Wednesday, 24 September 2014

It's Not Me, It's You: On Rejection

Recently while perusing the internet, I came across an interesting article that, funny enough, touched on something I had been thinking about just a day or two before: everybody's least favourite experience - rejection.

Rejection comes in all forms and has happened to just about everyone. It can be overt, or more understated, but it is always painful, and often detrimental to those of us with shaky foundations of self worth.

I had been reflecting on my own experiences with rejection in the social arena - which more often happened subtly - and considering how best to move past them.

For many years, especially while I was in university, I struggled a lot with trying to fit in with certain people, and, on finding that I often couldn't, truly felt like there was something wrong with me. I spent a lot of time bashing myself, telling myself I should have done things differently - I should have spoken up more that one time, or I should have said less the other time. It took much time away from these situations as well as insight from other perspectives to help me come to terms with the way I'd been ignored or brushed aside.

And here's what I learned:

After a long time spent wondering what was wrong with me, I realized that the answer was really just nothing. If you have to fight to convince someone of your worth, then they're not worth it. If someone rejects you based on superficial reasons, then they're just not worth it.

We spend so much time asking ourselves what we're doing wrong, when in truth and in fact, we're not doing anything wrong. If someone doesn't respond to you in the way you would like, it doesn't mean you're not good enough. Sometimes it just means that the connection isn't there. Maybe they're on a different frequency; maybe you're Wifi and they're Bluetooth. Maybe the language of their heart is different from the one you speak.

Still, even after knowing this, it's hard not to grieve the feeling of being shunned, especially if it's someone you adore or look up to. That is the most difficult rejection of all. But the truth is, if these people were meant to be in your life, that connection would readily be there. And nothing you do to change yourself would make it more likely to happen.

Now, you can either mourn that, or rejoice it. Why rejoice? Because it means that there is someone else you will cross paths with who will want to be with you, whether as friends or lovers or a mentor, etc. And these people will be the ones to positively affect your lives. You can't grow into your best self if you're always chasing the people who don't care about you while ignoring the ones who do care and will do so much for you if you let them.

Chasing people is a waste of energy. You will never have to chase the things and people that are right for you.

Chasing brings negativity into your life. Anxiety from trying too hard to be liked, always wondering if you should have said that, done that, worn that. Always trying to think up ways for them to like you, usually ways that go against your very nature. The disappointment that comes over and over again when you realize that nothing you do brings you closer to them.

There is a part of you that knows when you've given too much, only to have gotten little or nothing in return. Listen to that voice that tells you it's time to stop chasing and start honouring yourself and your self worth by stepping away from them.

Let go of those who want little or nothing to do with you. They cannot see your worth anyway.

Celebrate yourself, your uniqueness, your strengths, the good you've done. Reach out to others who see the light in you, who embrace you as you are, faults and all.

Go where you are wanted, because believe me, you are.

Peace and blessings.


Have you ever experienced social rejection - either overtly or otherwise? How did you get past it? Let us know in the comments below!

Monday, 1 September 2014

15 Day Affirmation Challenge: Day 15 [Create Your Own Affirmation]

I am taking part in PE's 15 Day Affirmation Challenge. For more information, click here.

For the last day of the challenge, we are to create our own affirmation - one that is meaningful and special to us. If you have been following my affirmation journey, I apologize for the hiatus, as there was some busyness that took over for a short while. But I am back again and look forward to wrapping up this journey.

Although the task asked that we use one that we haven't already identified during the course of the challenge, I keep coming back to one that I've touched on more than once. And I think the reason for this is that it's the root of my struggles, and hence perhaps the most important one.

"I am worthy and capable."

From an outsider's perspective, it may seem quite simple, or even a bit dull, however, for myself, it is the seed of positive growth and change. When I sit down and think about my struggles and why it's so difficult for me to achieve certain goals I've set out for myself, I realize that the reason is because I don't think I'm worthy of achieving them. Deep down, I don't feel good enough to be or to have good. So I self sabotage, and procrastinate and do all sorts of things that cause me to fail in ways that would have otherwise enhanced the quality of my life.

Self worth, self love, self esteem - as I've mentioned previously in the challenge, these are all things I struggle with, and have done so for a long time. Although I have not yet uncovered the root of this, I now recognize this as the problem. Therefore I see it fitting to start at the root, at the beginning, of convincing myself that I am indeed worthy of all I set out to do in this life.

