to find out what’s wrong with us we can instead choose to be happy for 2 people who did find it together. Or maybe you don’t want to be happy for them but rather than making it mean all the painful things that hurt you you choose to think about something else.

Lastly, starting a business. This one is my favorite because I can’t tell you how many people I know that want to start their own business and don’t - they are afraid they will lose their money. They worry no one will hire them. That no one will like their product.
The question remains the same; What will you make it mean if you lose money?

Remember; circumstances are neutral. Losing money is neutral. You’re arguing that right now, but it’s true. If you took 10 people who all lost 100k from starting a business they would all have a different thoughts and feelings about it depending on what a 100k means to them and depending on what they make the loss mean.
I was listening to an interview with James r Doty talk about losing 80 million dollars following the Dotcom bubble and he was bankrupt over night. It turned out he had made a donation of 30million to a charity before that and the lawyers had never filed the paperwork. Meaning, he had 30 million dollars available if he wanted. His attorneys were like, we will send it right over. And he thought about it, the money, who he was and wanted to be and what it meant to him, what his life had meant to him with all the money and; and he donated all of it to the charities.
By the by, this information was accidentally leaked. He didn’t tell anyone about it.
And he didn’t make becoming bankrupt mean anything bad about him. Needless to say, he’s an anomaly AND of course has made money again.

The thing about rejection Renegades is that we are all going to experience it in life. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you will eventually have to face it. And I say the sooner you do, the better. You want to know you can experience the feeling of rejection and practice not making it mean you suck.

It’s important for you to understand all the ways rejection comes up for you and more importantly, all the ways you are trying to avoid experiencing it.

There is some valuable information for you to mine through.

You want to be clear where you are rejecting yourself and failing ahead of time and where you are letting the thoughts of what others will think of you and using that as a way to reject yourself. Often times our desire for approval of others is so high that we aren’t willing to risk putting ourselves out there because of fear of rejection.

In order to gain approval of yourself you are going to have to risk not getting it from other people

David Sedaris tells this story about how he was on the train in Paris and he was staring at this woman’s bag and the man with her said, in French, hold on to your bag. This man is eyeing it and wants to steal it.
Little did they know that David Sedaris speaks French but instead of telling them that he wasn’t interested in stealing it- that he’s not a thief- he let them believe what they wanted. He found that more interesting than the need to explain himself. What’s more is that he makes it a point to let you know he was looking at the bag because he found it utterly distasteful.

He’s had similar experiences outside of London where he’s lived part time. I guess it’s a small country town and he likes to pick up trash and go for long walks and read cue cards with different words and their meanings on them. He is known as the town crazy. No one knows he is quite the famous writer and public speaker and he sees no need to inform them otherwise.

He lets people reject him. He does’t make it mean anything about him. He knows who he is and is okay with it. He’s actually quite entertained allowing the alternative narrative to play out.

It reminds me of that saying, “I know you are but what am I?” The thoughts and ideas that we have about others says nothing of those individuals we are talking about, but instead of us. And perhaps it’s something within us that thinks if we are rejecting people and ideas to the outside world by judging someone else we are staying safe. Letting people know there is no need to reject me, I’m like you, but if you are thinking it well, then on some level you are experiencing it.

Part of a psilocybin ceremony earlier this year, part of it was about how cruel society and people are. How quick we will cast out members of society and judge them based on what we think we know. You see it on social media. Cancel culture. People getting together and sitting around talking about other people. Judging them.
I’ve decided that this isn’t so personal and that it’s this tribal way of being. Of needing to belong. To be part of something. If you’re not doing and saying what we are then you’re out. You’re a threat. People feel safe in their stories and identities. It’s alarming to me how many will sit at the table and drink the kool aid.

There was a time when I cared what people said and thought about me. Deeply. And the shit that i’ve did in order to maintain status quo with my family friends and community - to not be rejected from the tribe was absolutely fucking bananas.
I don’t have a ton of friends now but the people in my life know who I am. I don’t lie and say I”d be happy to do that thing so that you won’t not be my friend. Or find a husband to marry so I don’t burn in hell. I’m willing to risk being rejected to be me.

And I know I’m not for everyone.

I mean, do I think you’re a little crazy for not liking me? Of course I do? I’m pretty fucking rad. But hey, you get to choose and you’re the one missing out. This makes me think of Byron Katie. When she enters a room she says; Everyone here loves me. They just don’t know it yet. Subscribe people!

When I produce content, I know some will criticize it. There is nothing wrong with that in my mind. It doesn’t say anything about me or my work. It just says it’s not for you.

But a lot of you struggle with this. Needing to be accepted by everyone around you. I really can’t think of a more exhausting job or greater buzz kill- trying to please all the people. You are sacrificing your essential self every time you don’t do the thing you want because you fear rejection. Really consider who the people are that you are worried about rejecting you, too.

Your true tribe, family community, whatever you’d like to call it - won’t reject you for doing the things that make you happy.

Once you start practicing putting yourself out there to be rejected, you find that the ‘no’s’ have nothing to do with your worth and don’t have to mean anything bad about you.

Are y’all with me? Hopefully I’m not losing the plot, but instead showing you how nuanced rejection can be.

Let’s break it down to the basics. Being rejected is a concept that comes from your thinking.

Rejection is a feeling. And all our feelings come from our thoughts. So when you are feeling rejection all you need to do is inquire, seek and you will reveal the source thought causing it. Your weekly reminder; feelings don’t come from the circumstances in your life, but your thoughts about them.

You may choose to feel rejection, but it does’t have to mean anything wrong about you. I’m not telling you to feel good about being told no, I’m offering that you don’t make it mean you’re not worth it, you don’t know how or no one’s ever gonna love you. That you don’t let the idea of others not approving stop you from going after your dreams.

Let’s go in, shall we?

Can you bring to mind a time when you were rejected? Work, Family with friends. Scan your past…

What did you think caused the feeling of rejection? Or in other words? What are you believing about yourself in this moment?

Remember, we aren’t agreeing with this moment but gathering information. It may be real but is it true?

What exactly did it feel like?

Who are you afraid might reject you now?

What would you make it mean if they rejected you?

In what ways are you rejecting yourself?

If you could plan ahead of time and create a good plan of rejection, how might you prevent it from making it means something that caused you to feel rejected?

What would you do if you didn’t need anyones approval? What might your life be like if you didn’t feel rejection?

Who might you be if you couldn’t be rejected?

Is there a message here, that you can take with you? From a clean and clear space. With love and compassion.

“Tara Brach says reconnect in to a sense of belonging. From love. When we feel inferior or superior we have lost touch of our worth and sacredness.”

Get after it Renegades. Until next week, let's practice hitting the ejection button on rejection.

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