We’ve all had to deal with rejection in our lives and overcoming it may not be the easiest thing to do. The thing with rejection is that it often pierces us to the depth of our ego – it often makes us question our worth, the value that we bring into this world. It doesn’t have to be like that, though. In this episode, Elizabeth Barry reminds us that we need to see rejection as nothing else but a chance to light our fire – an opportunity to push our passion to the forefront and do things even better. Listen in and be reminded of the power of stepping into your worth, believing in yourself and seizing every opportunity to show up better in the world.
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Light Your Fire
This show is a place and a platform where going beyond your limitations, living authentic and free inside your mind and your soul within your heart is a mastery level of personal and professional transformation. Beyond Ego lives within the mindset that life begins where ego ends. We’re going to be talking about a topic where the ego may put up a bit of a front. It might stand there with its folded arms at the doorway saying, “You are right, you can’t be wrong. You must feel embarrassed, feel hurt and stay there.” We’re talking about the idea of overcoming rejection. No matter how old you are, where you live, what title you have, rejection is a part of life.
It’s something that we all have to go through, whether we’re being stood up on a date, we don’t get the job or the promotion, our partner doesn’t love us anymore, we’re going through a divorce or a breakup. In my case, for instance, thinking about someone that doesn’t want to pick up one of my books or choose my coaching. We all feel rejected at some point in our lives. As we move into 2021, I want to give everyone a chance to stand firmly in who they are and their self-worth and their self-esteem. I became a new yoga instructor. I’m teaching yoga and meditation. I do breathwork seminars, and I am excited to bring everyone to this spiritual place of mindfulness. No matter if you’re a CEO or an executive in a corner office, you wear a suit and you don’t want to use the words, love, spirituality, or thinking about the good feelings. It’s important to stay within the mindset and the mentality of calmness and a calm spirit because that’s where we can transcend that rejection level.
That’s where we can transcend those feelings of hurt and embarrassment when we receive constructive criticism that we don’t necessarily agree with. We’re all coming to that place. A few years ago, when I wrote The Kind Communicator, I was set to give a talk at a large technology firm in Silicon Valley. They were interested and excited to bring the book in. At the end of the day, they said that it was too spiritual and too soft for their employees. I thought to myself, “What do we have to do to get kindness, compassion and empathy to people in Silicon Valley or people in technology? Do we have to create a bunch of charts and graphs, and make the words in the font maybe 8? What is it that we have to do to impress upon people in the technology field and in business fields?”
That’s where a lot of people are getting it wrong. I was a little offended at that point. I felt rejected but I had to work through it. I want to give you some of the tools and tips that I learned and gained. Ultimately, I do think that adults in the business world can tap into mindfulness, breathwork and spirituality a bit more. Not thinking that they have to say the word love all the time, but in terms of feelings, softening in the soul, especially in a hurt place or feeling rejected, they can bounce back a little quicker without that rigidity, stubbornness, neediness or justification to be right, or make someone wrong. At the end of the day, if there is a company that doesn’t understand softness, compassion and empathy, and the way that I present my work with kind communication, I use flowers and nature in my work.
Maybe there are companies that need charts and graphs for their employees to pick up what I’m putting down. There’s always a unique lens that we can all look through to see eye-to-eye and to meet each other where we are at. We’re discussing how to overcome rejection. It’s important because we’re heading into such a pinnacle year. We’ve come out of 2020, and I want to keep you fueled and light your fire. I want your passions to be at the forefront, but at the end of the day, we’re going to face these obstacles. We’re going to have setbacks. These are the tips and the tools that I’d like you to have. Number one, I want you to accept the moment. If you have or experienced rejection or constructive criticism that you don’t agree with, accept the moment. Can you give yourself a bit of a break?
Can you give yourself a breath or ten and accept the moment for what it is? After that acceptance happens, is it possible for you to understand what’s happening in reality versus perception or emotion? In my Kindness books, I either say you can be in a reality, which is in the nowness and the presence, or you can be in the perception of that or the emotion of that. One of those things is going to lead you to a calmer mind state. The other one is going to keep you right, keeping you in the ego. Soften the spirit a bit when you find rejection or your experience rejection and understand what’s happening. Look at the reality of the situation, shrug your shoulders a bit, give yourself a hug with both of your hands around opposite shoulders and take a few breaths.
