It’s LGBT+ History Month! To celebrate, here’s something we wrote about the amazing LGBT+ role model for young men everywhere: rugby star Gareth Thomas.

We’ve already covered how much of a hero Gareth is before, but we decided now would be a better time than ever to introduce this man to you and explain exactly why he should be given a bloody knighthood already.

Firstly, Gareth Thomas is a rugby hall of famer. He represented Wales exactly one hundred times and is one of their top try scorers. Not many players get to play for their country but Gareth has managed to do so in Rugby Union, Rugby League and international Sevens as well. 

Aside from rugby, Gareth has just as much impact off the field as he does on it. In 2009, he came out as gay and said that “what I choose to do when I close the door at home has nothing to do with what I have achieved in rugby” which is pretty bang on, if you ask us. He became one of the first rugby players to do so. 

Whenever Gareth has revealed anything in his life to the public, it is always with the hope of making it easier for somebody else to do the same. When he came out, he wanted to make sure that future gay rugby players could just be seen as talented rugby players and that if his story made it easier for just one young lad in a similar position then it would all have been worth it. This desire to empower others is incredibly selfless and speaks volumes about the kind of man he is.


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He was a victim of a hate crime in 2018. What was truly amazing about the aftermath is that he didn’t want to press charges. The assaulter was a young man and Gareth requested that he apologise and learn to understand the true effect hate crime has on the victims. 

A few weekends ago, he did something truly incredible. Just shortly after revealing he is living with HIV in a heartbreaking video, he completed a gruelling 140-mile Ironman triathlon just to prove the idea we have of people living with HIV is outdated. In 2019, HIV and asthma requires about the same amount of medication. Thousands of people now live healthy lives with HIV. He has now pledged to work on breaking the stigma around it and empower those in the same position. In the video, Gareth says that he was being threatened by a tabloid who said they would out this secret. So, in true legendary fashion, he released a video himself to let the world know that this is his story to tell and nobody else’s. 

There’s no doubt that Gareth has had a rollercoaster of a ride so far. But his desire to prove that you are not defined by one individual thing along with his work to break down stigmas and empower people by owning his life and his story makes him a huge role model for us and many, many others. By being so selfless and sharing his life with total honesty, not only gives others a voice to speak out but shows that support is out there. 

Countless celebrities, role models, as well as thousands of the public have shown their support and admiration for the strength and bravery of Gareth for sharing his story. This is a man who is constantly breaking down barriers and is respected by everyone. Even England rugby fans will give the Welshman a big cheer. Wherever Gareth goes, he is completely respected by those inside and outside of the sporting industry. From Princes Harry and William, to his best rugby mates, to the LGBTQ+ community, Gareth is inspiring so many people and empowering them all to feel comfortable in their own skin. Gareth, we salute you and applaud you, you absolute hero. But mostly, we’re so thankful for the work you do to help make this world a kinder place to live. 

If you want support or need to speak to someone confidentially, you can join our community here.

For more inspiration and daily motivation, follow our Instagram @ditchthelabel.

“Planet Earth is full of labels. And I’ve never been comfortable with labels”

It’s LGBT+ History Month, and only a few short weeks since Nikkie Tutorials broke the internet with her powerful, heartfelt and emotional video wherein she came out as transgender. We are celebrating all the amazing LGBT people of the world this month, so here is that incredible story for you.

Trans rights are human rights

First off, this. Trans rights are human rights. Nikkie mentions in her video that she was being blackmailed and so decided to take the narrative into her own hands, before she was ready. Let’s be clear on this – coming out should always be down to the person who wants to come out and them alone. It’s a basic right to be able to have some control over who knows what about you, and this was taken away from her. Despite this, she still did it with grace. 

Trans rights nevertheless are under attack the world over, and many trans people live with abuse and fear every day. We teamed up with our friends over at Brandwatch to take a look at transphobic abuse online, and you can read the full report here

F*** the haters, amiright? 

