I sat down with life coach and motivational speaker, Roma Bajaj Kohli to talk about how to overcome the fear of rejection, especially as an entrepreneur.
Roma is the founder of The Awakened Mind Method which is an 8-week long transformational program that helps soul-centered women become leaders, master their minds, own their true power, and awaken their innate intelligence through play!
A little bit about Roma…
Roma didn’t start off as a life coach. In fact, she was a fashion apparel designer for many years and many companies across the world. She lived in 5 different countries as she moved with her husband for his career so she had the opportunity to work in a variety of fashion design spaces. It took nearly 10 years of searching, a bout of serial entrepreneurship, and a month-long ashram in India before she realized that she was a sucker for designing holistic lifestyles for others.
Sometimes self-sabotaging spirals come from our past but most of the time they come from beyond our past, beyond this light, and even beyond our previous lives! It’s something that none of us can hide from.
There is no way you can stop it; all you can do is learn to embrace it and still put yourself out there. Being vulnerable and raw in the rawest and most authentic way is the job of fear. The job of fear is not just to make you hide and pull you down, but the job of your fear is also to test at every level that are you ready. Are you really as ready as you say you are? Are you really as committed as you say you are?
It’s a way to question all your self-doubt. Fear of failure was big for Roma and it became a part of her for almost 30 years of her life. She has tried to hide behind it and tried to fight it. But she says, it was only when she started looking at it not as the sniper over my roof, trying to come to kill her, but rather as some other emotion that is trying to help her get into the depths of who she truly is.
The Fear of Perfectionism
It’s not just a fear of rejection, but a fear of not being good enough. Sometimes it might come up as fear of success. Learn to look at it as something that wants your attention. It’s like that, that two-year-old, tantrum-throwing child who, if you neglect it, it is going to probably throw a bigger tantrum if you walk away. But if you give it too much, it is going to yell, scream, and probably hurt you in that process. Being able to address it on a moment to moment basis must be put into practice.
No matter what level of success that you have, it is a constant relationship and dance with fear. It’s not that you get to a certain level and you’re just never going to be rejected.
We all have those days when you read something from somebody and you have a choice of where you’re going to go with it. Either you’re going to buy into it and believe it, or you’re going to decide that there is some giftedness and it’s up to me to see what is the real message here. It’s embracing the fear and determining what the message is.
The Layers of Our Being
You have to understand where all these kind of fears originate from. There are different layers of our being and the most inner one is the soul. But the soul, which is the pure divine soul is covered by layers of false ego. Then there are layers of the mind, the intelligence, and our physical body. Before our physical body has emotions, there’s a prenup. The promise is the wider energy – our emotions – then comes our physical body. Fear exists on each one of those layers except on the soul. Fear is in our ego. Fear is in our mind. Fear is in our intelligence. Fear is in our emotions. Fear is in our physical body.
Because you really need to pause and become aware of what your body is trying to tell you.
Whenever people say meditation is to shut your mind down, Roma says that’s BS! Until, and unless you are not going to give yourself the attention that you need, and that focus, you want to know where fear comes from. Fear comes from many levels, but mainly from the false ego and the mind level.
Where your attention and awareness goes is up to you!
That’s the moment to moment choice. You can choose when a fear that’s popping up is a long one and you haven’t really addressed it, you can take a brief break and try to breathe.
There is a breathwork called alternate nostril breathing. Take a moment to pause and feel it because if you always reject it you will push it away. It’s going to come up stronger the next time. Can you pause at that moment and say:
Okay, I see it. It’s here today. It’s come as a fear of loneliness tomorrow. It’s going to come as a fear of rejection and whatever that fear has come as just acknowledge it.
Society has trained us to numb the signals.
The modern-day education system doesn’t teach you how to internalize and embrace emotions. It teaches you how to do things from the outside. It doesn’t teach how to use that knowledge and convert it into wisdom by taking it out of you.
Roma instructs not listening to what everyone else is teaching you and what everyone else on social media is putting out there. But rather listen to how you want to be seen. You have to tap into your entire mind, then the X, Y, and Z layers of you to understand your purpose.
Know in the end, we are all loved.
We are all made out of just one thing – love. And what is the best way how to express love? That’s your purpose. It’s as simple as that.
We may all seem like we are targeting different audiences and doing different work, but at the core of it, we are all doing one thing. We want to feel belonged and we want to feel loved. We want to give that love as well as receive that love. That’s all it is about.
