In most cases, the degree to which we fear rejection is sort of Other-Than-Consciously calculated by a combination of two factors:
- What we imagine the likelihood of being rejected in the future is and
- What we figure our experience of such a rejection is likely to be.
People usually calculate the likelihood of being rejected in the future based on what they think about what they perceive to be the rejections in their personal history.
At the same time, we tend to forecast what our experience of any future rejections is likely to be based on what our experience of perceived rejections has been in the past.
For example: if you perceive your personal history as being replete with instances of painful personal rejection, and if your experiences of being rejected (as well as the cumulative experience of being rejected as many times as you feel that you have) have been traumatic, you may be likely to conclude that devastating rejections are an intrinsic aspect of you Personal Destiny and they will Believe, Perceive, Focus, Feel, Behave, and Create accordingly.
As far as I can tell, when we fear rejection, usually what we are really afraid of is what we assume our EXPERIENCE of being rejected will be.
It isn’t being told “No” that worries us, but rather the experience of being cut down, gutted, discarded, turned out, or thrown away that we create in reaction to that “No” that we are trying so desperately to guard against.
Ultimately, the Fear of Rejection is a manifestation of an even deeper, Pattern-Level Fear: the Fear of Disappointment.
The Fear of Rejection is a fear that we will put ourselves out there, both in the real world and in our own heart and mind, that we will believe in ourselves and in other people and in the possibility of the things that we long for, and that when that belief is met with contradiction that we will experience that awful, shrill heckling of our Inner and Outer Critics.
In many cases, the Fear of Rejection comes down to a fear of the feeling that sickening sensation of anger, futility, and shame that we evoke from ourselves with the critical voice of our Inner Parent who says things like
“See? I told you that you weren’t good enough.”
“What did you expect? You knew no one would ever REALLY like you, ha-ha!”
Often this boils down to a fear of making a fool of ourselves by our own estimation by trying or pretending to be something that we worry deep down that we are not: worthy, capable, lovable, good, etc.
As is so often the case, you might be painting yourself into a disempowering corner by assuming that what you fear is something outside of your control (rejection) when what you’ve really been fearing (the experience you associate with being rejected) is (or could be) brought totally under your control.
So, if you’re on board with the idea that rejection itself might not be so bad, and that maybe (just maybe!) it’s the experience of being rejected that you’ve always had (and probably assume you always will have), let’s take a look at what that experience is made of so you can do something about improving it!
Your experience of rejection, and really of anything (positive or negative) that happens in your life has A LOT (approximately everything) to do with Meaning Assignment.
Meaning Assigning is simply what you decide that a given situation, or piece of feedback, or life event means to you, for you, about you, about other people, about the world about what possible, about what’s not possible, etc.
The simple formula for illustrating the function and power of Meaning Assignment is:
Stuff (Good, Bad, Indifferent) Happening
The Meanings We Give To It
Our Experience of the Personal Significance of That Stuff
To the degree that you are unconscious of the Meanings you are assigning to what happens in your life, it is possible for you to do so in ways that do not serve you.
For example, if someone (and it doesn’t matter who, ultimately, except inasmuch as who it is influences the meaning I am inclined to assign to the rejection) rejects me and I decide that it means that:
– I am unworthy
– I did something wrong/It’s my fault
– All men/women/people let you down in the end
– I’ll never be happy
– Life has gone terribly wrong
– They’re just a terrible person
- One of us MUST BE a terrible person
…My experience of the rejection will be much different than if I decide that being rejected (regardless of by whom, regardless of the context) Means:
– Nothing, in and of itself…
– That, all things considered, the blend of who I was and who they are resulted in a sequence of “not working out” that, due to our personalities, resulted in their ending the relationship…
– That sometimes things come to an end for reasons neither party will ever fully understand…
– That it doesn’t really matter why it happened, that the key thing is to find a way to make sense out of responding as resourcefully as possible given the state I am in…
– That sometimes “people just aren’t that into other people,” that I’m a people, that they’re a people, and that therefore this rule applies regardless of either of our worth or value as human beings…
– That sometimes people are EXTREMELY into other people, and they aren’t allowed to feel this way, and so they reject the person to protect themselves, often without even realizing what they are doing…
– That sometimes a person’s Life Script calls for them to reject people, and other people’s Life Script calls for them to be rejected, and these people often seek each other out without realizing it and are both surprised when the inevitable drama unfolds…
As always, the action step here is to use the Personal Power Pattern of:
Awareness -> Personal Responsibility -> Conscious Choice
…to identify and become sensitive to the creative role that Meaning Assignment plays in giving rise to What It Is Like To Be You.
It isn’t necessary (and it’s actually often counterproductive) to try and force out any unresourceful Meaning Assignment Patterns you know you have.
Meaning Making usually manifests as Patterns and, like all Patterns, it has a strong self-perpetuating nature and tends to be very elusive, flexible, and adept at warding of frontal assaults of willpower and determination from the conscious aspects of your mind.
Instead of fighting your unresourceful Patterns of Meaning Assignment or emotionally resisting the negative experiences they create, simply watch with curiosity to see the Meanings you make as you make them and to really, for yourself and in real time, as those Meanings give rise to the feelings and experiences that make up What It Is Like To Be You.
To the degree that you become Aware of Making Meanings that don’t serve you and that create experiences that you don’t want, those Patterns of Meaning Making will begin to naturally fall away like leaves in the autumn, and so will the negative experiences that they used to create for you.
As you become more Aware of this and other aspects of the creative process that gives rise to What It Is Like To Be You, and as you begin to consciously leverage this process to create more of what you want and less of what you don’t, your experience will improve rapidly and organically and sustainably.
If you would like access to powerful Thought Technologies for improving your experience and are interested in a systematic approach to improving everything about What It Is Like To Be You, please consider enrolling in my Ever Better Life online course.
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