Author: Wale Akinyemi
 Overcoming Rejection

Overcoming Rejection

One great hindrance to the progress of people is what I call the spirit of rejection. It is bad enough to think that people reject you but the worst kind of rejection is self rejection. For instance, my mother was deaf in one ear. No one knew because the other ear was very well developed and you’d have to really pay close attention to notice. However, she thought that it was very visible and that everyone knew and this affected her confidence and esteem for a long time. So many people are going through this kind of rejection in different areas of their lives. It takes a weakness, blows it out of proportion and then deceives you to think everyone is talking about it. Once that happens the victim gets robbed of the most powerful attribute of achievers – the confidence to act. In reality, if you know how little people talk about you, you will probably get offended that they are not talking about you enough!

This lack of confidence to act has limited many people in life. They have great ideas and are very brilliant but are contained by the lack of confidence to act which is fuelled by the fear of being wrong and what people will say. if you do not accept yourself what right do you have to expect people to accept you? I have learnt that many times, people just take the cue from you. Remember that no one can walk on the back of someone who is standing upright. Similarly no one can step on the toes of someone who is moving.  What vibes are you transmitting that empower people to treat you badly? Whether you know it or not, you are always communicating something and many times, people’s behavior towards you is a reaction to what you are communicating.

Ironically I learned the first principles of accepting myself from my mother. I was a little child growing up in England and some of my classmates used to make fun of me. They called me a Pakistani bee. The truth is that I was little and did not know what it meant but they really made fun of me to the point where I cried and reported to my mum. She asked me two questions. First she said, ‘are you a Pakistani?  (Mind you that I did not know what a Pakistani was). I said no. then she said ‘are you a bee?  She then asked why I was behaving in a manner likely to suggest that they might be right.

This reminds me of the story of a man that was in my village and having a shower. Shower within the context of my village meant there was a cubicle made with iron sheets where you took a bucket of water. You hung your clothes on the iron sheets as you cleaned yourself. The man in question was doing just that with soap all over his body when a mad man decided to take off with his clothes and the towel pulling them down from outside. This gentleman on seeing this ran out of the cubicle and began chasing the mad man shouting at the top of his voice ‘He’s mad. He’s mad’. Please tell me my dear friends, which of the two looks more convincingly mad?

This is exactly how we look when we pay attention to every criticism and negativity that is thrown at us. My mother told me to go back to school and tell the students that were making fun of me that I had more brains that all of them put together. Now it’s interesting that I never really was able to measure the brain capacity of each one but just saying it out to them made me feel so good about myself and affected me all my life. I believed in my brains.

So, how do you deal with rejection? Remember the story of David and Goliath. David built confidence from the fact that he had once killed a lion and a bear and so Goliath would not be an issue. Similarly we all have our lion and bear stories. For me It was saying to myself that I had brains. Think of something in your life that works  – that you are proud about. It could be your ability to think, to sing, to cook, to argue intelligently, to come up with ideas, to write, to read, to enjoy yourself – whatever it is, just think of something good about yourself. Remember that no matter how bad you think things are today there are people somewhere that envy you. Also remember that even a broken clock is correct twice a day. There is something good about you. Think about it. Affirm it to yourself and rise up to a new life with your confidence boosted by your lion and bear stories. It does not matte how many reasons you have to reject yourself. One reason to accept yourself is enough reason to take you to the next phase of your life. Do not dance to the music of a band you did not hire. The rejection of man has no bearing on the person who accepts himself.

Do have a lovely weekend and celebrate yourself this weekend. There is something absolutely wonderful about you.  twitter@waleakinyemi

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