It may sound easier said than done for someone who’s constantly struggling in this spiral of failure and rejection. Pause and ask yourself, is it true? Is it really as true as you say? If you feel that urge of fear and anxiety, look around and ask yourself if there is someone holding a gun to your head right now.
Is what I’m feeling right now going to make a difference 5 years from now?
We all worry about what’s going to be the impact and the influence we’re going to make on our audience and people. The amount of impact and influence you can make depends on the amount and the level of awareness and willingness you allow to embrace all of you – including fear.
People talk about the mind being the cause of all negative thoughts and the ego isn’t helpful to us. You have to learn to love the negative thoughts in order to be able to overcome the fear of rejection.
We have given so much space to rent to fear and negative limiting beliefs that we have not given room for our true nature to shine out.
When you look at the fear of the unknown, you may feel like it’s the worst. But as you approach it, you start to see that it’s not that big; it’s not that bad.
Those fears that we typically have, have built pathways in our brain. The subconscious is running in the background over and over. Unless you take a moment to stop and really try to understand where it’s coming from, it’s just running on autopilot without any knowledge of what’s really causing it.
The Steps to Face Resistance
Resistance can manifest itself in different ways. Maybe you’re afraid to take that next step in your business or you’re afraid to invest in yourself or you’re contemplating that this business isn’t for you anymore. You feel that you can’t exactly get your actions to follow with where you feel like you might need to go.
Fear manifests as anger and frustration as well. Your love language is very important here. When you read about anger management, people talk about how to breathe. Although Roma is an advocate for breathwork, it never worked for her when she was angry because it doesn’t align with her love language.
Remember what is it that reminds us of love. What reminds us of our true self. Is it a picture for you? Is it when you pause and breathe? Is it when you look at something pleasant? What is it in your environment that reminds you of that feeling of love. Whenever you’re feeling that fear and suppose you don’t have anyone with you who understands you and can bring you back, pause and allow yourself to feel that emotion and ask yourself if it’s true.
If you are someone who suffers from deep levels of anxiety and the answer is yes, then ask yourself over and over again, is this 100% true?
Usually, it’s just one or two reasons that create that level of anxiousness and fear and that disbelief in yourself. But all of that can dissipate. When you bring entire awareness, all of your senses in this present moment, ask yourself, what is it that I am tasting right now? What is it that I can smell right now? The minute you move your senses away from that imaginary fear to the present moment, you will quickly see how the fear will start dissipating and it will not be that aggressively overflowing.
How Breathwork is Related to Meditation
Meditation is when you are offering the calmness and stillness of your being in the fire of chaos. When you are trying to sit still, you have created a safe and concentrated space for you to stay calm and quiet.
But what happens at that moment is your mind, your emotions, and your ego, which is not used to being heard by your full awareness and attention, tries to start jumping up. So what breathwork does is offer a deeper level of stillness.
Our left nostril is the moon nostril in our body and the right is the sun; it’s the cooling and the heating. That is what is imbalanced in each one of us because we either have too much heat or we have too much coolness in our body because of that imbalance. We have all these emotional and mental imbalances. Through breathwork, you get to access, not just to your breath, but also you’re only eyes inwards.
When we actually work with our breathwork, we actually can balance our emotions and our energy insight. You can then be calm and still at any moment. You can become very in alignment with yourself when you have that access and alignment with your breath.
Your breath is your x-ray inwards to have access to what’s happening inside of you. Which part of my body do I feel tension, and what is that tension and really call out to that.
The 8 Limbs of Yoga
Yoga offers a lot of tools like physical body exercises called acrid, and then breathwork called pranayama. Beyond us and our breathwork and meditation, there are different levels of meditation that yoga offers. There are eight limbs of yoga created by a sage named Patanjali.
- Socially make ourselves conducive. There are certain principles and values and ethics you need to follow under the social order.
- Then comes the self-discipline part where there are certain systems, disciplines, rituals and practices you should have in place for making sure that you are constantly in alignment with your highest truth.
- Next is the physical body exercise, which is Āsana.
- Fourth is breathwork. After you have come through these first four stages, he talks about how you withdraw and detach from your senses. All of those four levels are about how to stay in alignment with the external ways of life. The rest four are all about how to become detached and go deeper into your own self.
- The fifth one, which is Pratyāhāra, is about how to overcome and go beyond your senses.
- The last three other levels of meditation are how you can go deeper into your practice of meditating and how you can become one with that divine within you and stay in that oneness 24/7.
If you would like resources to help you with meditating and becoming more mindful, I created a 3-day course full of resources and tips to help you get more confident!