The next step would be to look at the lesson for what you learned. Looking back to when I had this huge company that wanted all my books, they wanted to buy 100 books. They bought them and then they said, “It’s a little too spiritual for our crowd.” The lesson for me was to not be upset with them but find my tribe. My tribe is businesses, organizations, nonprofits and groups that want to be better personally and professionally, that believe in spirituality that wants to use nature as their guide to breathing, living and to going beyond the ego, rather than needing a chart, a graph, needing to be rigid, or needing volumes of definitions of things. I do need to step into the moment and say, “Who appreciates us?” and then go to them.
For you, look for the lesson and then take that lesson with you and apply it at the moment. At the end of the day, rejection is ultimately a chance for you to light your fire. Jim Morrison sang it best, “Come on baby, light my fire.” Jim Morrison is my favorite singer of all time. I love The Doors. It couldn’t be more prominent in this show about rejection because when you light your fire, when you have that fire in the belly, you are fueled up. You want to get up at 5:00 AM, have your coffee and pick up the phone, you have no qualms about anything but sharing your passions and your gifts with the world. Not everyone in the world is going to accept them, so that rejection is a chance for you to get back up and keep going.
Know your worth, don’t let rejection diminish you. Sometimes we feel embarrassed and hurt to a level where we get to the place where we believe in the rejection and we’re like, “You’re right, I suck. I’m not good enough. My book’s not good enough. I’m not good enough for my partner and my Bumble date.” Don’t let it diminish you. The one thing I use analogies and acronyms all the time, I say, “Turn the big F into a big C.” The big F right here is Fear and the C is Confidence. Whenever we have the chance to turn Fear into Confidence, we pay attention to the moment. We live in the present. We’re not living in the past and the rejection, the sorrow and the hurt. Get over it. It’s okay. Cry, use a tissue, drink wine, have chocolate.
Don’t believe in the negative self-talk that arrives with rejection. It’s going to tap you on the shoulder and start telling you things like, “You’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough. You’re not wise enough. You’re not quick enough.” Take the word enough, which is a measuring stick for what? For justifying something? Throw it out the window. Take your arm like you’re picking something up and throw something across the room with a fake move. Take your arm, pick something up and put it over your shoulder like a big softball overthrown. Mentally strong people deal with rejection in this way. They understand that it’s a chance for them to learn and grow. It hurts like when we were riding a bike when we were younger and we skid our knee, how many times did I skinned my knee?
I still have the scars from skinning my knee, but I still got back up on my bike and I’m still here. I have my knees, they might be scarred from when I was a kid. Thank God, when I was a kid, we were riding bikes, not on digital platforms and all of these things that the kids are on, but I won’t digress. Everything that hurts will hurt. It doesn’t have to stay in the present moment. Do not let it hold you back. Not everyone is going to see things through the same lens as you do. If you can use the embarrassment and that hurt feeling, that skid feeling, that yucky feeling in the tummy as a flame starter. You’re going to start a fire on a beach or at a barbecue, or when you’re starting that fire, that one flame, everything just goes up.Beautiful things come out of things that are not expected to be. Let rejection be the chance for you to light your fire. Click To Tweet
Think of embarrassment as a flame starter. Think of humility, that crushing feeling as a life changer. Don’t let the anger of the rejection dig itself into the sand so that you have to carry it. Lift the anchor and let your boat keep riding into the sunset. There’s a beautiful poem or analogy, “If the flower doesn’t grow in a certain environment, you don’t blame the flower, you change the environment.” I can picture now looking at some image on a computer of a beautiful flower trying to grow between the cement. Sometimes, somehow, they grow between that. You could think of rejection in that way. You can be in the place in the middle of some rigidity, but you can still grow in the middle.
You don’t blame the flower if it doesn’t grow in a certain environment or certain place, you change the environment. Like I said with my book, “I shouldn’t be going after technology-based companies that are rigid or strict, and they play by the books. I am 100% the biggest rule breaker. I’m into spirituality, mindfulness and breathwork.” That’s where my tribe is. We all have to learn from our lessons. We have to use rejection as evidence to push the limits on our own boundaries. At the end of the day, it wasn’t your gig. Whatever you were rejected from, it wasn’t for you. You weren’t supposed to be there. You weren’t supposed to be with that person. You’ve got to learn from it and ask yourself when you learn from something, what did you gain?
What can you let go of now? Is there something that you can gain and let go of? That transformation of that space and that energy inside of you. When you learn to tolerate the pain and learn to shift your energy healthily, you grow stronger. Our lives are consistent in need of improvement, our mindset, our heartset is consistently in the need of nurturing and belief in yourself. Belief in yourself is the biggest key point here. I’m not a big Kanye West fan, I do like the song, Stronger. I used to use that as my power anthem. There’s this Kanye West story where a celebrity walked into his house and there was a huge Kanye West painting of himself. As soon as you walk in the house and the next celebrity said to him, “Kanye, why do you have such a huge painting of yourself as soon as you walk in the house?” He turned to him and said, “If I don’t believe in myself, who will?”
