My life has been about striving for perfection while constantly questioning, “Am I good enough?”
Am I pretty enough? Smart enough? Thin, toned and strong enough? Am I lovable? Have I accomplished enough?
It’s no coincidence then that I would choose a career in modeling and working as a TV personality where rejection is as much a part of the job as the craft itself.
In other words, I hear the word, “No,” a lot. It used to really bother me. I internalized rejection, thinking it had something to do with my worth as a person. If I just do this, be that, change myself, I will be good enough, accepted, validated, get the job, get the man, get the life of my dreams!
The message I replayed over and over again to myself was: I am not enough as I am.
I now see how rejection triggering my feelings of not being good enough is the perfect opportunity to heal my self-limiting beliefs, and create a new story: I am worthy. I am valuable. I am loved.
I’m smart enough to know now that rejection has nothing to do with my value as a person. That wisdom and understanding gives me so much freedom and such a sense of relief.
What’s actually being triggered is my ego because I am taking things personally, but rejection isn’t all about me.
I’ll give you an example: I was being considered as a model for a national commercial. The casting director told me I was exactly what they were looking for. I really wanted this job.
I didn’t get it.
I didn’t lose the job to another fair-skinned, tall, curvy blonde though. They hired a thin, much shorter African American woman. I couldn’t even be upset.
The client literally hired my exact opposite.
The casting director ended up reaching out to me (which hardly ever happens), telling me everyone loved me, but they decided they’ve been hiring too many blondes lately for their campaigns and needed to switch things up.
I completely understood, and didn’t take their decision personally. I’ve since lost jobs to women who look similar to me, and I don’t take that personally either, because I end up booking something better, or I am given time off to rest and take care of myself.
When I am rejected by something outside of myself, I take the time to examine the ways in which I reject (or say “No” to) myself. (Eating poorly, skipping the gym, negative self-talk, lack of sleep and rest). When I am rejecting a part of myself, it will be mirrored back to me. It is a beautiful exercise in self love and acceptance.
Besides just being a part of life, I’ve learned rejection is actually protecting me from something that is not for my greatest good and the good of others.
When the guy I really, really like and have great chemistry with, who tells me I’m the most incredible woman he’s ever met, suddenly stops calling me, rather than going into a downward spiral of What did I do wrong? What’s wrong with me? I instead step back and say, Thank you, God/Universe/Spirit, for looking out for me and my highest good.
I’m not saying this is easy. It is definitely a perspective shift I have worked hard to create for myself. But the key to dealing with rejection, for me, is being able to look at the big picture, detach from the outcome, release expectations and know that everything is always happening for me and working out for the highest good for all involved.
It isn’t the pain of not getting the guy I thought I wanted to be in a relationship with. After all, I was perfectly happy before he came into my life.
It’s the expectations I had about how he should behave and how our relationship should go that really caused me the heartache. If I had been detached from the outcome of our relationship, his radio silence would have immediately been seen as a blessing rather than a statement about me and my value as a woman.
It is more difficult to see at the time, but when I look back at jobs I didn’t get and men who never called again, I see how perfect it all has been because much bigger and better opportunities, experiences and people have come into my life as a result.
That means if the answer is no, a much more suitable yes is right around the corner.
It isn’t about an opportunity being taken away. Instead potential heartaches and roadblocks are being removed.
Remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. It is not your job to analyze why you were rejected, it is your responsibility to remind yourself of your inherent worthiness.
You can do this through daily acts of self care and love, and by validating yourself. At the end of the day, your opinion of yourself is the only one that really matters.
“Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” ~ Rumi
Author: Kate Eckman
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Image: Courtesy of Author