Here’s how to develop psychological immunity to the fear of rejection from others
“Only you can take inner freedom away from yourself, or give it to yourself. Nobody else can.” — Michael A. Singer
All my life, I worried about what other people would think of me.
The fear of being judged can be all-consuming and a significant source of needless suffering.
I developed social anxiety as a result of being bullied at school and of the heavy self-criticism that accompanied it. You can see that only my mental interpretation of events could have led to my insecurities later in life. This means that the bullying, in and of itself, had no impact on what I perceived to be anxiety later on in life. There is tremendous freedom and relief in understanding this. Funnily enough, some of those I considered bullies back then are among close friends today.
I felt anxiety any time I resisted the thoughts and feelings that arose out of my mental state and associated memories. Anxiety can only exist when we identify with our thoughts, when we are not present, when we are unconscious. In this way, anxiety isn’t even a “thing,” unless we make it so.
We can, therefore, become ourselves again when we turn to Consciousness. It is in the presence of Consciousness that the pure creative energy of universal Mind can heal and guide us.
Thoughts can be addictive, and this is why this takes some cultivating. It means continually returning to the stillness of mind by being more aware that there is more (way, way more!) to us beyond our egoic-mind.
A note on physical health:
As I mentioned earlier, eating, sleeping well, and keeping our physical bodies in good order are essential for wellness. These factors play a role in our experience of mental health.
However, this doesn’t change the universal fact that we create our entire experience through the lens of thought. Thought creates the sensation of anxiety, especially if we label it as such. If our bodies are healthy, but we have tormenting thoughts, we can experience anxiety. If our bodies are unhealthy, however, any tension that we feel via fearful thoughts can be amplified even more.