Standing Up In The Face Of Rejection

I sincerely thought I could deal with rejection until I got a new kind of rejection. I struggled with it and I had to seek some help and re-orient myself. After a little research, reading articles and talking to friends, I felt so much better and I decided to share what I’ve learned with you guys.

Starting a virtual assistant business has had me putting myself up for scrutiny every other day and having to face, more often than not a big fat “NO”. Right now, I dread my inbox due to the number of emails I’ve been getting. But why does rejection hurt so much? It’s because our brains are wired with the same pathways for physical pain as the emotional feeling of rejection.

The pain that lingers when we feel rejected is self-damaging and self-inflicted

How can you deal with this pain?

First, realize that it is absolutely normal and the people who rejected you or your work are the minority and do not really define and speak for the rest of the population. We are 7 billion on the planet, you still have a long way to go. Then, use the pain to your advantage. See it as a wake- up call to be better and to improve. I always say, use everything as an excuse to improve.

Everyone needs to experience pain at least once in their lifetime because it corrects the idea of perfection in your mind

Avoid taking things personally. It’s really not because they were out to get you. Try to be objective about the situation. If you were in their shoes and you had to pick 5 out of 100 people, someone has to go. If logic fails you, and you can’t possibly think of a good reason why you were rejected, then it goes to show that it is a loss on their part. This is especially true in relationships.

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Make new connections with people. Wallowing in your sadness and shame of being rejected will not help you get through the feelings you may be dealing with. Trying to establish new relationships and connections is a sure fire way to remind you that the world is huge and that there are so many new opportunities waiting to be grabbed.

Related: Time To Focus

Avoid destructive self-criticism. As much as this may be tempting to go all “Woe is me”. It won’t help the situation and it will only worsen how you feel and you may roll into depression. Failure and rejection should be handled similarly. Constructive criticism is helpful especially if you get feedback from the person who rejected you. If you focus on working hard to get what you want, you won’t have the time become self-piteous.

Related: The Gift of Failure

Rejection, especially constant rejection is a sign that you are trying to live your life to the fullest so don’t give up.

If you need a little more inspiration, I love this article: WHY YOU SHOULD AIM FOR 100 REJECTIONS IN A YEAR.

Finally, PRAY. Yes, I said it, PRAY. If you’re religious or even if you’re not. Prayer and meditation are good ways to work through any emotion whatsoever. As a Christian, prayer helps me through many things I deal with. Here are some verses that could help:

2Cor 12:9 – And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 Peter 5:7 -Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Psalm 118: 22 – The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  Love this one.

At the end of the day, your self-love is all that matters and if you approve who and what you are, nobody should tell you otherwise. If you believe you’re good enough, soon enough someone else will. It may take time but the time will definitely come.

Stay Awesome.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please share to someone who may need to hear this. If you want to read more, you could snoop around right here:

 Habits For Personal Growth

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Habits For Personal Growth

We’re almost through the first quarter of the year. By now the new year resolutions are either working out really well or are now completely forgotten. Either way, a lot has changed since we stepped into the new year and you’re probably making new plans everyday and adjusting to the period.It’s already spring.  Flowers, lighter clothes and finally, the sun. Perfect time to relax and reflect on yourself and how far you’ve come. If you’re not one for resolutions, then good, these habits will help you grow everyday of each year as long as you consistently practice them. Soon, they become second nature and it no longer becomes a conscious process. Here they are:

1 BE FLEXIBLE

Change is constant and hence you should be constantly changing. You are not the person you once were. The foods you eat, the things you do, the things you like and even the friends you keep. As a human. you’re constantly evolving and hence it is only wise to be flexible in every area of life. Yes, everyone has principles and routines that are the center which your life pivots around but in a dynamic world as the one we live in, you can only keep moving forward. If you’re stubborn enough to stand still the world will leave you and pass you by. Nokia 3310 phone had a really good battery but no one uses it anymore, smartphones are now in.

2 BE OPEN MINDED

He that listens to the experiences and the thoughts of a thousand men has lived a thousand lives. In a society that wants to spoon feed you with it’s unstable versions of right and wrong, good and evil and what is acceptable, a natural defense would be to close the mind to every external force or idea in order to protect it. However, you’d learn so much more from others. Learn to open your mind, listen to other points of view even if they go completely against yours. You may find it easier to convince someone else when you listen to them with an intent to hear them out not to argue or prove them wrong.