Above this layer of struggle, lies my struggle with self doubt. Often times I find myself thinking that I can't do something, even though I know this is not true. I consider myself to be an intelligent and thinking person, but somehow when it comes to things I desire strongly, I feel as though I can't do it. I'd like to challenge this belief by reminding myself that I am indeed capable of reaching my goals. There are literally thousands of people around the world doing what I tell myself I can't do, therefore I owe it to myself to try.

I strongly believe that these two things, worth and capability, cover most if not all of my biggest struggles, and therefore, are things I need to remind myself and eventually believe of myself in order for me to reach for and achieve my goals.

Therefore I see it as a fitting end to the affirmation challenge, and a beautiful beginning for things to come.

"I am worthy and capable."

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

15 Day Affirmation Challenge: Day 14 [Self Image]

I am taking part in PE's 15 Day Affirmation Challenge. For more information, click here.

Today is day 14 of the challenge (already!) and we'll be covering the topic of self image. We have already covered physical looks as part of the challenge, however, self image is a more all-encompassing trait which includes the way we think of ourselves as a whole, including looks.

"Identify at least one negative self-belief."
  • One nagging thought I've always had in the back of my mind is that I'm not worthy of all the goals and dreams I have for myself, that I don't deserve, that I'm not good enough for them.
"When did this negative self-belief start?"
  • As I've written in Day 2's post, I'm not entirely sure why or how I started to think this. I think perhaps it is a combination of several things including my own personality traits, the reactions of other people as well as circumstances and situations in my life. It's difficult for me to pinpoint exactly one reason or moment in my life that led to this, but I would venture to guess that it started somewhere around early teenage hood (as I was a pretty confident child, but things went downhill from secondary school), which grew and grew as I faced certain disappointments and setbacks in my life, especially in my relationships. I began to feel like everything I hoped for, no matter how small, would just not materialize in the way I wanted it to. That led me to feeling like getting anything I wanted was just too good to be true, that only luck would bring me to my goals and dreams. Then there were many times I've faced rejection (many happening in the last few years) which has led me to question my worth, and whether or not I'm good enough, for anyone, or for any goal I want to achieve. 
"Challenge this negative self-belief."
  •  Well, it's certainly true that there were many things I wanted that always seemed out of my reach, and that many a time I would be hopeful for a certain outcome, only to have it go poof right in front of me. It's also true that I've had to face rejection several times, especially in the last few years which, among other experiences in university, battered my self confidence. I think the only way for redemption is to change the way I see these experiences. I have to trust that the reason things didn't go as planned was because there was a better outcome another way, even if I don't immediately see what it was. And as for the rejection, perhaps these people were not the right people for me, at that time, or ever. It's difficult to truly believe in your own worth when what feels like the whole world is telling you otherwise, but the truth is these people didn't stop and take the time to get to know me. They didn't know the core of who I am, my likes and dislikes, the deeper side of me. So it was only a shallow rejection. It tells me that they weren't worth grieving over because I was not in their hearts anyway. If someone can reject another based on a shallow perception of who they are, then they aren't worth that person's time or care or love. In the end, love has to come from myself first, and then it won't matter if people are shallow and narrow minded in their rejection.
"Create new positive beliefs."
  •  I am worthy of achieving my goals and dreams. I am capable and competent and have the power to make them come true.
  • I deserve loving, caring, genuine people in my life who take the time to get to know me. I deserve people who will stick around to get to know the deeper side of me and love and accept me for it.

 Themes of self image and other related things are always difficult for me, which I suppose is an indicator that there is a wound that needs healing there. It's an uphill battle, but I look forward to facing those demons and winning the war.

"I'm perfect as myself."

Monday, 21 July 2014

15 Day Affirmation Challenge: Day 13 [Health]

I am taking part in PE's 15 Day Affirmation Challenge. For more information, click here.

Today's task is concerning health. Lately I have been becoming increasingly aware of the need to keep my body healthy and fit, including both nutrition and exercise. It is something I have struggled with my whole entire life, and which keeps falling apart whenever I start something new. However, as I'm becoming more aware of potential lifestyle diseases, especially some that run in our family, I want to take extra care to take care of myself - body and mind - and nutrition and exercise are a major part in doing so. I want to be fit and healthy for as long as I live, and not be plagued by illnesses that could have been avoided if I had only started to take care of my health earlier in life.

