Rejection is Protection
One of the most uncomfortable human experiences is the experience of being rejected. Whether it’s by a friend, a romantic partner, your own family, an employer, a school, or a random stranger, being rejected just doesn’t feel good. It can also bring up a lot of unhelpful thoughts and seemingly confirm our own conscious and subconscious narratives that question our worth and value. Because of this, being rejected is something we all naturally try to avoid. This can lead to us distancing ourselves from potential disappointment and discomfort by limiting our life choices and experiences to those that have little risk. Somehow, our job becomes guarding our hearts from rejection instead of opening our hearts to opportunity and living. We live from fear instead of from acceptance. And with fear as a guide, we are sure to walk down a less than meaningful and fulfilling path, as we close our own doors and shut down our own dreams.
Given this, I’d like to offer you an alternative way to view rejection. Take a minute to reflect on the statement below:
REJECTION IS PROTECTION.
Think about that again. Rejection is protection. What I mean by this is perhaps rejections innate discomfort can exist in parallel with its purpose. What if rejection itself serves as a valuable protector, allowing us the space to create the most meaningful and valuable parts of our lives. After all, how would we know the importance of deep love, raw vulnerability, and intrinsic fulfillment without knowing what people and experiences to let go of? We only know what it’s like to be accepted because we also know what it’s like to be rejected. So, perhaps being rejected is actually the mechanism that keeps us searching and moving forward towards the things that truly matter in life.
Think about it – is it really in our best interest to be with someone who can’t wholly accept our authentic being? Is that job experience really meant for us if we feel undervalued and unappreciated? Are we honouring who we are if we alter boundaries to please a toxic family member or selfish friend? The answer to all of those questions is no. We all deserve a partner that accepts our souls, a job or role that gives us meaning, and the permission to decide where our boundaries lie. Paradoxically, the only way we discover and move towards all of these things is to be open to opportunity and experience and to accept being rejected along the way. To not limit ourselves based on the fear of rejection, but to willingly embrace its unavoidable discomfort as an important marker on life’s path. A marker that lets us know we deserve more, we are more, and we can seek more.
So, the next time you feel rejected, ask yourself what it is you’re being protected from. Whatever it is, know that you now have the opportunity to open up to something or someone different and end up just where you’re meant to be.
Kaylee Garside, MA, has extensive experience in the areas of mindfulness and acceptance practices, plus many more. For more information on Kaylee and her work, click here to link to her full bio page.