3 REFLECT

This should be a daily habit itself. Everyday, 30 minutes before bed, think back and reflect on all that was done during the day, how the tie was spent and all you said. It’s a good way to correct errors in our speech and actions. If you had a fight, a relaxed thought of the things that happened before,during and after the fight might be a good way to clear up your point of view of the events. Weekly and monthly, reflecting puts you in perspective of your goals and how close or far you are from achieving them. It’s easy to see whether the strategies you have are in  place and  they are working. It helps you re-strategize for better and quicker success.

4 USE YOUR IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY

The difference between one person doing something and the other person is the unique creativity that comes with every individual. IF you want to grow in any area of your life,, your imagination and creativity is required. For every problem you encounter and you have to solve, it may depend on your ability to think outside the box. In whatever situation you find yourself, learn to think independently, irrespective of what you’ve been taught is right and wrong.

5 LEARN TO TAKE RISKS

Taking calculated risks leads to great results which may be in the form of success or experience. In my other post, I talk about the value of gaining experience. Risk taking opens you up to bigger possibilities. You may learn more about yourself while taking risks than when you’re in your comfort zone. It may be as little as trying new foods, finding a new hobby, doing something you’ve never tried. Risks begin little by little and eventually lead to great results. Set goals that stretch you and let you break out of the shell that is your comfort zone.

6  BE UNDERSTANDING

Understanding others, the reason why they do what they do and who they really are is a great way to grow yourself. Be sympathetic. Learn to sympathize with others. Have compassion. Love. Give freely. Be slow to anger and quick to forgive. It enables you to connect with others deeply and while it comes naturally for some, you may need to actively learn to do so. Identify barriers that might exist while interacting with others and break them.  You should want better things for others than you do for yourself.

7 PRAY

I’m a Christian, so I believe in God. Praying helps you deal wiht the spiritual aspect of your life. It is said that the spiritual dictates the physical, what some people call karma. Meditate as much as you can and pray without ceasing. It helps cleanse the the mind, body and soul. Once your mind is clear, you can function at optimum levels and hence grow.

What tips do you do that help you grow personally? Leave them in the comment section. Don’t forget to share with your friends.

Time To Re-Focus

I may be talking to you. I may be talking to me. You’ll never know.

ANGER TRIGGER

Today is Monday, the first day of the week, and it’s the perfect time to do things right to make the week go smoothly. Yesterday, I got angry. Instagram changed its algorithm again and engagement on my page came crashing down to the floor. I have about 1.2K followers with an average engagement of 80-100 likes and 10 comments per post. It’s not much but I was proud of it. Now, it dropped to 20 likes per post, the comment section too embarrassing to speak of. To make matters worse, I was reading blogs on a group thread and I saw a blogger complaining of being locked out of her Facebook account; her stats dropped to about 75 per day, from 250-450 per day. She has had her blog for approx 42 days, just over a month. I was awed by her success, and curious. My quick guess was that she had put in a lot of work on social media promotions, and she attested to that. The best part was that her friends and family had no part in her success. It was all her.

RASH DECISIONS

Just after I finished praising her, and also sympathizing with her for her account loss, I became mad. Why didn’t I do as well? My blog is twice as old as hers with half the success; maybe one-third. I was sad and broken. Why did I have to fail so much? Everyone else seemed to be doing just fine. But was this true? I put in a lot of work into blogging and I have to juggle it with school and all, but that’s just life for you. Guess what I did? Since the anger started from Instagram, I went over to my unfollowers app and unfollowed everybody who didn’t follow me back. I saved some people because I really like their feeds but the rest, all gone. I also discovered that you could remove followers – that is people who follow you, that you don’t want anymore; you could remove them from being your followers. My reason was that I could not have over 1000 people who don’t care following me. I didn’t want my page to look like it was unreal, or that I bought followers. I was wrong.

I was simultaneously complaining to my friend about the drop and how I was just tired of trying to be appeal to people. He told me to take deep breaths. Then he asked me: “Why do you blog?”. “Because I love it”, I replied. “Then why did you remove your followers?”, he asked. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say. He continued: “You started the blog to be an inspiration to people. If you want to inspire people, why take away the opportunity for them to be inspired. Now, they can’t see what you post, or hear what you have to say. Is that what you want?”

