Heartbreak. We fear it in our writing, not to mention our relationships, health, bank account, and spiritual faith/beliefs. That monster comes up everywhere!
We can’t seem to skip over it!
Well, one thing is for certain, any heartbreak you’re feeling now is the fastest catalyst to where you want to be. It’s uncomfortable and it won’t allow you to stay where you are. Even if you don’t make all the right moves immediately, you’re more likely to stay in motion, learn and grow until you cure that discomfort. That’s the advantage of heartbreak.
And believe me, I practically have a PhD in heartbreak at this point because I’m always purposely or accidentally putting myself in that uncomfortable situations that force me to grow.
The fear of heartbreak on the other hand, just sucks and it can last forever. We all have areas in our lives where the fear of heartbreak is greater than the desire to grow and ultimately be happy.
Recently I did a survey in our free Writer’s Block community asking, “Do you fear rejection?”
Most people chose this option: “Yes, it slows me down. Sometimes I don’t do things to avoid being rejected.”
I know there are specific areas in my life where I feel that way as well, so I thought I’d write us all a love note to remind us we can handle it.
When you feel confident that you can make it through heartbreak, you’ll automatically do more with your life.
So here are the steps! Three of them.
1. The Opposite of Rejection is Connection
At a spiritual level, the reason rejection hurts so much is that it makes us feel separate, left out in the cold. All those people can have the thing, but I can’t.
The first thing you do to ease the pain is connect. Connect with yourself, doing whatever you need to do to feel worthy, loved and safe.
Once you have your personal bearings, connect with friends, family or a supportive community. Try not to fall into the ego trap of justifying why you’re right and they’re wrong. It will only keep you stuck. You’ll be able to turn your analytical mind back on in step 3, and see the situation with much more clarity.
Then, if the opportunity arises, connect with the people who make you feel rejected. If you’re selling books and you’re disappointed for some reasons, connect with readers and get honest feedback. There’s a blog about that here. If you’re submitting to an agent or publisher, see what happens if you write a kind and appreciative follow up. Don’t forget the volume of submissions these professionals see in a day, it really is a labor of love, so the more nicer you are, the more likely you are to get a response.
The final way to shorten the learning curve on submitting and selling books is to hire a coach. It’s always worthwhile to learn from a caring person with plenty of experience.
This step was pretty long, let’s go on to the next one.
2. Feel Everything that’s Coming Up
The first lessons from rejection aren’t mental, they’re emotional. Don’t think too much or try to “happy” over this part. It’s simply time to let loose the natural the healthy response to disappointment, heartbreak or rejection which is grief.
I love what my friend Lauren Camacho @laurencamacho_lcsw wrote about growth and grief last week. “Growth will require us to let go of things that do not serve us in order to allow in space for things that do.”
In the case of dealing with rejection, we’re mourning our old beliefs. Beliefs that the life was going to be easier. Beliefs that can count on something that ended up falling through. Beliefs that success would come faster. It’s time to simply embrace what we thought before with sadness, so we can let it go and get ready for something new.
My recommendation to move through sadness relatively smoothly: water. Drink it, bathe in it, swim in it, cry it out. Water embraces sadness beautifully and carries moves it through to the next step. When you jump in the shower you can even imagine yourself washing away the past and letting it flow down the drain.
3. Clarity and Continue
I love the gorgeous clarity that comes after fully feeling and releasing depth. It has those flecks of gold in it that come with added depth. Once you move out of heartbreak it’s safe to turn the brain back on, because you’re not going to throw a bunch of fiery ego junk out there, nor are you as likely to obsess over your loss.
Now you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. Plus, once you’ve learned from the pain of rejection, you’re never in a smarter situation to assess the road ahead. It’s time to welcome in the next level of thoughts and beliefs. The thoughts and beliefs that will allow you to succeed next time.
The thing about new beliefs is that you can’t simply re-think them, you must re-live them. Make more mistakes if you have have to, but no matter what, step back into action.
That’s how I move through rejection, and just recognizing that pattern gives me a sense of security in the midst of a storm. At an energetic level, fearing rejection is a block in the heart chakra. It’s akin to experiencing grief before the event ever happens and it shuts you off from your life. However, much like the heart muscle, the heart chakra gets stronger with exercise. Take the risk, put your whole heart into it, and your whole life will expand.