Each person has a different set of fears and “reasons” why expressing their emotions is a difficult task. That is an entire topic unto itself. Almost anything in life that involves other people involves the possibility of fear or the fear of rejection. We can either learn to use fear to empower us, or take a backseat allowing it to have power over us.
I teach my clients and audiences that “FEAR” is actually an acronym. It stands for “False Experiences Appearing Real.” In other words, before something even happens, in our minds we will imagine the worst outcome happening. We’ll see a video clip of the future turning out terrible; it is a falsified experience of what will be, that appears very real inside our mind. This fear stops us from having the necessary conversation with our significant other, asking for a raise from our boss, asking someone on a date, or expressing our true feelings in a way that makes us vulnerable and emotionally open to the other person.
Often we create an entire story based upon what happened, even though all that happened was the person simply said “no.” With both male and female clients, I have found that there is an important nuance when we are given a “no.” “No” often means no to what you asked for, and not “no” to you. It-is-not-a-rejection-of-you, it’s a decline of your request. If you have ever been declined on a credit card application, the company isn’t saying “No way! You’re a terrible person” All they are saying is, No, we can’t approve your request for credit at this time.” The pain of rejection is in how we go inside our minds and interpret it. Let’s say Stacy asks a guy to dinner on Sunday, and he says no. What does she say inside her mind as to why he said no, “he’s a jerk….he’s an idiot…. he must be gay…. he’s probably married….” The list goes on. However, the guy just said no to Sunday! Or no to dinner! Maybe lunch on Friday would be just fine! But she comes up with this whole story about this guy, when all he said was no to dinner on Sunday!” In short, rejection is about the story we tell ourselves when we don’t get what we want. Learning how to handle rejection can be the difference between achieving the success you want and being stuck where you are for another 30 years.