Transphobic abuse is something that trans people have to deal with every single day of their lives. Our research looked at 10,000,000 public social media posts over a three year period, 1,500,000 of which were put on a scale of transphobic abuse. That’s right, it happens so much that there is even a scale for it, going from ‘acts of trans bias’ all the way up to inciting trans genocide. That’s horrendous.

Nikkie’s brave coming out video showed us all just how hard it is for someone to come out, and how that’s even harder for someone who is being blackmailed. Like we said above, it’s the right of only the person who is coming out to control that narrative, and absolutely no one else. 


The support she is getting is giving us all the warm fuzzies

Possibly one of the absolute very best things about this though, is the support we see she is getting from every corner of the internet. Whilst there may be a few haters out there trying to shout her down, we are so happy to see everyone backing her until the end on this one. You deserve the love Nikkie, you are fire. 

Now one of the largest makeup channels in the world is owned by an openly transgender woman 

Visibility can be tough for a trans person, and can often be the last thing they want. But by providing the world with another strong, smart, powerful role model who just happens to be trans, hopefully the world will become more of a kinder place for trans people to exist. We certainly hope it will. 

“This feels liberating and freeing, but I, at the end of the day, am still Nikkie.”

Towards the end of the video, Nikkie states just how much this has been tearing her apart, but also how incredibly liberating it feels to be free of the weight of carrying it around. Coming out can be super difficult, but most people state it makes them feel so much better to be able to live life without the burden of a secret. The most important thing to remember though is that if you are struggling with this, you can come out to whoever you feel comfortable with, and at your own pace. Someone else’s story is not yours, and you get to decide when and to whom you come out. Need some help coming out as trans? We’ve got some top tips for you here

#IamMe

Just hours after the video dropped, the hashtag #IamMe was trending across social media. We are here for it. You are who you are, and that is pretty damn amazing. You are unique and individual, and with that comes so much power to be happy. You are who you are, and whatever you might be going through, you’ve got this. 

So Nikkie, we applaud you for everything you are doing. We stan a strong woman, and we are backing you all the way b. 

You can watch Nikkie’s video below

Feel like you need someone to talk to, but maybe can’t speak with those in your life yet? You can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors here for confidential support.

Stage 1. Be honest with yourself

‘Just be yourself’ – such an overused phrase, right? And it doesn’t always feel like the easiest thing to do. If you feel unsure of your identity, maybe take some time by yourself to figure out what it is you truly like to do and how you like to dress, regardless of what fashion dictates or your friend’s tastes, or how you think others might perceive you because of these choices. Experiment; remember you don’t have to ‘commit’ to anything – over time your tastes may change! That’s fine too! Contemplate what makes you truly happy – what brings a smile to your face and excites you when you think about it? Identify what it is that you love and enjoy and embrace it.

Stage 2. Work on building your confidence levels and self-esteem

You need to work on yourself if you are lacking inner confidence. This takes time, but the rewards are worth it. Every time you think negatively about yourself, counter that thought with a positive one, or when you feel a negative thought coming on – list three things that you are appreciative of. Analyse your body language too – try and smile more often (even if it is forced at first) it will make you feel better (promise)! Look at your posture – hold that head high when you walk! Make sure when you talk to other people, you hold eye contact too. Believe in yourself. Make it part of your morning routine to compliment yourself when you see your reflection in the mirror. The more confident you are, the more likely you will feel comfortable showing other people the real you!

Stage 3. Express yourself

Now you have learned what it is that makes you happy, and you have built those confidence levels up, express yourself – every day! Whether it is how you dress, a hobby you enjoy, the music you like to listen to, the films you want to watch etc, do it! Own it! Enjoy it!