"Identify at least one negative health habit you currently have."
  • I have many, but I will just post a couple. I have utterly horrible sleeping patterns. I have tried many times to get back in sync, but it always falls back into a bad cycle. 
  • I don't exercise enough.
"Identify reasons supporting each negative habit."
  • Since young, I've had abnormal sleep patterns, but the problem got worse in university when I was on my own schedule and when stress, anxiety and depression crept up on me. Now it's a hard habit to break, because of how long it's been going on. Since I've been home from university, it's been especially bad since I haven't yet found a job and hence don't have a "reason" to get up early in the morning. Sadly it causes my mood to plummet and makes me irritable, but even on those nights I am in bed early, I tend to lie there awake for several hours before falling asleep, then in the mornings, it is excruciatingly difficult to wake up, no matter how many hours I've slept.
  • Sometimes the reason is sheer laziness. Other times it's because I haven't planned my day properly and end up just having eaten when I had previously intended to exercise. Also, with the bad sleeping patterns, I also don't eat properly and this causes dizziness when I do try to exercise. Another reason is that when I start looking up for exercises to do, I get overwhelmed by all the different kinds and what they're good for.
 "Identify steps to correct each negative habit."
  • I have tried many things to help this, but nothing has worked yet. However, I will begin again, and try to be in bed at least by midnight, and will try the melatonin again. I will attempt to stop using electronics at least an hour before bed. Unfortunately I don't have a chair that fits well at my desk so I'm stuck using my laptop on my bed. Hopefully in the future I'll be able to get a chair that is tall enough for my desk.
  • The first step to this is correcting my sleeping. Then I will make a plan for what exercise I am going to do for the week or month. In the meantime, I can also focus on low intensity exercises, such as weights, that will hopefully not make me dizzy.
Health and nutrition are something I have been wanting to get right for so very long now. It's so easy to fall back into bad habits just because they're easy or because you forget you had planned to do things differently. Visual reminders will help, as well as making a list of healthy recipes to try, as well as the various exercises I would like to try in order to meet my fitness goals. I have to remind myself that I am worthy of my dream level of fitness, and I am capable of making this dream a reality.

"I am growing healthier and stronger every day."

15 Day Affirmation Challenge: Day 12 [Wealth]

I am taking part in PE's 15 Day Affirmation Challenge. For more information, click here.

Today's challenge is about wealth. Thankfully, up til now in my life, I haven't had to think too much about money since we've been living comfortably on what we have, something I'm very grateful for. However, as a recent graduate looking to get into the working world, I've begun to think more about what it would mean, and what it would take to be financially independent.

"Identify at least one self-limiting belief about money that you have."
  • To be honest, I don't have many thoughts about money as an entity. Perhaps the most common thought about money is that it's "evil."
  • My second thought might be that I don't know how to make money or make enough so that I can live independently and comfortably, but this is more of a subconscious thought rather than a conscious one (at least up til now).
"Challenge these beliefs."
  •  What I really mean in reference to the statement above, is that it can cause people to do evil things (e.g. scam others, be dishonest, steal, lie, cheat etc.) to get more of it. And in this case, it's not the money that is bad, but a person's reaction to it. Having a lot of money is not a bad thing; how you use it is what counts.
  • Maybe I don't know right now how to make money, but I can put an effort into learning about the various avenues through which one can create an income, whether active or passive.
"Create new positive beliefs."
  • Money is a neutral agent; it is what we make it out to be. It is not evil.
  • Earning money is a skill that anyone can learn 
"Identify one positive step you can take towards your financial goal."
  • I've had a book called Nice Girl Don't Get Rich for a while now, and although I've flipped through it before, I'll start reading it with intent and learning about the steps I can take to start earning an income. Also, getting a job will be a good start. 
As I said above, I haven't had to think much about money before, but now that I'm going to working soon and earning, I would like to make the best of it, and learn how to meet my financial goals. One of the reasons I look forward to making money is so that I can give in charity, because I believe that this is a very important part of life. Although, no matter what little we have, it is also good to be generous, since by giving, you are earning good :)

"I am financially abundant and money comes to me naturally."

