Articles by: 4EXISTENCE

How to Overcome the Fear of Rejection

The fear of rejection is a challenging fear to deal with because it is so engrained in the social aspect of human nature. It requires a wholesale change in perspective. However, there is great value  and freedom in overcoming it. With some self-honesty and persistence, you can use the following process to learn how to overcome the fear of rejection.

Before I show you the process of how to overcome being afraid of rejection, it can help to look at the roots of this fear.

What you’re really afraid of with rejection is the fear of abandonment or being alone. This is rooted in being afraid of suffering as you subconsciously believe that being abandoned socially will make it harder for you to survive. This fear of suffering is therefore ultimately rooted in the fear of death and the unknown. These root fears are certainly not easy to overcome, but exploring and understanding them can loosen the grip of the fear of rejection.

Again, given how engrained being afraid of rejection is in human nature, there is no quick fix, but you can be transformed with time and persistence. Learn more about the process of addressing the roots of fears in How to Overcome Fear in 3 Powerful Steps.

Now that you have an understanding of the psychological source of this type of fearfulness, the following process will help you overcome it.

1. Notice when you feel the fear of rejection.

The fear of rejection often shows itself in the form of other emotions or behaviors. Sometimes it is not easy to realize or acknowledge it. When you’re experiencing this fear, it’s important to catch it. A good way to know is if you find yourself being defensive in a way that is emotionally uncomfortable. When you notice this, it’s helpful to take the next steps in the process. If the timing isn’t right to do it when the raw emotion arises, note it for later so that you can explore it further.

2. Experience the physical sensations of the fear.

Fearfulness takes a very clear physical form in the body. Allow the fear of rejection to fully arise and notice the uncomfortable physical sensations that come with it. Notice where exactly these sensations reside. They might be noticed in the face, arms, chest or stomach. They can be anywhere or many places at once. Become aware of where it’s located and allow yourself to feel the uncomfortable sensations fully.

3. Fully accept the fear.

Now that you’ve noticed and experienced the physical aspects of the fear, it’s time to fully surrender to it. Say “YES” to the fearfulness, its uncomfortable physical sensations, and all thoughts about outcomes related to it. Let it be there without trying to make it stop or go away. You can also do this with the root fears that were described at the beginning of this article. This can be a challenging step, but it’s a critical part of how to overcome being afraid of rejection. This surrendering of the mind opens up a perspective that is filled with inner strength.

4. Become aware of what is aware of the fear.

As you say “YES” to the fear, notice what is aware of the fearfulness in that moment. You have fearful physical sensations and thoughts, but those sensations and thoughts are observed by something within you, and that is your consciousness. Your consciousness senses the sensations and thoughts, but it is unfazed by all of it. It simply observes the sensations and thoughts as they come and go.

5. Allow your awareness to take the forefront of your experience.

When you become aware that your consciousness or awareness is not fazed by the fear, your mind indirectly gets permission to let go. This is how your identity can shift from hanging on to the fear to pure awareness. This shift will naturally help you realize the strength of awareness in your experience, which enables you to fully overcome being afraid of rejection in the moment. Learn more about how to experience this “observer” or “witnessing” perspective in How to Find Yourself Through Awareness of Awareness.

It can also help to realize that the person or people that you are afraid will reject you will only do it out of their own misled fears. Whether you have made a mistake or just acted in a way that they disagree with, if they reject you because of it, they are simply afraid to continue to associate with you because of their own root fears, which are often also related to rejection. Seeing this reality can help you accept the possibility of their rejection, and you now get the opportunity to break the pattern.

As you become more familiar with this process, your fearfulness of rejection will occur less frequently in your life, and the reaction will become weaker and less gripping. You will instead find yourself experiencing more inner strength, courage, and confidence, and eventually this fear will not be an issue at all.

Don’t be discouraged if the information about awareness or observing the fearfulness from the perspective of consciousness doesn’t resonate with you at first, or if you have a hard time experiencing this directly. The important thing is that you are persistent with the steps and that you allow yourself to fully feel and accept the fear of rejection. With time and patience, you will find that letting go of this fear becomes a natural part of your life and gives you a lasting experience of well-being and fulfillment.



Meditation For Awareness, 3 Excellent Awareness Meditations

meditation for awareness

All meditation practices have an effect on building awareness and can be considered meditation for awareness. However, meditations that have the aim of taking the seat of awareness itself have a particularly powerful impact on building awareness. Meditation for awareness helps awareness take the forefront your experience so that useless thoughts and stresses no longer drive you during meditation or in daily life outside of meditation.

3 Excellent Meditations For Awareness

The ideal meditation for awareness hones in on becoming directly aware of awareness itself. Underlying all of the activity in our lives, from people and objects to all the sensations that pass through our five senses, awareness is in the background constantly observing everything.
However, because of the barrage of thoughts and judgements about whatever is passing through our senses to awareness, the awareness usually goes unnoticed. A meditation for awareness that makes us more aware of the awareness itself is an excellent exercise to make the shift to clearer awareness in daily life. That’s what the following awareness meditations offer.
These meditations are partly imagination exercises that bring you to a meditative state of awareness, so look at them as a process of introspection that leads to meditation for awareness all in the same sitting.

