Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rejection or Blessing in Disguise?

Rejection? Ouch!!! There is no point in trying to pretend that any one of us is immune from the sting.  Rejection can feel unpleasant, embarrassing, awkward and at times, completely devastating. It may crush our self-esteem or take us down a mental road of self-doubt, criticism and blame. Even for the most outwardly confident and self assured among us, it simply is not fun to feel rejected. In fact a sad truth is that very often the fear of rejection is what stops us from reaching our potential or going for what we really want in life. I have known people, who generally seem completely suave and confident, lose their nerve when it comes to approaching that one special person who really rocks their world. Perhaps the fear of rejection has stopped you from going for your dreams, applying for your dream job, or asking for other things that you really want.

Many of us have to wrestle with this potential "demon" on a regular basis. Some careers, like mine for example, are especially prone to challenge us in regard to how we deal with rejection.  If you are a service provider, an artist, a performer, in business for yourself, or in any line of work that involves selling a product or a service, then you probably know exactly what I am talking about. Today I am prepared to be transparent as I share with you a personal story of rejection, in the hopes that this may inspire you to perceive any potential rejection that comes your way in a better light; with a measure of grace, humor, and perhaps even some optimism. Yes, I know it may be hard to believe, but even "goddesses" have to deal with rejection, from time to time.

I think it is just human nature to want to be liked. We want to put our best face forward when we are meeting someone new. Especially if we are getting ready to go on a job interview, or perhaps meeting someone from an online dating site for coffee, which is a lot like a job interview if you think about it. Then if the coffee date goes well... who knows, maybe a "real" date.  I know that as a woman, getting ready to go on a first date with someone we think may be special is a really big deal. It might even involve shopping. We want to pick out the perfect outfit to accentuate our best features, and get our hair, nails and makeup just right. It can be a whole ritual that takes a few hours; trying on different outfits, figuring out just how to wear our hair; up, down, pulled back, falling softly around the face, curly, straight...  Although the typical man may not spend quite as much time as the typical woman, I imagine most thoughtful men put some time and effort into how they groom and dress themselves for an important first impression as well, and I think we all appreciate this extra effort. I don't think there is anything wrong with trying to look our best, and being on our best behavior. First impressions can be lasting and crucial! On the other hand, pretending to be someone we are not, or creating a fake personality is never a good plan.

If you have ever tried Internet dating, you may wonder if all common sense has been lost. Perhaps you have noticed that not everyone adopts a policy of honest self portrayal, which is really silly, if you hope to get past a first meet and greet with anyone. Are people simply in denial? Have they been avoiding looking directly into a mirror ever since they left high school? In their own distorted minds perhaps they still look and feel just like they did 10 or 15 years ago, or before they gained all those pounds. But I think mostly people just don't think far enough into the future when they choose a plan of action that involves misrepresentation.

This shortsightedness goes beyond using outdated pictures. In an effort to appear more interesting and exciting, people will sometimes make up phony careers or describe themselves as athletic when in reality they just like to watch sports on TV. People sometimes fain an interest in hobbies or activities that they don't really care anything about, all just to impress whomever they are meeting.  Even if it works at first, it will only lead to many more hours of having to fake it, until some point when you just can't take it any more, and either little by little or all at once, the truth comes out. The only really sane behavior is to be authentic and honest right from the beginning, even before a first date.

We need to be honest with ourselves first, and remember that what we really want and need is to attract people into our lives who will love and appreciate the real us, just as we are. Being really authentic often takes some practice and a healthy does of self confidence. However, once you get the hang of it, I believe you will notice that it really cuts out a lot of potential heartache and rejection. It also really helps you to attract like minded people who value the same things you do. However, even authentic gods and goddesses will experience rejection, at least every now and then, because this is part of real life. People will disappoint us at times, no matter what we do. We should not blame ourselves every time someone doesn't call or doesn't show up when they promised they would. Not everyone we interact with will be as evolved, clear and honest as we would like. Sometimes people just lie to save face, change their mind, or don't really know what they want to begin with.