Sunday, 20 July 2014

15 Day Affirmation Challenge: Day 11 [Career]

I am taking part in PE's 15 Day Affirmation Challenge. For more information, click here.

Today's challenge is about career. As a recent university graduate, and in fact for many years prior to graduating, career options have been something I've been thinking about for a long, long time. Although I have a vague notion of what I want to do, I'm still confused as to what career I will actually fit well into. Especially now with just a BA, I don't think there is a lot of scope for what I want to do.

"Identify your ideal career."

However, ultimately I have a vision of the type of career I want; that of a helping job. I want to be able to help people, both in the short term but more so in the long term. With a BA in Psychology, I've been veering toward a career in Counseling (which needs a further degree). However, I'm not 100% set on that, plus there is pressure from parental forces who are not in complete agreement with that choice. I am also interested in the coaching field, which seems like something I may enjoy doing as well.

I would love to incorporate my love of writing into my job, and have a self development blog that can bring in income where I share my insights with others, as well as, as a more long term goal, publish a book (or several?!) on the theme of self development.

My *ultimate* dream job would somehow incorporate music into what I do. Music was my first love, the first thing I became passionate about and it's something I'm very good at. It brings a lot of joy into my life and it makes me sad to see it fall by the wayside.

Right now, in the interim between my BA and my Master's I'm considering doing a certification course in TESOL. I'm sort of dragging my feet on it, because even though it'll allow me to travel as well as to earn, I'm a bit (or very much -__-') scared of the unknown.

"Identify 3 things blocking you from pursuing your ideal career now."
  •  confusion. My confusion over what I really want to do always leads thoughts about my future into a black hole. I start with the good intention of figuring it out, but then end up confused at all the things I want to do and not knowing what I should put first, or what I would actually enjoy or be good at doing. I'm a person who generally tries to follow my heart, but I've lost confidence that I actually know what that is, and to some people to whom I have to justify my decisions, this is not good enough, they want more "rational" thinking. But I don't want to do something just because it's a good idea to do it, or because it'll make a lot of money; I want to do something I'm passionate about, that I enjoy doing and that I'm good at and in which I'm actually making a difference in people's lives.
  • fear/anxiety. I'm afraid of the unknown, and I'm afraid that I won't live up to my expectations, or that I fail at reaching my dreams. I'm afraid of bad things happening if I do go after my dreams. I'm afraid that I won't be any good at what I do and that I won't be making as much of a difference in people's lives as I want or in relation to the amount of time/money/resources spent on trying to do that.
  •  knowledge. the first being a lack of knowledge of the ins and outs of the areas I want to have a career in. Also, for some of my future aspirations such as either becoming a coach or a counselor, I need further study in these areas.

"Identify solutions for these obstacles."
  •  To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how to solve the problem around my confusion. I think perhaps one way is to find out the daily ins and outs of the lives of those in the careers I"m looking into. One way would potentially be to get in touch with these careers and with the qualifications I have or intend to get and ask them about their jobs and their responsibilities, etc.
  • For the fear part of it, this is difficult because while there are larger fears that I mentioned above, I also struggle with anxiety at times, which can affect the "little" things, such as making phone calls to people I don't know, or meeting with others I haven't met before, etc. The one thing I try to do is talk to myself, and remind myself that everything is going to be okay. Even if I make a little slip up, it's not the end of the world. And I can gain a whole lot more from facing my fears than from hiding behind them. I have to act in my brave moments, before the fear takes over again. Still, it's a struggle, but one I'm trying to fight.
  • I think this links back to the first solution: getting in touch with people in these careers. Having a better idea of what's involved will hopefully make it easier to figure out where my niche lies. Also, further study in the areas I want to advance in.

Clearly this is something that has been on my mind for a long time, and that has been bothering me for as long as it has. The place I get stuck is not having  a clear goal, for example, a particular role  or an organization I'd like to work for. Sometimes I think I'd like to do something, work somewhere, but then my mind goes on a series of what-ifs and more often I feel like I don't have what it takes. Perhaps the main reason behind my stagnancy in this area is my self doubt, that I'm not sure I can actually live out my dreams. For as long as I've known, I've always had this nagging feeling that I'd never get what I want. And perhaps that stops me from working towards it. I think I have past experiences where I've tried but failed at things, and I've taken that as the gospel so to speak to mean I'll fail at everything.