Stage 4. Try not to care what other people think of you

It might seem impossible to totally disregard other people’s opinions, but really if you think about it, what do other people’s opinions actually matter? If they want to comment, let them! You’ll be too happy enjoying life to notice, and the likelihood is, they are only making such remarks because deep down, they wish they had the confidence to express themselves as you do. Would people who are happy and secure in their own skin feel the need to act negatively towards others? No.

Stage 5. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else

Comparison really is the absolute thief of all happiness! Carry on doing what you are doing regardless of what paths those around you might be treading – each individual’s footprints are unique! Be strong, be kind and find your own way in life.

Stage 6. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself

It is time to ditch the people who don’t make you feel good about yourself. If you spend time with someone and you come away feeling down about yourself, I hate to break it to you, but they ain’t no friend. It’s time to evaluate who you give your precious time to – choose wisely! Be picky! You only have one life, and you want it filled with people who truly love and care for you!

Are you looking to build your confidence and overcome low self-esteem? Read our guide to boosting your confidence here.

Join our Community.

Why we should all be hugging each other ❤️

Some people are huggers, some are handshakers. When you think about it, it’s a strange concept. Hugs vary from a quick bro hug to a warm embrace, but what’s going on behind the scenes when we cuddle our loved ones? Well, we found out for you…

The Love Hormone

The act of hugging releases a hormone called oxytocin from your brain into your bloodstream which plays a role in social bonding and love – helping you to form closer bonds with your hug companion. Oxytocin also produces antidepressant-like and pain-relieving effects so, in effect, hugging makes you happy, makes you love more and makes you hurt less.

The Happiness Hormone

Hugging releases serotonin, AKA the ‘happy hormone’. There are actually loads of hormones which make up happiness but serotonin is considered a key component. Someone who is depressed has lower levels of serotonin than someone who is not. When you hug someone, this hormone is released giving the hugger and huggee feelings of significance, importance, wellbeing, happiness, euphoria and elation.

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The Pleasure Hormone

Dopamine: the ‘pleasure hormone’ is also released mid-hug. You have probably heard of dopamine because it the chemical that is often stimulated in a person’s body during the abuse of addictive recreational & hallucinogenic drugs and using social media. Unlike this however, the natural occurrence of dopamine is good for our bodies and brains and is involved in almost every bodily function. It, like serotonin also plays a large part in the makeup of happiness.

In a study of young British men, almost 93% said that they had cuddled with another guy.

The Stress Hormone

It is reported that stress levels reduce significantly post-hug. That’s because hugging reduces levels of cortisol which is closely linked to stress and worry. In the same way, hugging someone you don’t want to hug is likely to increase your stress levels so this one works both ways!

Sciencey things aside, there are loads of other benefits to hugging:

  • Helps to improve immune system
  • It’s good for the heart (in the literal sense, as well as the emotional sense 😍)
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps to balance the nervous system
  • You are being a good friend by offering a hug to a pal in need
  • It’s a good indicator that someone is comfortable around you
  • It’s good for confidence and self-esteem

So, in short, hugging is good for your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. If you’re already a hugger, keep doing what you’re doing, if not, then give it a go, you might be surprised by the results!

It’s a brand new year and we think 2020 should be the year that everyone gets to be their most confident, comfortable, authentic selves. Our CEO Liam Hackett is helping everyone to do just that with the release of his new book ‘Fearless’. We caught up with him to find out all about the book. 

Ditch the Label: Hey Liam, congratulations on your new book! Tell us a bit about it.

 Thanks! So the book is all about finding the confidence to be your true authentic self. It covers all kinds of things, from the fear of being judged and not fitting in, to conquering your fears of being a failure. There’s some incredible colourful illustrations in it, as well as loads of expert quotes and tips and tricks to dealing with life as a young person today.

Basically, it’s there to help all young people break the labels that might be holding them back or keeping them in a box, smash through gender stereotypes, and overcome the fears that stop everyone from being unashamedly themselves. 

Ditch the Label: That sounds awesome! What made you want to write a book about this? 

