19th July 2010
Years ago I had a very different life to the one I have now. I had a career which I hated but it paid me a lot of money, I was in a relationship which I knew deep down wasn’t right but didn’t want to leave “just in case it changed for the better” and I lived in a tiny little flat with not much room at all. I wanted more out of life and felt I deserved more, but was so unsure of how to get it and was in denial about what direction to go in. The fear within me would hold me back quite nicely so I was actually miserable despite the smiley mask I showed everyone.
My life sort of felt stable though and that was good enough for now. Wasn’t it?
However, a series of unexpected events meant that the rug was well and truly pulled from under my feet, and my world was then changed forever.
No job, no money, no relationship and no home. I won’t go into details of what happened but it felt like it was a major rejection of me and that was horrendously painful to experience. Down into the pit of despair I sank for a while and then it began to change.
I now look back and am very thankful that it did happen, despite the pain, as what happened next was just brilliant. The pain forced me to become more resourceful, stronger, and wiser in my bid to change the hurt inside and also the dire circumstances I found myself in. I took risks, I became more assertive and I took the time to understand more about myself and my life. This resulted in a life which I just love and circumstances which just make me smile as I now live quite an amazing life.
So how do I view possible rejection now?
Whilst I know it bloody hurts, I also know there are benefits I am not aware of yet as the pain will help me look for what to do next, and to explore possibilities and potential, and gain more strength, resources and knowledge. I no longer fear rejection the same way as I did before. I use its fear to ensure I do my best to not fail, and if I do in some way, I use the pain as a message “to do something different“. Looking back at all the negativity that I can remember, I can list how I gained from each experience and how that still continues. Negativity has never been the same since.
Negativity is a simple message “to do something different“. It is like an email popping up and once read we can delete as we look for that something different to do. Eventually it’s hard to say whether the email was negative or positive as it becomes a bit of a grey area as perspectives of the message can change all the time.
Anxiety, stress, frustration, guilt, anger, jealousy and depression are all emails reminding you to do something different. What could it be?
The positive thinking brigade are in danger of suppressing their thoughts for happy thoughts under the illusion they will become happier, wealthier people if they do, and yet the negativity they suppress waits like a sleeping volcano to erupt and they wonder where it all went wrong.
I now love and appreciate negativity as much as I do positivity as both reward my life greatly. By thinking about negativity this way the fear is greatly reduced and has less of a toxic effect on my brain and body. I also take more risks now, knowing that whatever happens will happen and I will deal with it, my childlike part which feared rejection and negativity has grown up and now being an adult will reap the rewards from what comes next.
Exploring the benefits of negativity has been very enlightening for clients as they look at their pasts and futures and begin to see them in a different way. One client said “I did this with rejection and I can’t wait to just get on with my life now, instead of procrastinating through fear!” A few months later and the changes they made were incredible, all because fear was now being worked with in a different way.
Here’s a great way of working with negativity to see how you benefit
Just like my experience, choose 3 or more negative situations from the past and one by one go through how you have benefited from each one.
Now choose 3 or more negative situations you fear happening in your future. Is there something you fear being rejected from? How would you benefit if the rejection happened? Get creative!
Make it habitual to explore the definite and possible benefits from negativity and see what happens from there.