Meditation for Awareness #1: Letting Go Of The 5 Senses and Thoughts

For a detailed explanation of the following meditation for awareness, read this article on awareness of awareness.

  1. The basic idea is to close your eyes and imagine dropping each one of your five senses one by one. Start with your eyes and imagine you can no longer see.
  2. Then drop hearing so you can no longer hear or see.
  3. Then drop taste and smell.
  4. Lastly, drop your body sensations and imagine you can feel nothing.
  5. What are you left with? Thoughts and emotions, but also you’re left with the awareness that is aware of your thoughts and emotions. Now drop the thoughts and emotions and feel the awareness that remains.
  6. Rest in that awareness.
With this meditation for awareness it helps to first notice whatever is coming through each of your senses in realtime during the meditation. This helps you become acutely aware of the sensation itself, which makes it easier for you to imagine dropping it.

Meditation for Awareness #2: What Makes You Feel Like You Exist?

With your eyes open or closed ask yourself what makes you feel like you exist right now in this moment. You’re not looking for answers that come in words or thoughts. You want to feel the answer via experience. What is this feeling of existence? The simple and perhaps obvious answer is that you are conscious. Consciousness is awareness.
You can verify your existence by simply asking “Am I aware right now?” and notice the experience that confirms you are aware. This experience of awareness is the answer. Doing this continually in meditation can have a powerful effect on bringing awareness to the forefront of your experience.

Meditation for Awareness #3: The Mirror Of Awareness

This meditation for awareness can be started one of two ways. You can start by actually looking in a mirror, or simply close your eyes and imagine you are looking in a mirror.
  1. See yourself in the mirror as your body, but also see that within that body are many thoughts, emotions and physical sensations constantly moving.
  2. If you are actually looking in a mirror, this is the point where you can now close your eyes.
  3. Continue imagining you are looking in the mirror and seeing yourself with all your history as a person, all the identities that you contain, all the thoughts, emotions and sensations that are moving.
  4. Now imagine that on the real side of the mirror (not the reflection) you cannot see your body at all. On the real side of the mirror you are just awareness looking at your body’s reflection in the mirror with all of the above that is contained in your body.
  5. Now imagine as this awareness peers at the image of your body that the background behind your body goes black. There’s no light behind you and nothing behind the image of your body that your awareness sees in the mirror.
  6. Now imagine your body, with all its thoughts, emotions, sensations etc slowly moving backwards and fading into the black where all that is left is blackness and your awareness being aware of the blackness.
  7. Rest in this awareness in this meditation for awareness.
There are certainly other meditations for awareness. As I mentioned, any meditation has an effect on building awareness. Even meditation on the breath – counting the breath or watching the breath from the edges of your nose to your lungs and back – are exercises of meditation for awareness. They make you more aware and help to keep your thoughts from dominating your experience. However, the above three meditations for awareness more directly enable the movement of awareness to become the forefront of your experience, which offers amazing benefits for your life.

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Most creative processes are aimed at helping to bring about ideas or solutions in a relatively short time window. We often need an idea or solution quickly, and a process to help make that happen can be of value. However, short-term approaches don’t always deliver when needed.

Even though a given creative process is intended to accommodate a relatively immediate need, this can inherently exclude the time or focus the process requires to let the idea or solution fully unfold. There is most certainly room for improvement.

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It is often inapparent, not communicated directly, and in many cases not even known to those offering education around their respective subject areas.

It is always with you, yet seemingly hidden. Simple, yet misunderstood.

First, I will tell you what it is. Then, I will tell you why it’s not so easy to realize, yet so powerful when you do. Lastly, I will tell you how to align your life with it so that you will know how to find inner peace and reach your full potential. Read More

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How Csikszentmihalyi's Flow Experience Relates to Meditation

A wonderful article called “Why does experiencing ‘flow’ feel so good?” written by Richard Huskey (Assistant Professor of Communication and Cognitive Science, University of California Davis) discusses the beauty and continued scientific study of the flow experience, first studied and popularized by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1970s. I read Csikszentmihalyi’s powerful book “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” about 12 years ago. I was curious to hear how updated research on this topic might add to the connection of dots that I have personally experienced when relating flow experiences to meditation and “states” of pure awareness.

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Thoughts are gripping. Like a good movie in which you lose all awareness of your surroundings and yourself, thoughts do the same thing to you – only the consequences are much more powerful. Like a good movie takes you on an emotional roller coaster, thoughts do the same thing, but you take them as more real, and so the emotions are even more piercing. Thoughts stimulate emotion, which can be very taxing physically because of the physical sensations associated with fear, stress, anger, and other painful emotions. These types of emotions not only make your experience physically uncomfortable, they can cause you to react poorly, make harmful decisions, and harm relationships.  

Additionally thoughts can keep you from experiencing reality as it is. They can keep you from fully experiencing the presence of your awareness and the beauty and fullness of experience itself.

This is not to say that thoughts shouldn’t exist. They are very useful for many things, but when they negatively impact emotion they become useless and possibly harmful. There is a good chance that a lot, if not most, of your thoughts are in this latter category.

Given this, it would be nice to minimize the painful and harmful thoughts, or at least minimize their impact. To do this it can help to explore the nature of thought itself.

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