When we experience rejection and failure it is NATURAL to think about it. We are going to want to process it and as you have seen from my other principles I am a big fan of this. We need to process and we need to think. But what many of us experience post rejection and failure is actually rumination and THIS can be tough.
What is rumination? Rumination is when our thinking becomes a bit more obsessive, persistent and repetitive. Generally rumination has a negative tone and it creates anxiety for us. For me, it evokes physiological symptoms like an increase in my heart rate and feeling on edge. Rumination can be exhausting. But what differentiates rumination from processing is that it’s not really processing. You’re getting stuck. I love this description from Elizabeth Scott PhD (2020) “What distinguishes rumination from productive emotional processing or searching for solutions is that rumination doesn’t generate new ways of thinking, new...
“The motivation of self compassion arises from love, while the motivation of self criticism arises from fear. Love is more powerful than fear.”
Self Compassion is hard and it is very counterintuitive to how we typically operate as humans. Simply put, we’re a negative species. We have a negativity bias that serves us well up until a point. Oftentimes what happens when we face rejection or failure our self criticism kicks in. It can be quite addictive and spark a spiral of very critical self talk and rumination. If we failed it means we did something wrong so let’s beat ourselves up so that we can be better next time. If we get rejected, let’s critique ourselves as to WHY we weren’t enough.
Been there. Done that. It doesn’t work. In fact it makes things infinitely worse.
Especially in sport, there is definitely an attitude that if we fail we need to get back to the drawing board so we can figure out how to...
Here is a common human experience: We have a feeling or emotion. We don’t like it or judge ourselves for said feeling or emotion.
I can’t tell you how many times I have gone through failure and rejection and then beat myself up because I am taking it so hard.
“I shouldn’t be this sad”
“It’s not that big of a deal”
“I should be over this”
“It shouldn’t bother me”
“I should be more positive”
Anybody been there? We place so much judgment on how we think and feel. We are a judging species and although we will never NOT judge we can help ourselves out.
In his book “Wherever You Go There You Are,” Jon Kabat-Zinn describes what it might be like to not judge. “Imagine how it might feel to suspend all your judging and instead to let each moment be just as it is, without attempting to evaluate it as “good” or...
Self Care. What a buzz word these days.
The National Institute of Mental Health (2020) defines self care as “taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health.”
But to me that doesn’t really give us a direction for our self care. What does self care mean?
With COVID especially there has been a shift and A LOT of talk about self care. It’s no surprise that when we are dealing with hard things we NEED to take care of ourselves. In speaking with one of my closest friends last week about what I am going through she mentioned that “we have to have heightened self care when things are tough.”
Failure and rejection are tough.
But at the same time I feel like we’ve morphed self care into many activities, “acts of love” and pampering that aren’t actually taking care of ourselves. Great example, pouring yourself a glass of wine or making yourself...
“If we don’t express our emotions, they pile up like a debt that will eventually come due.”
-Marc Brackett, PHD
Feel all the Feels.
We get clear on WHAT we’re feeling and we accept what we’re feeling but we have to actually do the feeling.
Unfortunately this is where more often than not we have to sit with our emotions and discomfort and allow time to heal. So. Freaking. Hard. But I promise this is THE only way.
Being Well with Dr. Rick Hanson and Forrest Hanson is an incredible podcast that I highly recommend. In a recent episode on navigating failure they described how the sooner we attend to our feelings when we face failure and rejection the better. Why? Because this is what both the mind and the body need. In order to move through and “regulate” our emotions in an efficient way we have to honor them and give ourselves permission to feel however we are feeling. Easier said than done.
“The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain.”
Accept vs Resist.
Let’s start with Resistance to our experience.
As Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer explain in their book The Mindful Self Compassion Workbook (2018) “what we resist, persists.”
What does it mean to resist our experience? We run from our emotions. We don’t like our experience. We deny our experience. We avoid, numb and block out what we actually feel. For me, resistance can look like trying to “rationally” or “logically” explain my way out of a feeling. Oftentimes I find myself adding more things than I can count to my schedule and running on “go go go” mode so that I don’t have TIME to stop and feel. I find myself avoiding being alone because when I am alone that means I actually have to be with myself and my feelings. I get irritated, I’m on edge and I find myself...
“Naming or labeling difficult emotions helps us disentangle or unstick from them.”
-Kristen Neff and Chris Germer
When it comes to failure and rejection there is a whole shit storm of emotion and feeling. It’s worth it to understand how greater society influences HOW we navigate emotion and how that might play into the experience of rejection and failure. Although our society has made progress we still very much view emotion as weak. Many people grow up in families that don’t talk about feelings at all. When it comes to failure and rejection, more often than not (particularly in sport) the message is to reflect, learn and then put your head down and get back to work. There is a time and place for that depending on the scenario, but this is missing a huge and MASSIVELY important part of how we process the emotion that comes with failure and rejection.
Processing emotion is hard. It’s uncomfortable and it can take...
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
- Winston Churchill
“Today’s rejection may become tomorrow’s acceptance.”
― Ehsan Sehgal
Everyone deals with rejection and failure.
This is something we sign up for the day we are born. We face it almost everywhere we go, yet somehow, I’m not sure it ever gets any easier.
It’s important to note that failure and rejection are for the most part subjective. You may look at an experience and feel like you've failed, while someone on the outside looking in may view your experience as a win. I’m not here to debate what failure and rejection are and what they are not. It’s an individual experience that we will ALL face and feel and it’s hard.
As a former athlete playing at a highly competitive DI program, I faced rejection almost every day on and off the field. As a former college coach I remember countless...
Hi I’m Emily and welcome to my blog!
Over the last few months my client base has expanded and I have been on the road traveling quite a bit. I am fortunate enough to work with people, teams and athletes all over the country and as things have been expanding so have my conversations about how I got into this line of work. I thought it would be a great time to go a bit deeper into how I landed on this unique line of work and the formation of my business, Perrin Wellness and Performance.
The truth is I grew up in and around sport. My Dad was a college basketball coach at the University of Virginia for the first 10 years of my life and has a PHD in Sport Psychology. Some of my earliest childhood memories are running around University Hall (which sadly no longer exists) at UVA and going to team practices. Even after leaving college basketball he has continued to work with some of the best athletes in the United States. His career has taken him across multiple...
Welcome back to part 3 of this Self Compassion Series. If you haven’t been able to read my 2 previous posts I urge you to go back and give them a go prior to diving into this piece.
One of the main ways we can practice Self Compassion is through our meditation practice.
Meditation practices that are typically used for cultivating Self Compassion are called Metta Meditation or Loving Kindness Meditation. The goal is to cultivate feelings of loving kindness for ourselves AND others by repeating simple phrases.
The traditional form of Metta Meditation uses a series of phrases that are repeated to cultivate loving kindness for yourself, for someone you love, for someone that is difficult and lastly for the world as a whole (or ALL beings).
The world renown teacher Sharon Salzburg is a wonderful resource for all things LovingKindness. After reading her book “Real Love” I embarked on this journey to practice Metta Meditation more consistently. But...