We spent a lot of our time trying to fit in. I realized after much experience of failing at it, I was not very good at fitting in. Maybe I was just going after the wrong things or perhaps I truly didn’t fit in. It feels incredibly painful to be rejected and you easily start to question yourself when it happens. I was just trying to fit in, do what everyone else was doing and yet it wasn’t working.
Rejection is a powerful thing. I react one of two ways when being rejected. The first is usually an anger burst that I’ll show them they made the wrong choice and prove them wrong about me. The second is the emotional sad, pain depression of it all. Neither served me well. Some would say being rejected is a sign you’re not among your people or pursuing the wrong thing in life. Maybe that’s true. Sometimes it is right. I have learned however it is also the aspect of peeling through to our true self. Not so much in the pursuit of finding others so we are included but rather in uncovering who we really are and how that experience of rejection is going to be used to shape us.
In my business of selling essential oils and natural products, I get rejected, ghosted, stood up, Karen memed and more. Rejection is tough all the time but when it is tied to money it takes on a new dimension. In sales training they tell you it means there’s a yes coming closer and to keep going. It also means you may need to refine your ideal customer and target someone closer to that for a yes. I’ve come to see the rejection as about them than me. It isn’t that I targeted the wrong person or even am doing anything incorrectly, but rather it is about them, not me. Changing the view there helped me to realize more realistically how rejection isn’t a me problem in other areas of my life as well.
Being told no or not getting a response at all on a job application is common. In my recent job search I applied for over 200 positions in a matter of a couple weeks with most not even giving me an interview before sending out the no thanks email response. Like my small business, the rejection tied to money can be hard hitting to our morale. We all need money to live and being told no can quickly put us in the desperation mode of responding. Understanding this helped to not take it personally but more deeply it helped me strategize my next move to represent what I really wanted. I also realized it was their loss not mine.
Taking control of rejection to be able to see it as another’s limitation instead of my own changed the game. It wasn’t that I wasn’t worthy, capable or knowledgeable. Quite the opposite was true. What rejection mostly is about is intimidation or lack of information. For example, in my small business, perhaps the information I shared with the person wasn’t what they were looking for so they said no. Perhaps my resume to the job I applied for didn’t represent what the reader thought they understood about me. Neither is wrong but it is a disconnection of communication that resulted in the rejection. Accepting that helped me begin the journey of being me instead of fitting in to someone else’s view of me.
It takes a great deal of bravery to stand out as yourself. There is so much scrutiny by ourselves as well as others that make it a very intimidating event. Yet doing exactly that makes rejection seem trivial and we are able to see more clearly where we want to go, what we want in our life and fitting in to some else’s view of that is much less important. From jobs, sales to friends this changes how we see rejection. It becomes more of our own journey to becoming our best self than a version that fits into someone else’s definition.
I think too often we pursue things that we think we want because we see someone else’s success. We see their inclusion into things that we think we want as well. It feels good to be recognized and included. Those feelings are so strong they drive us to do things that sometimes are not an exact fit for who we really are. Getting real about that helps us get to the things, friends and situations that are best for us and that we don’t have to struggle to achieve. It comes more naturally when we are aligned to that journey that it is about us not them. A rejection in that process means there is not a door closing but rather an opportunity to refine who we are and go after what we really want.
As I searched for a new job this past spring it was challenging to keep that idea in mind. I was in a horrible situation at my current job and I wanted to not have that drama in my work life every day. Rejection and rejection came in through my email and at one point I caught myself asking if it was me that was the problem! Not that I am perfect at all but when we start to question ourselves over someone else’s subjective opinion we set ourselves up for falling into the expectations of others instead of our own. My expectations of myself couldn’t be based on that anymore or I would simply end up in more horrible jobs with asshole bosses that were abusive.
It is a bit like standing up for yourself. You have to be your own advocate in life and from there you have the choice to follow what someone else guides you on or choose your own path. In the emergence of my true self I have found choosing my own path has led me to happier situations in not only my small business but my job and friendships as well. When you are yourself in all situations it is much easier to draw the right energy to you than trying to constantly fit into someone else’s limited view of you.
It is not always easy I will tell you. We are so engrained with this idea of fitting in to be accepted that it makes us do and pursue crazy things. Learning to catch yourself falling into that thinking again is the beginning of learning to be yourself and the wonderful experience it can be to find things perfect for you.
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