When I was younger, I was badly bullied. That’s why Ditch the Label was born, to tackle bullying in all its forms to help anyone else going through it. What I went through really affected how I saw myself and my confidence was on the floor. One day, my Grandma asked me why I always walk with my head down. I told her it was because I wasn’t confident. She said something I will never forget which was “confidence is in all of us, but sometimes you have to fake it until you make it”. 

Through Ditch the Label, I have seen so many stories of young people battling with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, and I remember exactly how that felt. I just want to help them become the confident versions of themselves that they can be.

Ditch the Label: What was it like writing a book?

It’s been an amazing experience. It really has been a long term dream of mine, so to have something actually out there is incredible and I still can’t quite believe it. It’s the product of years of hard work, so I’m really excited to have something on the shelves that can really help young people to feel good about themselves and be able to cope with the issues and emotions that so many of us navigate growing up. 

Ditch the Label: How important do you think it is for young people to read something like this?

I think it’s really important. Young people today are up against so much. At Ditch the Label, we’ve seen time and again how much issues such as being judged, coping with emotions and a fear of fitting in can have an impact on their mental health and general wellbeing. This book is designed to break everything down that could be holding them back and then leads them through how to tackle it step-by-step.

The aim is that by the end of the book, they will be equipped with all the tools they need to face the world exactly as they are – and be rightly proud of themselves. And it’s always there for the tough times, they can dip in and out of the book when they need a boost or further support. 

Ditch the Label: What’s your favourite bit? 

Haha – tough question! I’m not sure I can say any one bit of it is my favourite because the whole point is that different parts will help different people in different ways.

It’s basically there to help whenever anyone needs it, whether that be in everything it covers as a whole, or just one or two hints and tips on gaining confidence, being kinder, or expressing themselves. 

DTL: We can’t wait to read it! Is there anything else you want to tell us about it? 

I learned so much myself in writing this book; I had to face my own fears: Was it good enough? Would anyone want to publish it? Scholastic (my publisher) have been amazing through it all!

Finally, I really wish something like this was around when I was growing up. 

The book is available now from all good book shops including Amazon, Waterstones and WH Smith. You can support your local independent through Hive.co.uk #Fearless.

If you need support, join the Ditch the Label Community here. 

So the Christmas madness is over and thoughts are turning to the new year. We know most of the country is sad about how many mince pies they’ve eaten, and so a million gym memberships will be bought before January 2nd. Sometimes, the new year new you mindset can be a great way to reset old habits that made the last year harder for you, but it can also be a pretty toxic way to look at your life, when we all know our problems can’t be fixed overnight. So here’s some reasons why we don’t think ‘new year new you’ is all that great, and some other ways you can make a change for 2020. 

1) You don’t need a new year to make changes 

It’s one of those things that everyone feels; like a new year needs to be the time to become better people. Whether that’s in the way we look, the money we spend or the habits we try to give up, we all seem to think that as soon as the clock strikes midnight, we’re all going to have our reverse Cinderella moments and become our ideal selves. 

The thing is though, you can absolutely make these changes any time throughout the year. If there is something that is upsetting you about the way you are living your life right now, take a moment to really think about it and try to make a few changes throughout the year. Midnight on NYE is not a magic wand. 

2) Diet companies make a fortune off poor self image after the festive season 

Most people will use the ‘new year new you’ moment to make major changes to their diet and lifestyle, and trying to lose weight is, year on year, the most popular New Year’s resolution. Lots of people and companies will be bombarding the public with messages almost as soon as Christmas is over, designed to make you feel guilty for polishing off that tin of Quality Street with your Nan a few days ago, despite the whole run up to the festive season telling you to consume more. We know, it’s a confusing nightmare.

3) And you are so much more than how you feel about your body after winter 

But, you are SO much more than all of that. You are 360 degree person with interests and people that love you and things to do. For some awesome hints on how to improve your body image, check out this article on practical things you can do. Because you are a warrior with a lot going on, thinking about how you look every minute of every day can be completely exhausting.  

