Are You Rejecting Yourself?

Rejection, in general terms, often seems to involve somebody or something else.

‘You’re not the one for this job, promotion or project.’ ‘I’m not going to buy a,b,c because I don’t like x,y,z.’

But what happens when it doesn’t… and the only character in your rejection scenario is you?

When you challenge yourself in new ways, want or need to create a new career chapter, have aspirations which take you in a new direction, you can often find a multitude of reasons why it can’t happen.

You can subconsciously draw on negative past experiences, misinterpret day-to-day-scenarios, put too much weight to the random opinions of others.

The result?

A picture or story in your mind which nicely confirms all your ‘cannots’. Convincing you of the futility of trying something new or different.

Why bother? It’s never going to work. Right?

This happens to most people at one time or other. For some it can be a constant battle.

I know this from talking with clients and colleagues plus it most definitely happens to me. Despite my pivot-tastic experiences and innate bloody-mindedness.

Working with your inner critic; your personal rejection engine is possible.

Like any good habits it takes a little time, repetition and a healthy dose of self-awareness.

Working with your inner critic; your personal rejection engine is possible.

How to help yourself move forward

If this resonates with and you have an inkling you may be rejecting yourself, here are two different approaches which will help you.

I use them myself whenever the need arises…

Spotlight on ideas

It’s good to remember that there are different phases when it comes to jolly old ideas.

Combining the wisdom of Walt Disney and insights from the world of innovation, at it’s simplest, there are three which are key…

  1. Idea Generation: anything is possible and you adopt the persona of The Dreamer
  2. Idea Blueprinting: anything is still possible and you’re putting some flesh on the bones of your idea. You adopt the persona of The Realist
  3. Idea Testing: time to get judgemental and pick at your idea. You are now the persona of The Critic. The one caveat is… you also need to come up with ways to make whatever you’ve found better

The reasons why considering these phases matters are…

+ Different phases have different vibes and purposes

+ By seeing and approaching your new whatever-it-may-be in a more structured, friendly way, it stops you rejecting everything

+ It encourages you to add substance to your ideas which makes it more tangible and explainable to yourself and others

+ Most people’s natural tendency is to jump to phase 3, The Critic and Idea Testing. When you do this everything new you imagine or think of is dismissed. You put your rejection engine in overdrive

Sorting fact from fiction

If releasing some tension in the system using the above way doesn’t do it for you, here’s an exercise you can try today…

  • Grab a piece of paper and a pen / pencil
  • Sit calmly for a moment and take a few deep breaths
  • Think of something or someone that makes you smile and feel the warmth it brings
  • Now give yourself 2 minutes and write down everything that is concerning you about your new whatever-it-may-be. Don’t analyse and keep going
  • Once the 2-minutes is over, look back over what you have written
  • Honestly, sort your concerns into ‘true’, ‘false’ and ‘don’t know’
  • Let go of the ‘false’, decide on a course of action for the ‘true’ and dig deeper into the ‘don’t know’

And finally…

Don’t feel bad about having those ‘rejecting yourself’ moments. It’s part of the ups and downs of life. We’re all human after all 🙂

And if you would like to share, confidentially of course, any ideas, concerns or insights you find, please get in touch.

Header image courtesy of Steve Johnson on unSplash

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