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When you are willing to feel rejected

Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 64





You know when it's hardest to love yourself? In my humble experience. Maybe I should call this "when it's hard to love myself" and see if any of you can relate, but I bet you can.


I think it's hardest to love ourselves when we fear being rejected when we fear that our value, status and safety all rest on someone else thinking that we're okay. Or all rests on someone else thinking that we're valuable or worthy. And it can be really hard not to internalise their thoughts and values and decide on our status and availability for love that is all around us from another person. It's hard not to internalise that as the truth barometer of whether we will be okay.


Historically, this has been a really useful thing. If the tribe rejected us, we'd probably be left behind when they moved on in the night and unable to fend for ourselves, be eaten by sabre-toothed tigers, and be unable to find any water. Being accepted and not rejected by those around us has literally been the cause for our survival until recently, and even for some people.


There's nothing wrong with the idea of wanting people to like us. It makes a lot of sense. It's just the way that we've kind of manifested that now has a lot more to do with "I hope people like my post on Instagram", or "I hope people don't think that I look terrible in this top", or "I hope that that cute guy in the office gives me a second little look as he passes on the way to the photocopier".


Suddenly, it got very 90s, didn't it?


I hope you see where I'm going with this that is unresting. Basing our acceptability on how others view us is frankly fickle and unsustainable. Because as soon as we've got that little sugar rush from somebody externally, we are left going, "Cool... But what if they've changed their mind?" Or "what about in this situation?" And "what they don't know is this thing about me, so if they knew that, then they might not have liked me after all..." Our brains are just dickheads sometimes.


And they just realise that when we have a solid sense of ourselves when we have a solid understanding of our okayness, we don't necessarily need to lean so much on other people to be able to tell us that we're okay, that we're safe, and that things are just going to work out.


And this is something that involves us being willing to feel rejected. And it is a test and an excruciating muscle to build in your life, but it is worth it. I followed something. It was initially led to me by Jessi Kneeland, who suggested it, but it's also based on a Ted Talk, "100 Days of Rejection" by Jia Jiang. And so, every day for 100 days, I asked for something I didn't think I would get. Oh my God. It was excruciating. Every day, I was trying to set myself up for and remind myself that someone could say no to me and I was still safe.


Someone could say no to me, and it wasn't life-threatening. Someone could say no to me, and it didn't mean anything about my value as a human. And every day, it could be the smallest things like asking for a discount in a shop or maybe asking for an extra hash brown on my breakfast in a cafe (what a treat that would be). Or it could be asking for a friend to come and meet a little bit earlier or asking for a meeting to be moved by half an hour. I asked for things I did not think were reasonable and asked for anything I found incredibly uncomfortable. Firstly, I'm just setting myself up. The challenge made me realise quite how asking for even the smallest things was incredibly difficult. This is based on the idea that I don't have a right to have needs or to have my needs be met, which is a whole course in itself, almost as if I'd written one (I have).


But this idea of asking for things that I thought were out of the realm of possibility opened up doors where loads of people kept saying yes. And I asked for things I could not imagine in a million years. I just got things landed, and more things landed on my lap during those 100 days than I could possibly have dreamed of. It was life-changing in a very real sense. Cut out some ridiculous details, but I managed to save my house. I was at the risk of losing my home. And because I had the audacity to ask and because I asked kind, generous people, things all worked out. obviously, I can't take all the credit, but had I not asked, things would not have worked out in a way where I'm able to have safe, secure accommodation right now, which is just wild.


And that is all from going and testing and testing and testing this idea of what could happen in my life, what could unfold if I was willing to experience feeling rejected.


Just a mind-blowing concept for me. And what is it for you? What would your life look like if you were willing to feel rejected? What would your life look like if you were willing to ask for the things that you want without feeling guilty or ashamed or willing, most importantly, I guess, be willing to feel those feelings and ask anyway and know that things are possible for you to experience whilst feeling like you might be a bit embarrassed or, like feeling ashamed or, like, feeling like everything's just a bit icky?


What could be possible for you then?


I'd love to hear about any outcomes of experiments that you have achieved, and I hope that you can have some glorious prizes land in your lap when you're willing to ask and face feeling rejected.


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