How to break the addiction of significance
Of the three most common causes of stress – the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, and the fear of risk – which one is your biggest trigger?
For me, it’s the fear of rejection. Which makes it particularly tough to be truly vulnerable. And is a major reason why I have put off writing this post for weeks.
You see, my fear of being rejected causes me to avoid anything that will expose me in some way to negativity. It also causes me to do anything that will boost my significance. Most often, that is expressed in my professional life. I work really hard to “prove my worth” and “build my brand.”
Now, I’m not saying that positively contributing and having a solid reputation are bad things. But when you put them into the hands of an addict – well.
Fundamentally, I have come to learn that I will never be sufficiently significant. I will never reach a point where I can say, “that’s enough recognition.” At least, not while I allow my fear of rejection to have any strength.
And how am I dealing with this? I don’t know if it will ever go away, but I have found that my fear is shrinking dramatically as I invest in a completely different motion: accepting myself just as I am.
In other words, significance versus rejection is a false debate. Neither one of them really matters. No matter what I do, some people will think I’m awesome. And equally true, no matter what I do, some people will think I’m a jerk.
But people don’t define who I am. I do. And if I define who I am, then I have the ability to accept who I am.
If I choose to do this.
And what does that look like?
It looks like empathy for the journey I have taken. It looks like the recognition that no one is perfect and acknowledging that includes me. It looks like the peace that comes from fully loving myself because I have been fully loved.
When I do these things, I can accept myself. And my fear of rejection shrivels like a weed in the bright summer sun.
And then, I can fully accept others in a way I have never done before.
I mua. Onward and upward.
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