Torres column: A little rejection is worth being true to yourself
I was surprised to learn that the crow is the enemy of the eagle. Crows get together to take the eagle down. The only way the eagle is able to defeat the crows is by flying as high as possible, where the crow can’t fly. The eagle has the ability to fly higher than any bird, including any crow. I want you to imagine yourself as an eagle as you’re reading this article.
We are social beings. One of humans’ basic needs is acceptance. Therefore, we are happier when we are accepted by others. We want to be important to others, understood, liked and heard. It is part of us. Even people who are isolated are looking for people who understand them.
As I mentioned, we are happy when we are accepted, but we don’t like it when we are rejected. Acceptance gives us a sense of pleasure and security. We feel very special when a stranger, organization, family or clan accepts us. On the other hand, rejection gives us a sense of pain. People don’t like to be rejected.
Many people do things they don’t like to do or they know aren’t right because they want to be accepted. This is when our personality gets lost in society. We do our best for everyone to accept us. We do things we don’t enjoy and get trapped by these behaviors. We prefer to avoid pain than pursue pleasure. Since rejection gives us a sense of pain, we avoid rejection at all cost.
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You may have noticed I have a very unique ability to help people. I’m straightforward about the behaviors they need to change to improve their lives and achieve permanent weight loss. People who are open-minded do take my suggestions into consideration. They like me, and these are the people by whom I want to be liked.
On the other hand, other people don’t like my approach and criticize my writing. This is one type of rejection that I get. Some people simply don’t like my personality because I’m too “positive.” Also in the past I had many friends who I used to hang out with, and now they also reject me. They don’t approve of the steps I decided to take to achieve freedom. Yet I don’t blame them. I think I’m nuts. I am OCD and very persistent. I love commitment. I take risky and unique chances that many won’t take.
Sometimes when I get rejected, it makes me wonder how I can fit in everyone’s life. I get some pain being rejected by others. But that is not possible. People either love me or dislike me.
I would need to adopt behaviors that don’t support my values to be accepted by many, and then conflict would enter my life, pushing away all the people who are helping me succeed. The reality is that most people will never help me succeed. They only take energy away from me. I only want to be accepted by those who contribute positively in my life.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with others’ lives. They like their lives. The only issue is that we don’t share specific values and behaviors anymore. Rhino packs are made up of rhinos and lion packs of lions. We share different values and behaviors. Many rejected even Mother Teresa and Gandhi when they were helping people to win their freedom and be pain free.
Nevertheless, I have followers who like to be heard, hugged, motivated and pushed. These people love me, as I love them. We feed each other positive energy and encourage each other to get to our goals. When we relapse, we support each other. We teach each other good habits. We empathize and find the best in each other. This is my herd, and I depend on them, just like I depend on myself.
Let me get to the point: There is a price we all have to pay to be able to achieve our dreams. There is always pain before our pleasure. Rejection is part of the price. We can’t make everyone happy. We can only understand who we are and give our best to everyone. We will be accepted by the people who have the same values and goals.
Weight loss is a goal, and I bet you are reading this article because you want to get there. Your journey will be easy and more fulfilling if you decide to choose the right people by whom you want to be accepted. I know you may be thinking that you don’t want to be rejected by certain friends, but if they practice behaviors that will ultimately sabotage your effort, you have to make the decision that’s best for you. You can’t serve two masters.
It is important to be clear in your values and stay grounded even though many people are against your values. This does not mean that you need to ignore people. This means that you are very careful in choosing the people with whom you spend time, and you respect their decisions even though they don’t respect yours.
Rejection will always be there, but the pain of it will affect you only if you let it. The question is, what is more important, your true happiness, goals and achievements or trying to be liked by everyone?
Accepting the price of rejection to help yourself achieve your goal is a small price that you have to pay in life. In the long run, you will be happier from the pleasure you will get by being accepted by the right people who support you and by achieving your weight loss and other goals.
Leave the crows behind and fly as high as possible. Your life depends on it.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and author of the books “Lose Weight Permanently” and “Finding Genuine Happiness.” His column appears on the second Monday of the month.
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