REMORSE

I became sad all over again. I had become so engrossed in the thought of getting to 10K followers with at least 5% engagement so that some big company can sponsor me and I can make a little change out of something I love doing. I forgot the main reason I started this and had become completely sidetracked. I felt really remorseful. I don’t know the usernames of the people I removed but I’m so sorry, wherever you are. My pride got the best of me and I let numbers define me. I was so concerned about statistics that I forgot that these were real people, with real stories, real joys, real problems, and real hopes. Yes, I want success but I don’t want it if it means selling my soul or losing my morals. The deals, sponsorship, and endorsements will come when they will and I’ll be right here when they do. I’m here to inspire and I never want to forget that.

FINAL WORDS

To you reading this, whatever you do, don’t forget why you started. Don’t sell yourself short. Like the song “I Hope You Dance” the lyrics say “When you come close to selling out, reconsider”. I hope you do reconsider. At school, work and your personal endeavors, never ever forget what your initial vision was . Only change for the better, not because of what you could get or what people say. Don’t ever forget it.

UNLEARNING: An Important Process of Self-Discovery

Recently I stumbled on a Facebook status update from a friend, He was talking about unlearning the ideas that patriarchy taught us. Growing up in Nigeria, it was not unusual to see the most interesting situations and hear the most archaic ideas. He said:

We were told crying was for women, we were taught that the burden of sexual purity was on the woman, we were taught that a woman who stood up for herself would make a bad wife (how woman go open mouth when man dey talk? Abomination), we were taught that the power and respect a man commands is as a result of his wealth and once he ‘allows’ a woman to have more than him he has failed. It’s okay to cry if you’re hurting, you’re human. Even Jesus cried when he came down as a human being. We can’t keep holding morality, respect and success on different levels for men and women. If we as guys can change these ideals by correcting our mindset and teaching our friends and in some years, our children, we’d make massive impact on the behavioural patterns of the society. Everybody has a part to play

I was really impressed. Now before I continue, I’ll say ahead of time that I’m not trying to start an online war on what’s right or wrong. However, coming from Nigeria, it is a big problem. When I left home for school and I noticed how the people in this island were so different from my people at home. Things we held in high regard were just everyday occurrences here. For example, I was subconsciously taught that I had to grow up, be a good girl, not too ambitious or successful so as not to scare men away and above all, the man was always right. Even though my parents are learned, they had this same things taught to them by their parents, so everyday is a learning process for them and once or twice, the traits rear their ugly head.

This topic right here is one of the many things Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is known for. A lot of people, not just Nigerians, have a lot to unlearn. What I need you to realize is that it applies in many areas of life; school, work, family, friends, money etc. I don’t even know where to start from. In some areas, we need to unlearn EVERYTHING we know, we were taught and made to believe. To realize that there’s a world out there with so much more to offer than what we see with our eyes.

This definitely comes with a warning, as we tend to lose ourselves in the process of evolution which is not right. I’ll tell you something. I learnt on this island that you can eat more than one piece of meat at a public place and not be judged for it. By that I mean go to every stand on the buffet line and ask for one of everything they have without raising eyebrows. I’ve also learnt that it’s okay to laugh and engage in discussions with elders without being labelled rude and disrespectful.

I see good kids here everyday go to parties – the good ones, with their parents and even alone till 10pm. Even as an adult I still have an unspoken 6pm curfew. I do not regret the training I was given by my parents because i was needed in the environment I grew up in, but I wish I had more opportunities to interact with them without fear and I was given the opportunity to say my mind.

As for the gender roles and stereotypical ideology, I love order as much as the next person but I want to plead that we also try to see the world from different angles through different eyes. Tunnel vision never helped anyone. I was once told by a guy after we’d finished arguing that I was right during the argument but as a guy he couldn’t just concede. My reaction wasshocked-animated-gif.gif

I was hurt. Really hurt because even though I stood my ground, It worried me that he had to do that to feel better. And why? Subconscious training. And all the while I thought he just didn’t understand my point of view. There are many things to be fixed, tribalism, notions that certain families are just pure evil, That school is the only way to success etc. The last example is even more dear to my heart because I see so many creative people locked up in shackles of  “I don’t want to be a disgrace or disappointment to the family “.

Whilst some may be in very difficult situations where choices are limited to zero, as many as can break free from that prison that only exists in our minds, please do. There’s so much more to see and do. The only way to unlearn is to actively re-learn. Girls, don’t be afraid to live and guys, don’t be afraid to feel.