How are you currently rejecting yourself on an almost daily basis?
There are SO many ways we reject our very existence as ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ or not ‘normal’. Half the time is painfully loud. The other half it’s totally unconscious and so ‘normal’ to us that we don’t even think to call ourselves on it or to challenge it.
It’s so rehearsed and familiar to us we believe it’s who we are, and how it will always be.
One of the big ways I see this show up is not looking after yourself. This was a BIG one for me. Patterns of eating badly, not prioritising sleep, not doing the things I know make me feel good, not exercising. I’ve healed this pattern in so many areas and looking after myself is a big priority. It still shows up for me sometimes, my deepest pattern of self rejection is around food.
It can be complex. Because as much as food can be a way to reject yourself, it can also be a learned behaviour around self soothing like it was for me. It can also be due to a lack mindset that you learned in childhood, which it also was for me. It can also be a way of punishing yourself. It can also be worth looking at the ‘identity’ piece of the puzzle around it. It can also be a numbing behaviour. So it can be a tricky one to shift but the key is to notice it’s happening and get curious about what might have caused it to be there in the first place. Our relationship with food is an entire subject in and of itself. So just start to notice your patterns on this one.
Another trap we can fall into around self rejection is being around people who don’t make you feel good. A lot of the time I see this it goes back to school. Being one of the cool kids. Wanting to feel and be accepted. We can take part in behaviours that don’t make us feel good. We can do things we might not do if we were truly with ‘our’ people, who accepted us for exactly who we are. Notice if you’re around people where you think you need to change yourself to fit in or be accepted. Limit your time with these people and increase it with the people who really get you and have your back. Notice how quickly the pattern shifts and you realise how bad for your mental health it was to be around those people. You do not need other people to validate that you’re worth knowing. You are.
It may show up in our numbing behaviours and avoiding or suppressing your feelings. Notice the kinds of things you read and watch. Do they make you feel good or bad?
Not allowing yourself to be supported is a big way to self reject. The idea that if you accept help then it means you’re not good enough. Or that you’re not worthy of the help in the first place.
Not fully going after what you want from a perspective of not being good enough or unworthy.
Focusing on what you don’t have or what you haven’t done rather than what you do have and have achieved. Thus reinforcing your ‘not good enoughs’ and filtering out any and all the evidence to the contrary.
Pointing out your own flaws. What’s the first thing you think when you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning? Do you look for your wrinkles? Your scars? Your wobbles? Where is your focus? What is the self talk? We need to learn to flip that switch or we’re forever going to be reinforcing those negative neural pathways.
All the times you say there’s no point trying, you’re self rejecting.
Every time you compare yourself to someone else, you’re self rejecting.
Ignoring your own intuition and not trusting your decisions is self rejecting.
Suppressing and ignoring your feelings and emotions is a HUGE way to reject ourselves.
We are fundamentally rejecting huge parts of ourselves. Our very existence as not good enough.
A lot of self rejection really is the same as self sabotage, it’s absolutely a form of it, but it also differs in that it comes not just from a place of your brain and your nervous system keeping you safe.
Self rejection is about self worth. What you believe you deserve. It’s doing the things that reinforce and allow you to stay in those not good enough feelings. They keep you feeling bad about yourself. Whether it’s physically, mentally or emotionally.
It’s providing yourself the life experiences and evidence that continue to reinforce that negative self talk you bombard yourself with daily.
I used to do this to myself ALL the time. I really struggled to find anything I liked about myself. My behaviour, friends and partners I would choose would all just serve to reinforce it. Amazing how we’re wired to do this to ourselves.
We have to acknowledge how long these thoughts and patterns have been around. How long and how many times we’ve rehearsed them. We learn to self reject as small children.
When there’s a relational rupture in our attachment with our primary caregivers we turn inwards because that’s safer than the opposite, which is to believe that we are a good person in a bad situation. That’s life or death to our nervous system because without our primary caregivers we can’t survive. So we turn not getting our needs met to mean I must be bad, and then carry that into adulthood.
You can have incredible parents and still have this occur. You’ve got grandparents, nursery, school, society, other kids that all contribute to this. It’s not about blame. It’s impossible to meet a child’s needs 100% of the time, particularly when they can’t communicate.
So what can we do about it once we’ve recognised it?
The first thing we can do Befriend your emotions. Be curious about them. Learn to sit with them and be ok having them. Understand what they’re trying to communicate to you.
Then learn to regulate your emotions and your nervous system. So many of us are operating from a state of nervous system dysregulation which leads to a lot of our self rejecting behaviours. Learn to crack that and you’ll see HUGE changes.
Analyse what and who makes you feel good and what and who makes you feel bad. Look at your circle. It’s not about just cutting people off but creating that distance can be really important. It’s no good doing it simply because you feel bad and trying to just ignore the feeling.
The consciousness side of it is an opportunity to heal. To be really clear it’s NOT about avoiding your feelings on this one. It’s consciously moving towards people who make you feel good.
When you take the brain’s ability to rewire itself through neuroplasticity think about what each circumstance is reinforcing and wiring in for you.
Think about the fact you’re trying to rewire patterns, literally changing your brain…how amazing is that that we can do that!
So simply by being around people that make you feel good about yourself and NOT spending time with the people that don’t, you’re wiring your brain to feel good about yourself.
Start to consciously go against those tendencies towards detrimental behaviour. Slowly! Start small. This is why in my membership The Positive Pants Toolkit, everything is in bite sized pieces and I’m always encouraging people to just start with 5 minutes. Build from there. But just start with committing to 5 minutes of consciously going against those tendencies.
Acknowledge that nothing is ever going to be as quite bad as it is in your head. You are probably, by far, your harshest critic. Therefore, anything anyone else can do or say is probably not going to be as bad as what you’re already saying to yourself.
Start to be honest with yourself about the things you DO like about yourself. If you’re feeling brave, pick a few people that you trust and ask them what they love about you. Write them down and refer back to it frequently! Add to it frequently! I end up blubbering my eyes out every time I revisit this exercise. It’s seriously powerful.
Recognise you might be rejecting yourself before other people reject you. Think to yourself…what if they don’t?
The biggest thing I want you to take away from this is first of all awareness, but second of all that it CAN change. And if you put in the work, it WILL change. I’m living proof of that. Who you are today isn’t who you have to be tomorrow.
Fran Excell, Success Mindset Mentor at www.franexcell.com – Helping Business Owners & Executives Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage so they can get back their time, get off the emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control.
Check out The Positive Pants Podcast Here
Download your FREE Stressed To Success Meditation Here
Join The Positive Pants Toolkit App Here
Book In a Free 20 Minute Discovery Call Here