Often times what we first may interpret as a rejection, is really dodging a bullet. I prefer a clear "no" over a disingenuous "yes" or a wishy washy "maybe" any day.  The clear "no" doesn't waste my time. It frees me up to move forward, to be open to take advantage of an other opportunity right away, or to connect with someone who may be a much better fit. This has been my experience many times in my life, both personally and professionally.  In fact just this week I had such an experience. I will tell you about a wonderful example of what first appeared to be a rejection, but later turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I believe that these principles of authenticity should not only be applied to dating and romantic relationships, but to our professional lives as well. If the service being offered is not accurately described, or the provider has misrepresented themselves in some way, naturally this will not lead to happy customers or repeat business.  Because I value authenticity, and recognize its value for reducing the frequency of rejection, I have made an effort to include recent photographs of myself on my website. Of course, like most people, I want to put my best face forward. I select pictures that I think are flattering, wearing colors that look good on me, showing a warm inviting smile on my face, yet hopefully these pictures are an accurate representation of what I look like today. I do not wish to create an unrealistic expectation that I am some kind of twenty year old super model. I would rather have my clients arrive for a session with an idea of who to expect, and be happy to recognize me as the woman they saw in the photos.

If you have taken the time to read the content of this blog or my website then I trust you see that I share who I am, as well as my overall healing philosophy quite openly. I have filled this blog with heartfelt content. My intention is to share quality information, and to extend good faith to my potential clients by modeling the kind of open communication I would like from them. I have done all this quite intentionally to attract the type of clients that want and need the healing services I offer, and to help weed out those who would not be happy with who I am or what I am offering. My etiquette page is very helpful clarifying just how I expect to be treated. Typically my methods work well. However, on rare occasions someone slips through my radar.

The other day I had a new client. From the moment this client arrived, I could tell something was off. He did not smile or look me in the eyes. He seemed distracted and nervous; fidgeting with the change in his pockets. Normally I am able to put people at ease right away, but this time it didn't feel like there was anything I could do to connect with him. He didn't appear receptive to a hug hello or even a handshake. He stood awkwardly in the middle of my treatment room. I had to invite him to have a seat twice before he finally sat down. However, it was only a few seconds before he was saying something about how he forgot his cell phone in the car.

I touched his hand and looked him right in the eyes and said,"you seem a little nervous, is everything OK?" For a split second, I felt a connection. He took a deep breath and let it out. He finally made eye contact with me for about 3 seconds. He looked like he wanted to share something real, but then he looked away and said "everything is fine" and went right back into the phony cell phone story. So I said, "Sure... go." I knew this was an excuse to get out the door, but I did not try to stop him. A moment after he got into his car I could hear the engine start up, and then him driving away.

I wished he had been able to just tell me directly that he had changed his mind, or whatever was going on. I did not allow myself to go down the whole road of self doubt. I resisted the impulse to call or text him to ask why. There was a momentary feeling of loss. This was certainly unsettling. He had shut me out before we began. I had gotten mentally as well as physically prepared to offer a healing session, but I hadn't gotten the opportunity to show my magic. Plus, I really could have used the money from this session. However, what I realized that I felt most of all was a sense of relief.  I took a deep clearing breathe and simply let it go. Just then my phone rang. It was him, the same client who had just walked out my door! He called to apologize for leaving. He told me that he had gotten nervous and didn't feel comfortable.  I told him that honestly it was a little unsettling that he just left like that, but I told him that his call made me feel much better. I thanked him for telling me the truth. I let him know that I thought it was a good thing he paid attention to how he was feeling, and I thanked him for taking care of himself. It was a short little conversation, but it gave me a deep sense of closure. I felt surprisingly calm.

Not even five minutes went by and I got a call from another prospective client who gladly answered all my screening questions, and said all the right things, but he was hoping he could see me right away, if at all possible. It felt like a gift from the Universe. Since I was all ready set up and prepared, and my schedule had just magically cleared up, I was able to do something I generally do not do. I booked an immediate session. In about twenty minutes, I was facilitating a wonderful healing session with a very charming, calm and receptive client. Everything felt perfect, as it should be. I was so glad that the first client had opted to leave so that I was available to meet with this new client. After our session was over, this client shared with me that he had been interested in coming to see me for awhile. He told me that he had read all the details of my website and was contemplating calling me maybe for a couple months, but hadn't gotten up the nerve until today.  He said he just got what felt like a strong impulse that today was the day to call me and schedule a session. He also said that he was very glad that he had followed that impulse... that it was exactly what he needed and he made plans to return in two weeks.

My final assessment of this apparent "rejection" was that it was truly a blessing in disguise, and perhaps a gift from the Universe to reinforce my faith. Historically I have been a rather sensitive person and tend to take everything to heart. I could have easily let this experience dash my spirits but I didn't, and I didn't waist my energy wondering what was wrong with me and why he had rejected me?  It was wonderful to see this all play out so quickly. What a lovely opportunity to experience how "non-attachment" can work magic. When I was able to graciously let go of the feeling of wanting to complete a session with a client who was really not ready to have a healing session with me, then I was open to fully receive a client who was ready to have a healing session with me. Now I am ready to see what other magic this practice of non-attachment will work in my life.