4) Trying to change everything overnight will never work 

Some of us will roll into the New Year with a list longer than the Dictionary of everything that we want to change about ourselves and our lives. But, trying to change everything about yourself will never work. For one thing, even if you do somehow manage to get a new haircut, new style, new attitude ad brand new personality in less than 24 hours, it will never be you. You are who you are, and trying to change all of it is never going to stick.

5) Remember, you are amazing for making it this far

If we are being constantly bombarded with stuff that basically says we are not quite good enough, it’s easy to start to believe it. At this time of year, though, it’s super important to remember that you have battled your way through the entirety of 2019 and have done amazingly well to get this far and be looking forward to doing it all again. 

6) So try making one little change if you feel like you need to 

We aren’t saying you should sack off new year’s resolutions altogether. If you feel like you need to make a change, then do it. Our best tricks are to keep it to one thing that you can actively track or plan for, and make it something that will bring you joy all year round. That way, you can really notice a positive difference which should make it stick.

7) Like keeping track of your mental health… 

So, if you want to make a change, make it something that’s going to be good for you. You could try tracking your mental health with a bullet journal or other way that works for you. You can find some great ideas for keeping track of your mental health here. 

8) Being a better friend… 

Maybe 2019 was the year you jumped head first into a relationship, moved around the country, or just really committed to nailing your exams. Whatever you did that means you might have drifted a little from your friends, spend 2020 making sure those connections are as strong as they ever have been. Suggest a New Year’s Day walk or chill time and get off on the right track. 

9) Or taking care of yourself more… 

2020 could be the year where you put yourself first for a change. Work in some self care time each week or plan something you can do every month that you’ve always wanted to try. Whatever it is, taking care of you might be exactly what you need 2020 to be about. 

10) Whatever you decide to do for 2020, you are already a warrior

No matter what you decide to do, if anything, this is going to be a great year. And whatever happens, if you need a bit of help, we’re always gonna have your back. <3 

Happy International Men’s Day! This is a pretty important day for everyone everywhere to talk openly about the issues that face young men today. It can get a pretty bad rep, but at Ditch the Label, we love guys and we love International Men’s Day! So we thought we would celebrate it by bringing you six of the best most inspirational wonderful men you can follow on Instagram! 

1) Max Hovey @max_hovey

Max is a pretty incredible guy, and we aren’t just saying that because he is an awesome ambassador for Ditch the Label. He has been working to raise awareness for mental health and anxiety in guys for ages now, as well as for LGBT+ rights. We love Max, and as soon as you hit Follow, you will too.  

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2) Bobby Norris @bobbycnorris

After dealing with trolling on his social media, Bobby took a stand against online hate, and now he campaigns tirelessly to end the trend of online trolling. He does this whilst still having a full filming schedule and is an all round incredible guy. Follow for so much love. 

Instagram


3) Loyle Carner @loylecarner 

Real name Ben Coyle-Larner, this awesome artist and songwriter has had the ride of his life in the past few years. Not long after being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2017, he dropped his album Not Waving, But Drowning. Not only is he a mind-blowing musician, but he also campaigns for mental health awareness in guys. You can read more about him from our Good Fellas series here.

Instagram


4) Stevie Blaine @bopo.boy

Stevie is one of our all time fave body positive instagrammers, not only because he has done a whole bunch of stuff for us. He has been blowing up the body positive space for ages now, and regularly posts awesome content that will give you all the heart feels. 

Instagram


5) Jake Graf @Jake_graf5

Jake is an awesome transgender rights campaigner, and has been fighting tirelessly for the protection of trans rights, the reducation of transphobic hate crimes and abuse and basically just been absolutely killing it. 

