Vulnerability, or the act of being vulnerable, is about as uncomfortable as taking the light rail on a 115-degree day in Phoenix.
When people applaud you after whatever it is you did outside of your comfort zone and it went better than you could have imagined, vulnerability feels incredible. Yes, we’re on the right track! I was amazing at this all along! I should do this all the time!
And when there’s an indifferent response, no feedback one way or another, it feels perhaps one small step above rejection.
In other words, it sucks. You feel weird. You question why you’re doing it and whether you’ll ever do it again.
Rejection isn’t possible without the act of being vulnerable. Most successes aren’t either.
Still, rejection doesn’t feel good. For me, the feeling takes over my day. I feel annoyed under my own skin, trapped in my own thoughts.
20-year-old Michelle would stay trapped there, retreating further inside, letting rejection frame her identity.
25-year-old Michelle probably cried before moving on. Not my favorite reaction, but letting it out is better than bottling in.
30-year-old Michelle took up her husband’s offer to talk it out during the workday. Then she went home and went for a run. Then wrote a blog post. And felt sooooo much better.
Hard feelings don’t go away the older you get. Even if your confidence is in a better place now, rejection still sucks. And we have to keep putting ourselves out there because the greatest joys and lessons come from our ability to be vulnerable.
What helps combat the feelings of rejection is self-awareness, knowing yourself enough to know what you truly need in that moment and having the kindness to give yourself what you need.
And if someone offers to take a few minutes out of their day to let you talk it out, consider yourself blessed. Take them up on it.
How do you fight hard feelings? What is your go-to remedy for rejection? Share your thoughts in the comments!