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I've met a guy who I am crazy about and we have been on two dates. I don't expect a third date because I haven't heard from him since. How can I truly find a way to recognize my value in the face of rejection? Do I just continue to trust the classroom and hope eventually I find a fulfilling and meaningful relationship? Any advice you can give me would be gratefully received. Could you write about how your techniques can specifically be applied to dating? I'm sure there are enough single readers out there who would benefit.
Dating is a fear-inducing experience, and rejection is an unavoidable part of the experience. Constant rejection can be hard on your self-worth and create discouragement and disappointment about life in general. (I know this because I was a single adult myself only five years ago.)
There is no other activity, except maybe looking for a job or selling something, that brings as many opportunities to experience our two deepest darkest fears: the fear of failure — the fear that we might not be good enough; and the fear of loss — the fear that our life won’t be good enough.
The good news is you can lessen these fears and actually enjoy dating and meeting people. Dating doesn’t have to be scary or painful if you can change the way you see yourself and life, and adopt a more fearless mindset. Making this change starts by understanding two inaccurate perceptions about yourself and life that create our fear. Let me explain both of them and how to change them.
1. You think your value as a human being can change. You fear rejection because you think — at the subconscious level — that what other people think of you affects your value as a person. This means if they don’t like you, you must not have much value. You also subconsciously think your value is based on things like your appearance, performance and property. This makes you compare yourself to others and feel constantly afraid you aren’t quite good enough. But this idea is only belief or perspective; it isn't truth.
You can change your perspective and adopt another idea as truth instead. This new mindset will make you feel better about yourself and help you create better relationships. The mindset I recommend says, your value as a human being is unchangeable, infinite and absolute. It is not based on your appearance, performance or property and is not affected by what anyone thinks of you. You also have the same intrinsic value as every other soul on the planet and this value never ever changes for any of us.
Adopting this mindset would mean just because a few people aren’t interested in dating you doesn’t change your value as a person and it doesn't diminish your life in any way. You are the same good person on your right journey through life whether they like you or not.
You can choose to let rejection crush your self-esteem if you want to, but you don’t have to. You can choose to see yourself as bulletproof and trust that no person and no experience can diminish you. You can choose to trust that your value isn’t on the line and therefore, there is nothing to fear.
You can experience rejection as nothing more than a sign that that person wasn’t the right one for you and it doesn’t matter which one of you realized that first. The truth is still the same: this person is the wrong one. And, you really don’t want a relationship with the wrong person anyway, so you aren’t losing anything. You are fine without the wrong person in your life.
This will take some practice to adopt, but it will change how you feel.
2. You think your life journey can be ruined or thrown off track. This is the second inaccurate belief causing you trouble. You subconsciously believe that life is chaotic, random and meaningless and that other people can literally ruin your journey or make it less than it “should” be.
Again, this is just a belief, idea or perspective; it isn’t truth. You could choose to believe you are on the planet to learn and grow, life is a classroom and the universe is a wise teacher that works with your agency to cocreate with you the perfect classroom for you. If you trusted the universe like this, you would believe it’s literally conspiring to bless, educate and improve you with every experience that happens. Every experience you have is here to serve your growth. Everything has meaning and is here for a reason — at least this is a perspective option you could choose if you want to.
This mindset would mean that if a relationship with a specific person is your perfect classroom right now that relationship will happen. If it’s not your perfect classroom it won’t happen and either way your journey will be the right one for you that will most help you to learn and grow best. If you are single right now there is a reason for that. If you are married it’s because that classroom serves you most right now. That is the reason all things happen.
Every experience is a lesson and your value — as an irreplaceable, incomparable, unique human soul — never changes. Every dating experience serves you with perfect lessons that bless your life and teach you things, but none of them affect your value.
You are going to need to internalize these principles though, so they can change how you feel about every aspect of the dating adventure. I have a Fearless Dating Reading Assignment you can download from my website, and I recommend you do it and read it three times a day. Or you can record yourself reading it on your phone and listen to it three times a day. If you want to really supercharge it, have some classical music playing in the background.
Then, the more you consciously choose to trust that your value isn’t changeable and your journey is always safe, perfect and right on track, choosing to see everything as a lesson, the more confident and happy you will become. This will also make you more and more attractive to others.
Choose to stay optimistic that the right person is coming your way and will arrive right on time when it will serve you most. Until then, be happy in the here and now. Buddha said, “It is your resistance to what is, that causes your suffering.”
Embrace “what is” (your current situation) as your perfect experience right now and have fun there. This will also draw people toward you and make your life more fulfilling.
Also, as much as you can choose to focus on edifying others, encouraging and lifting them and making friends — and stop worrying about yourself and your fears — this will also help with your fear.
I know dating can be discouraging and disappointing, but every day you get to choose if you will focus on what’s wrong and feel lonely and depressed, or count your blessing, trust the universe and make today fun and happy. Focus on gratitude and choose happy!
You can do this.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.