Instagram


6) Gaten Matarazzo @gatenm123

Gaten will need no intro to sci-fi fans all over the world as he is a household name from his time spent as the loveable teenager Dustin in Stranger Things. But Gaten does a load of work for charity too (including us, no biggie), and raises awareness for a whole bunch of good causes. We would make a joke about the Upside Down, but we can’t think of any. 

Instagram


In search of daily motivation, inspirational quotes or just some joy in your Instagram feed? Give us a follow @ditchthelabel

We’ve all done it from time to time, sometimes more than a little often. Judging other people based on appearance alone can become second nature to most of us, even when we don’t mean it to. It can often come down to a thing we all have called unconscious bias, meaning our brains make snap judgements about people without us even noticing. What you might not know though, is that making snap judgements about other people based on their appearance is actually probably more down to how we feel about ourselves than anything else. That’s why we put together this list of 8 things you can do to stop judging others and feel better about yourself. 

Think you need to train away your unconscious bias? Click here

1) Recognise comparison 

We are pretty much always comparing ourselves to others. All day, every day. But especially when it comes to how we look. It’s the easiest way to compare right – without knowing anything about all the people you are sat near on the train, how they look is all the information you have on them to measure yourself against. The thing is, comparison is judgement, and it serves literally no other purpose but to make you feel bad or to put that negativity onto others. Stop it in its tracks next time you find yourself comparing by distracting yourself with something else to do, or humming your favourite song. Soon, you’ll break the habit. 

2) Practice giving others compliments

It’s definitely true that the more positivity you put into the universe, the more it comes back to you. So practice thinking nice things about other people. If you see someone walking down the street and you don’t like the way they look, stop your judgement in its tracks and think of a positive thing instead. Similarly, actually compliment friends and family – even tell a stranger something nice. The more you get used to being positive, the less likely you are to judge people. 

3) Practice giving yourself a compliment 

Just like we said above, the more you get used to being positive, the more you’ll just do it out of habit, and slowly stop judging. The thing is, you need to do this for you as well as everyone else. The kinder you are to yourself, the less likely you are to compare, and therefore the less likely you are to make judgements. 

So, for every compliment you give to someone else, give yourself one. It could be something like “I am clever and kind” “I am fun to be around” “I love my hair today” “my skin is looking great” or anything else that you need to hear. If you had someone in your life that said as many negative things to you as you probably say to yourself, you probably wouldn’t be keeping them around. So it’s time to get kinder. 

4) Clear out your social media

There’s a pretty simple rule to live by when it comes to social media. If you see something on your social media that makes you feel bad about your life, you appearance, your clothes or your body, unfollow them. Just like if you follow people and regularly judge them – whether they are people you used to know IRL or a celeb on IG, unfollow them too. If it doesn’t bring you joy, it’s not worth giving yourself the excuse to be negative or to compare yourself against them all the time. 

5) Or even take a break from it completely 

Even though we all love to scroll through IG, it definitely makes judging people part of our everyday lives, even when we are completely alone. Check out this list of ways you can take a break from social media. By putting a bit of a buffer between you and social media, you might find the amount of time you spend judging people drops pretty quickly, and you have plenty more time on your hands to do some stuff just for you. Win win. 

6) Take care of yourself 

It’s important that you take care of you. It can be easy to be super self critical, especially if you are trying to stop judging others. We are all our own worst enemies, and every time you find yourself making a snap judgement it can be pretty easy to beat yourself up about it. But, you are making real efforts to change, and that’s a big deal. Make sure you give yourself the space to breathe and the time you need to make these changes. 

7) Remember that not everyone’s the same and looking different is not a bad thing 

So it seems pretty obvious, but we judge people because they differ from us in some way. But the world would be a really stupidly boring place if we were all the same right? Humans are made to be different from each other, so people are meant to be fat, skinny, tall, short, of different races, ethnicities, genders and have different senses of style.

Have you been affected by bullying? You can talk to one of our trained Digital Mentors for confidential support and advice here.

