My fingers sweat across the keyboard and my barefoot angles on the floor. I don’t know why I did this — or why I’m doing it.
I don’t know what the point is.
I write this on a live session on YouTube; no one is watching. My brain tells me no one cares. That I’m not a good enough writer to be doing “writing live” sessions.
This reminds me of the girl in college who said I didn’t have charisma. She was quiet and calm. We dated for a week, and then she said she couldn’t continue.
“Well, you’re missing something,” she said,
I was 20 years old. Stunned. A decade later, and I still remember that rejection. That amongst the others, the jobs I tried to get when I graduated. The other girls I tried to date; rejected business proposals.
If I tried to look back at where all this started, I am almost sure it comes from my need for my parents' approval. As the firstborn child, there’s an unwritten rule that your failure is the family’s failure.
“As much as your parents love you, they infect you. They project their insecurities onto you. They can have a view for your future that’s mostly determined by their wants and needs and not yours. Even the most loving and supportive parents might lead you astray simply because they want you to be safe and secure.”
— Ayodeji Awosika
Once we become adults, it's easy to look at that time with a victim mentality and blame our parents for all our mistakes. Even when we get old enough to write online about these stories.
But how true is this?
There are many reasons why we’re afraid of rejection. It’s our evolutionary need to be part of a community. We conform. We listen to similar music, wear the same clothes, talk about the same shows or simply date the people our peers approve of.
Rejection stings. No one wants to be willingly exposed to that.
Yet, there lies the very solution to overcoming this fear: exposing ourselves — willingly — to rejection.
You build your resilience to that fear each time you expose yourself to little amounts. Soon enough, you have a vast reserve that you can use to make even bigger bets on yourself: asking someone to marry you, quitting a job to start a business, or leaving your home country with no idea what you will do or how you will make it.
“Success can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations we are willing to have and by the number of uncomfortable actions we are willing to take.” — Tim Feriss
I don’t think rejection ever goes away. There isn’t a “quick” way to fix it.
Each day gives us a chance to work on that.
Being aware that no one is watching my live session makes me feel l am adding some rejection points to my bank. I am, in real-time, facing this fear of not having people give me approval.
Does this work all the time? Not exactly. If I hadn’t tried this today, I wouldn’t have known it was within my power to do something in this state.
This applies especially when you “need” something. The more you want it, the less likely you are to get it. I don’t want to go all woo-woo on you about affirmations and intentions, but once you realize that everything happens for you, you start to see through the veil. This tweet thread beaks this, and more, down.
You didn’t get rejected. You learned a lesson. You didn’t get denied the opportunity of a lifetime — you passed the life test.
Once you understand that rejection is really just our reaction to wanting things that we want too much, you can work on our “want”.
Can you get rejected if you don’t want something? Nope.
Does this mean you should want things? Nope.
This means you should realize that you can possess the feeling that that “thing” will give you right now, and then act from there. The thing will come once you become the person who deserves it. You deserve it by becoming that person.
This may be a little convoluted because I am still learning to make sense of this.
Bottom line: the feeling of rejection comes with expectations. Release all expectations and become the person who already has them.
That’s really it.
To lose your fear of rejection, stop expecting things. Do your best and let the chips fall.
Am I saying you shouldn’t set goals? Or live like there’s no tomorrow?
Of course not!
What I’m saying is: if you’re ever going to make a live session where you write online, don’t expect people to show up. Let them be an added blessing. Do your best and become the type of person who enjoyed doing live writing sessions.
If you’re applying for a scholarship, don’t expect to get it. Know that you have it, and apply as the best student for it.
Act from the feeling that you already had it. Set the intention and leave it. It’s easy to say this here and now, but it’s something you can experience for yourself.
I know because that’s what’s happening right now. I am actively addressing my expectations and focusing on merely telling this story the best way I can.
You can’t control what others do or say. Or if someone chooses to be your partner or not. But you can manage your performance, your character, your attitude, your input to a situation.
Focus on what’s within your control. Lose expectations. Become better—beat rejection.