Whether I like Kanye or not, whether you like Kanye or not, the simple choice is whether we believe in ourselves first is going to dictate how others believe in us. It’s like that comeback story. Get rejected, comeback, get knocked down, rise again. There’s another great story of the guy who created The Power of Positive Thinking. I forget his name now, but he was 92 years old. There’s a story of Tony Robbins going to a talk. He was speaking right after this guy. He was like, “I can’t believe you’re the guy that wrote about The Power of Positive Thinking. Why are you still doing seminars at 92 years old?” The guy turned to him and said, “Tony, there are still a few negative people out there. There are still a few negative people out there that may try to break you down or may reject you, or they may not be right for you. You don’t have to be that negative person. You can turn a negative into a positive, it’s science.”
There’s power in our problems, they are perceived problems. Problems can be perceived. It’s that lens that we talk about. It’s going beyond the ego and being in that raw authenticity, that uncomfortably comfortable place where you’re saying, “This is a sign of life.” My problem is that I’m alive, I have a problem, and that gives us the chance to grow, to use another lens and to go after the right tribe. Maybe we’re doing some things wrong. These are every single rejection or every single skid burn on the knee, it’s a chance to give you gratitude and humility.
The downs in your life are a chance to grow a new formula for happiness. It’s what you do with that happiness. I’m writing a new book now. It’s called Lead by Example, and the tagline is Your Behaviors Are the Thing That Make You Stronger, Wiser and More Capable in Life. What are you doing to pay attention to how you show up? The circumstances of your life do not define you. Your behavior does. Many of us, “We need to be powerful.” No, if you get rejected, it doesn’t mean that you’re powerful. Who the heck wants to be powerful all the time anyway?
Power is delusionary. We don’t need power, we need happiness, health, the mind, the body and the spirit. It’s healthy to feel rejection and to see rejection and to use it to your advantage. One last piece of advice I can give to you is that don’t let the shift in your life, that rejection turn into imposter syndrome. If possible, please don’t be that person that says, “I was rejected. Who am I to be this? I shouldn’t be saying those things. I shouldn’t be writing those books. I shouldn’t be trying to date those types of people.” Imposter syndrome is going back to the big F and the big C. You either can live in Fear or in Confidence. You have a choice. You are a choice-making individual. You have volition, which is your human capacity for choice.
Come back to the chemistry of transformation every single time because it is available to you, it’s available within yourself to find certainty and connection, to serve in this world, to learn, to grow, to champion, to connect and to contribute with your unique gifts in this life. Beautiful things come out of things that are not expected to be. Let your rejection be the chance for you to light that fire like Jim Morrison said, “Put the flame starter in there and get started on something new really quick.” The quicker you can change your attitude, the less you’re going to be defeated, stressed, delusioned, upset and staying on that lower level. We want to keep you on the higher level of energy. See matters as they are, give it a go, see them better than they are and get to work.
That’s what I have to say about your opportunity to let go of that rejection, let go of that skid feeling, let go of that hurt or that pain because it’s nothing but a problem that is fixable. In my new book, Lead by Example, I say, “Everything is fixable if you are flexible.” We are all choice-making humans and you have the ability to choose, to keep going, to pick up, to dust off, to have a glass of wine, to have a dirty Martini, to have a scotch on the rocks. Spray yourself with a little aroma therapy, get a new outfit, dye your hair, take a shower, take a bubble bath, whatever it is that you need to do when you feel rejected, dance around in your underwear in your living room. I don’t care what it is. Just come back to your authentic self.
Don’t be within the ego because it will do nothing but break you down because you are not meant to be broken down in this world. You are not meant to be idle, stagnant and staring there at the face of the big F, which is Fear. You’re meant to have that self-esteem and you’re meant to look fear and rejection in the eyes and say, “That’s great. I’m going to do better as a human being.” If you had a chance to live in a perfect world, your world would be very boring. Live advantageously and extraordinarily, go beyond the ego and find your authenticity. Thank you to newcomers, to loyalists. I appreciate you for reading. Please visit TheKindCommunicator.com. I have a ton of books. I have lots of services that we can work together. If you feel rejected, it’s maybe a time or a chance to get a coach or a consultant and try again because you can.
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