Defining yourself by others isn't going to make you feel good about yourself!
You hear people tell you, "you have to love yourself first," before someone will love you. This common self-help quote didn't help me much. I tried to love myself. I took confidence workshops and I said my affirmations, but when someone I liked stopped calling, my positive thoughts turned into self-hate again. I thought, "What is wrong with me? Am I not young or thin or pretty enough? Do I need to be more fun and interesting? Am I just so nerdy that I am repulsive to men?" I used to hate the phrase. Sure, it makes sense, but how do you love yourself when you are constantly being rejected or discarded in dating?
The answer was right in front of me. It was the way I responded to rejection that actually fed my low self-esteem. Instead of saying, "wow, he lost out," I would put the blame squarely on my own shoulders and would tear myself apart. Oh, and thanks to those books about "why he didn't call you back," I felt even worse. This behavior was not very self-loving, and I was trapped in a negative feedback cycle.
That is why I do what I do. I want to empower people to stop taking rejection so hard and to really believe that they are lovable. I know what it is like to be inside those nasty self-loathing thoughts, and I want to you to be liberated like I was—and find real love. So, if you feel down when someone rejects you, here are three ways that you can start to turn this around!
- Create a belief system that doesn't put a man or woman on a pedestal to judge or gauge your worth. For example, if you believe in a higher power, don't you think the universe/God/Divine thinks you are pretty awesome? Find a spiritual resource where you can access love inside, a greater and much higher love. Once you have divine love, you won't have to rely on a basic human being to give you approval.
- Realize that the reason people reject you doesn't have to do with you. I know, the "what men want" lists and other dating tips will tell you that it is your fault that they didn't call. People reject others because they are afraid of intimacy, which is especially clear when they bolt and don't confront you. They project their shadow parts onto you. What makes them run has nothing to do with who you are or something you did. They are running away from themselves. No acting or dating games will help you to overcome their shadow. Yes, you can throw the "rules" book out now—or burn it!
- Notice the pattern of your reaction to rejection. What is the common theme? The pattern is reflected back to you in how you see yourself. If you see yourself as broken or insecure, your reaction to the rejection will feed that story. Now, since you made up that story, the first step is to make up a new one that is more loving and supportive. Since you will never know the "real" story, why not pick one that makes you feel good about yourself instead of bad? You may argue that it is lying to yourself. Well, the fact that you are awesome really is the truth! You are lying to yourself when you think that you are less than wonderful.
Rejection is just one story about an event that occurred. People reject others based on what they cannot accept about themselves. You cannot control how other people feel about you, nor can you manipulate their love. All you can do is change how you react to their behavior. As you shift your reaction from self-blame to self-love, the people who show up in your life will affirm your response. You won't be rejected anymore because you aren't holding that energy. If you love and adore yourself, others will too. If they don't, they won't matter!
This article was originally published at Creative Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.