“No matter how thin, successful, or attractive you become, insecure thoughts don’t go away. That’s because you can never resolve an inner false thought with an outer reality.” - Marie Forleo
Yesterday I was browsing my Facebook page and I noticed a feature I had never seen before: Negative Feedback. When you have a professional or business page you are able to monitor how many people engage with your posts, well one of the engagements they monitor is how many people respond negatively. There’s no more information than one line stating how many people gave “negative feedback,” so I did some research into what exactly this meant.
Of course my mind was already spinning with anxious, fearful thoughts about the bad-mouthing that was happening behind my back!
As it turns out, negative feedback is people actively choosing to hide my posts, block my updates completely, or even Un-Like my page…ouch!
It was amazing how quickly old thinking was able to show up in my mind and the self-doubt began to take over. I began obsessively reading through every post and inspirational picture I’ve posted looking for and trying to figure out what I had done “wrong.”
Should I have posted that? Should I have said that? Should I have told everyone about that?
I wish I could say that it just stopped there but sadly it did not. The catastrophic thoughts then made their lovely appearance and within a matter of minutes I had come to the conclusion that not only was nobody going to like me on Facebook but I would never get another client referral, all my current clients would eventually leave, and my whole practice would fall apart.
I had bankrupted my family and we were moving in with our parents because a handful of people didn’t like me on Facebook!
It’s humorous reflecting back on the absolute absurdity of this thought process but in the moment I really feared this. I was completely caught up in the rejection I felt at the awareness that not everybody is liking what I’m putting out there.
I don’t know anybody who doesn’t ache, even just a tiny bit, at the feeling of rejection. Even though I know rationally, and really do believe, that I cannot please everyone; I lost my sense of self, momentarily, in the need for external validation. In that brief moment my self-worth became based on someone else’s opinion of me.
As it turns out, I received a notification on my Facebook page, less than an hour later, from a friend commenting on a post and she said:
“Always positive.. Always inspire me with your posts.. Whether quotes of your own or
others. You take the time :)”
Thank you, Joy! That was exactly what I needed to hear. And not because my wounded ego was needing a boost. Because I needed to be reminded of why I do what I do.
I’m human. I’m fragile. I slip into negative thinking and old perspectives. But I believe, whole-heartedly, in miracles. I believe in the power of a shift in perspective. I believe happiness is a choice and I believe we have the power to choose what we want to believe in.
I had a choice yesterday. I could believe the insecure thinking that I’m doing something wrong by putting myself out there the way that I am, or I could believe that it’s okay if not everyone likes me. I choose to believe that when I remain true to myself and in line with my purpose those that are meant to be in my life will show up, or stick around.
One of my favorite quotes that I keep near and dear to my heart is that:
“Rejection is the Universe’s protection.”
This doesn’t give me a free pass to not look at myself, my choices, and my actions, and take appropriate steps to correct when I make a mistake. This does give me the trust and the faith that when someone doesn’t like me, or chooses to leave my life in any way, it wasn’t meant to be, and now there’s an opening for someone else, who’s meant to be there, to show up!
No one is immune to rejection and the rejection itself is not usually the problem. It’s the meaning that we give to that rejection that really matters. How do you want to perceive rejection?
I really do want to hear back from you on this topic because I know I can’t be the only one who has made up really crazy stories about rejection! Let me know your thoughts and reactions in the comments section below.