Do the thing you fear most over and over again and what do you know it’s not scary any more!
We’re hard wired to experience rejection in the brain as though we’re experiencing a physical would. It hurts! It lowers self esteem and triggers aggressive and angry behaviour. Learn how to invite the fear of rejection in to build resilience and immunity to its pain. It will enable you to stop being held back in life and progress into areas you desire with self worth and the knowledge that you are enough exactly as you are.
Rejection is something that we are always going to experience across our lifetimes, and it can be anything from romantic rejection through to not getting the job that we wanted, through to rejection from our children when they don’t buy into our own personal belief system. So it’s inevitably going to hit us at certain points in our lives. And the thing with rejection is it’s always going to stimulate some sort of response. It’s going to affect us emotionally, it’s going to affect our thinking and it’s going to affect our behaviour.
The Brain Experiences Emotional Wounds Just Like Physical Ones
Now, interestingly, neuroscientists have identified that the area of the brain that is activated when we experience rejection is actually the same area that’s activated when we experience a physical wound. So it’s no wonder that it has a really deep impact on us. And actually, this isn’t by accident because it’s all to do with our primeval brain. When we were part of a prehistoric community and part of a tribe, the risk of being ostracized by our tribe and sent out into the wilderness alone was huge. It was very unlikely that we’d be able to survive alone.
So we were meant to respond to the threat of rejection with real acute fear. We’ve been designed this way to actually feel rejection very, very deeply and intensely. But that doesn’t make it any better and it doesn’t make life any easier. So I wanted to share with you some coping strategies for when it is that we are feeling rejected, because the way that we are going to respond to rejection quite often involves a momentary sense of anger, escalating perhaps to aggression.
Things Happen When We Feel The Sting of Rejection
1. We start to blame other people.
It’s their fault, it’s their loss, and we can become quite aggressive in our behavior.
2. Self-esteem Lowers
Conversely, or perhaps simultaneously, we can feel a real lowering of self esteem. We start to feel very unworthy. We start to feel that actually it’s our fault. And actually we deserved that rejection.
Detach and Observe
So a way of coping with this potential aggression or this real loss of self esteem is by getting into a place of observing how you respond to rejection and starting to invite those fair moments where rejection might occur in such a way where you build up an immunity to how you deal with rejection.
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I’ve been reading a book recently written by psychologist Harriet Lerner, and she’s written a brilliant book, which she wrote 20 years ago called ‘Fear and Other Uninvited Guests : Tackling the Anxiety, Fear, and Shame That Keep Us from Optimal Living and Loving’.
Lerner talks about building up an immunity to rejection by exposing ourselves healthily, by taking these healthy risks to obtain rejection until we get to the point where actually it doesn’t hurt us anymore.