But that can't be true, because there are things I've succeeded at. There are things I've accomplished that I'm proud of. It's just the negative voice in my head telling me I can't do what I want. I think I have to work from the inside out in trying to change the dialogue in my head and within my self as a first step to achieving my dreams and goals.

I have to somehow make myself believe that I am worthy and I am capable.

 "I'm doing what I love, and earning lots of money doing it."

Friday, 18 July 2014

15 Day Affirmation Challenge: Day 10 [Love]

I am taking part in PE's 15 Day Affirmation Challenge. For more information, click here.

Today's challenge is about love. Unlike yesterday's challenge which focused on relationships in the broadest sense of the word, today's focuses on romantic love. I should have known this would show up in the challenge somewhere, ha. Not that I have anything against love per se, but I just have a whole lot of feelings about it, thanks to some previous experiences as well as my observations of relationships around me. Although when I think about it, it's not love I have the problem with, but rather the way some relationships tend to play out. Love in its truest sense is a beautiful thing, but it can become tainted when a relationships lacks other essential things such as trust, communication and respect. Thankfully I'm not in a place where I'm desperate for love but am content in my singleness. Although there are sometimes moments when I wish for companionship, on the whole I am happy to be where I am relationship-wise. But I digress. Let's see what today's tasks are.

"Imagine your ideal romantic relationship."
  • My top quality for a future mate is someone who shares my faith. My faith is a hugely important part of my life and has influenced who I am by many degrees. I want to be able to connect with my partner on a spiritual level. Sharing the same faith will allow him to understand me and the choices I make on a deeper level than someone who does not. I want to be able to pray with my partner, and use this to build the foundation of our relationship.
  • Effective communication is a must, especially in times of conflict. My past experience with a stone-waller has led me to realize the absolute necessity of being able to discuss and talk about the problems that come up in a relationship. Communication includes both talking and listening. I've realized that much conflict and bad feelings come up because of miscommunication in the relationship - making assumptions, not saying how you feel or what you really think, not trying to understand the other person's perspective, etc.
  • Respect. I think this is absolutely necessary in every relationship. I think perhaps people do not always understand the true meaning of what it means to respect someone. If respect is there, a lot of problems will be more easily solved. If you respect your partner, you listen when they speak, you validate their emotions even if you have different opinions, you strive to do or not do things that you know will hurt or upset them, etc. etc. Part of respect is pulling your weight in the relationship and this includes the mundane such as chores and errands.
  • I would love to be with someone who is patient, understanding, supportive and gentle. As a sensitive, emotional person, I need my partner to not be afraid of emotion - whether mine or his - and understand that it is part of who I am, the way I express myself and not something to be "fixed" or stopped the minute it starts. 
  • Simply put, a nice guy. Someone who is respectful to all, kind, helpful, ambitious but not at the expense of others, and strong in his faith.
"Identify simple steps you can take to make this relationship happen."
  • On reading the article referenced, I think the main thing for me right now is to begin developing my whole self, and reaching my fullest potential. Lately I'd had the feeling that it is time to make positive changes in my life (for my own sake) because I wasn't living up to who I could be, and I was just tired of living the way I was. I think finding myself is the first step to finding that person. To be honest, I feel like I haven't made much progress in my self development journey, however, and it's been soul crushing to keep feeling like a failure. I feel stifled by my physical surroundings and in other ways and despite reading many articles on change and making positive changes, I still feel like I don't really know how to make them happen. But I won't give up hope, and will start to make plans for the things I want to achieve in the near and far future. I'm a believer that people come into your life when you're ready, so I'm trying to make myself ready, but not (only) with the intention of love, but with my personal well being at the core of that intention.
 I can write for days on the topic of love and relationships, my opinions of them, how I feel about them, but I think at the end of the day, all I want is a respectful, loving and supportive companion when the time is right. I don't think there is one way or path to finding this person; they are as varied as there are people, and for some, it may not even be guaranteed. But I think the best way is to be the kind of person you'd want to be with, live or at least strive to your highest potential and never forget that the one person who is first worthy of all your love and attention is yourself.

"From this moment on, I'm attracting my soul mate, and in time to come, we'll meet and forever be bound in love and light."