It’s one of those crappy things that everyone has to go through at some point in life. Unless you are currently living a dream where you are going through the universe followed by the word ‘Yes’ everywhere you go, it’s pretty certain that at some point someone somewhere has told you ‘No’. Whether it’s a bad break up (#thankunext), a uni or college you wanted to go to, a job you wanted or a friend at school who is leaving you out – being rejected is a part of life that, more often than not, we suck at dealing with. But, never fear. We’ve come up with this list of some reasons why it isn’t the worst thing in the world, and how you can continue to crush it after a setback. 

1) Take a breath

When you first feel that rejection, it can feel like a punch in the stomach. Like when your best friend has decided they want to hang out with someone else and not you, or you get turned down for a date with your ultimate crush. It can feel really crap. 

Instead of reacting in anger or begging or doing something else you might regret later down the line, take a moment to gather your thoughts and calm yourself down. If you need to, this is a great time to practise some breathing exercises. After taking a bit of a breather, you might find it isn’t quite so bleak, and can start formulating a bit of a plan to get back on track. 

2) Talk to someone 

When your crush has rejected you or you’re going through a break-up, possibly the best way to start to work through the shit associated with it is to try to open up to someone in your life about it and get it all off your chest. Your pals are sure to give you all the support and love you need, and will be there to help you see that there are plenty more fish in the sea. 

Letting some other people in your life know what you are going through will mean they will be able to understand if you aren’t feeling or acting like your usual self and can point you in the right direction for when you are ready to accept it and move on. 

3) Get on the road to acceptance 

In some cases, there isn’t anything you can do to change someone’s mind to make the outcome more like something you want. Like, you can’t really get on the phone to a uni or a job and beg them to change their minds – it’s probably not gonna work. In cases like this, the only thing you can do is accept it. 

Accepting rejection can be really tough, and sometimes, we just never really get over it. A great way to get on that road though would be to take a moment, and then write down all the other paths you can take. Looking at all your other possible options and amazing pathways you can take from here will not only help you feel better, but may even be grateful for the option to take another route.   

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4) Learn from it 

No matter how bad it might feel right now, you can learn stuff from any rejection. For example, if you didn’t get a job you wanted, you can ask why. If you have found yourself at the end of a relationship, in a few months you might be able to look back on what went down and take something from that. If a friend has started to ignore you, there are lessons you can learn about maybe what you did to prompt that behaviour, or if you did nothing, there are lessons you can learn about what friendships might be bad for you. 

Basically, no matter how much you might wish it weren’t true, every day is a school day. 

5) Don’t let it control you 

It’s super important to remember that there is a line between learning from it and letting your experience control you and all the choices you make. So, you could be rejected by a job you really wanted to get to make some money in your spare time. You could learn from this experience by getting some feedback on why you didn’t get it and trying to improve or change that for the next time you go for a job. But if you decide you never want to pursue work in that industry and you will never go into that shop/café/restaurant/area of town ever again – that is letting this one experience control your life.  

It is completely natural after being rejected to feel like you need to take a break though – and this can be great for you. Whatever it was you have been rejected from, take a bit of time away from that part of your life and enjoy some time just for you. 

6) Know when to quit

Of course, every time you don’t get what you want out of something, it doesn’t mean you have to quit. Sometimes, carrying on with something after experiencing rejection can be good for you – like if you have a setback at school or uni and decide to push through and you might get the grades you set out for after all. 

Sometimes though, knowing when to call it a day in the face of rejection can be a good way to help you let go and move on. If you are finding that whatever is going wrong is really not working for you, take a step back and revaluate whether it is really worth carrying. If you think maybe it is not for you, have a think about all the other pathways that are open to you, and try to let it go. 

7) Remember: everything happens for a reason 

It might sound like a bit of a silly thing to say when you are feeling like total rubbish, but it is true. Everything happens for a reason. Not getting that job might land you a better one, not going into that uni or college might give you the greatest friends and experiences at a second choice option, falling out with a friend could show you who are really the best people in your life and enduring a break up might one day lead you to the best relationship you’ve ever had. 

