Your fear of being rejected because you are imperfect is exactly what is getting you rejected.
Yah…I know I’ve written about this a million times, but two recent experiences reminded me of how major this is. So here I am reminding you in case you still don’t get it.
Me…Popular? My Junior High Rewind.
Last week I was at a reunion of about 15 women I knew from Junior High School. Two are close friends today; the others I hadn’t seen in about 35 years.
Junior High and High School were not happy times for me. My days were consumed with feelings of being too fat, too short, too uninteresting, too not-good-enough. I was envious of my friends who were all thin and fun and popular; especially with the boys.
The way I remembered it, I was a hanger-on; lucky to be part of their cool crowd. I was the girl they asked to drive because they would all hook-up with some cute boy and I would need a way home. (Hooking up was a little different then.) I never had a real boyfriend; just lots of crushes and some meaningless romps. They had boys all around them, begging for their attention. And they had very close friendships with one another. That’s what I remembered.
Fast forward 30+ years, when I reconnect with my friend Lindsay. She and I were bestest girlfriends in Junior High when we were 13 and 14 years old. (See the pic!) So here we are at 50, and Lindsay starts talking about how popular I was. She tells me that all the girls and all the boys liked me because I was so cute and so nice. (I guess I was known as a nice girl then, which I’m proud of today. But at 14, who knew being nice counted?)
After talking with Lindsay it occurred to me: I spent about 30 years of my life feeling like I wasn’t good enough; like I could never get the things in life that those cute and popular girls got. And wouldn’t ya know…I didn’t get those things! I didn’t have the feeling of fitting in or being valued in social settings – especially when men were involved. I didn’t have the attention of men, or the relationships and marriages that other women had.
It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I finally decided enough was enough. I was sick of myself and my inability to have a good relationship. I committed to honest introspection, learning new stuff, and getting support from experts. And I finally realized: I was okay. I was like everyone else – somewhat flawed – but still a great person. I was worthy of acceptance and love. Even from men.
So I stopped wasting time dwelling on my imperfections and set out leading with what was fabulous about me. Did I have to fake it for a while? Yes. But then I started believing it. And then my husband Larry walked into my life. And he wanted me. Just how I was.
If You Won’t Listen to Me…Listen to Him
Last week on Valentine’s Day, I attended an event with a “man panel.” The women in the audience were able to ask them questions, and they got some honest answers. Here was the Q&A that led me to write this post:
Q? (from a 40-something single woman): What is the one thing that attracts you to a woman you would consider as a life partner?
A. (from a 29 year old hot looking single man): The woman I’m attracted to is One Who Knows That She is Enough.
If a 29 year old guy gets this, don’t you think it’s time you do?
Stop wasting time holding back, expecting rejection, and feeling less-than. Be the woman who knows you are enough.
Gotta go. Be good to yourself.