Rejection can be totally crap in the moment, but in the long run, it isn’t so bad. 

Need help dealing with rejection? Speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors here.

It’s halfway through October already, and that means we are halfway through Fear Season. In case you didn’t know, we are all about conquering our fears this October, whatever they may be. 

Being scared of getting into a serious relationship can be pretty rough, especially when it seems like everyone in the world is in one. It’s like that classic angel and devil on the shoulder scenario – a little bit of you is super into a new relationship until something inside you slams the door shut, and often you don’t even know why. So whether it’s being exclusive or it’s the idea of saying ‘I Love You’ that send shivers down your spine and makes you feel like you’ve been on the waltzers at the fair for over an hour, we got you. 

1) If you aren’t ready for one, that’s ok

There has never been a rule book that says you have to be ready for a relationship on a certain day. There’s a pretty big difference between not being ready for a relationship and letting your relationship fears stop you from being happy. We know that knowing the difference is half the battle, so we have come up with a couple of things to think about below. 

2) Don’t feel like you HAVE to do or be ANYTHING

So what if everyone else is in a relationship? We all live our lives at different paces, and some people are ready to jump into relationships much earlier than others. Don’t compare your chapter 10 to someone else’s chapter 20 – you might not get to that chapter for years yet, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

3) Know you are NOT broken

It can be easy to feel like you are a broken toy when everyone else seems to find it so easy to slide into relationships and you are still trying not to hyperventilate at the idea of a fourth date. The most important thing to remember is that you are absolutely not broken, and are 100% right. Sometimes, you don’t want a relationship, sometimes you feel too much pressure, sometimes, you simply aren’t interested. It is all perfectly OK.

4) Think you might want something? Try dipping your toe in the water 

Think it might be fear of the unknown that’s got you running scared at the mere mention of a date? Just try it out! There is no one rule that says every single person you go on a date with is going to work out or that you even have to see them again. We aren’t saying go running around town with Tinder, ghosting everyone after one Five Guys, but meeting people is a great first step to figuring out what you want, which is the only way you’ll ever be able to build something that lasts.

5) Be honest with the person you are with 

Being on the same page is so important for a lot of things, but especially this one. At the end of the day, if something is starting with someone you like, hurting them should NEVER be on your agenda. Honesty is always the best policy here, and you owe it to them and to yourself to sit down and have a proper conversation with them about your fears and concerns. Get on the same page, and give them the chance to move on and find someone who wants the same thing as you. It doesn’t mean you are destined to be alone, it just means you guys want different things right now, and it will save you both a lot of pain in the long run. 

6) Check yourself…

So you’ve hit fifth date panic mode, and when you aren’t excessively sweating, you are planning a fake exit from the country? Well, this might be the sense of looming relationship status that’s driving you right now. Ask yourself

  • Is there a genuine reason why you are reacting like this? 
  • When you calm down, in your day to day, do you always feel like this? 

If not, maybe take a step back, breathe and try to think about the situation rationally before pressing send on the break up message. Try these exercises for calming yourself down and de-stressing to get you in the right headspace before you have a big chat. 

7) … But trust your gut

A big thing that most commitment-phobes will do when they are out in the dating game is, because they are second guessing every thought in their heads, stick to a relationship that was never right in the first place. Ask yourself:

  • Do you feel attracted to them? 
  • Do you miss them when they aren’t around? 
  • Do you want to tell all the random shit that happens to you during the day? 
  • Is it easy to be around them and do you want to drop their name in conversations that have nothing to do with them? 

If the answer no to all of these, maybe it isn’t the commitment-phobia talking, and just your brain actually doing you a solid and getting you to move on. 

Having relationship trouble? Reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here and we will listen to you.