What is the fear of rejection? Why do we as people have such a hard time with hearing the word, "no", or dealing with the disapproval, or rejection, of others? If we are to co-mingle and socialize with people then rejection is inevitable at some point or another.
Fear of rejection is based mostly in the need to be loved and accepted inherent in all people. More specifically, the fear that the love or acceptance we have will leave us or that we will not earn the love or acceptance we crave. We all crave love. We all crave to be accepted. This love is not always love in the romantic sense. Love can be from friends, family, or purely physical. We also crave acceptance. This can be acceptance from an individual, a group of people, or an organization. We want to be seen as lovable, wanted, capable, and competent. To be seen as otherwise will bring about fears and a strong sense of sadness, failure, or loneliness.
All of this is bundled into the fear of rejection.
This fear is so strong in some that it will inhibit their ability to step out into the world and experience new things or meet new people. It is a fear that threatens to keep us in a box if we let it. If a person is to succeed in almost any endeavor, overcoming the fear of rejection is a must if success is the goal.
How Do We Overcome The Fear of Rejection?
Unfortunately, this is the uncomfortable part. The only way a person is to overcome the fear of rejection is to step out and be rejected. A person has to step out of a comfort zone in order to achieve a different result. It has been said that, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". We cannot shell ourselves off from the world and become people pleasers if we are to overcome the fear of rejection.
There are some tools that can aid us in easing the pain until we become more comfortable in handling rejection.
They are as follows:
- Get loved - Have a strong and loving foundation in good friends and family. This will allow a person to handle the inevitable rejection they will face in life as they step out into the world and integrate with more people. If we have a place, and people, in which we feel comfortable, supported, and loved then we have a place to lick our wounds after we have taken the beating of being rejected. Love can patch us up and send us out for more.
- Change Your Perspective - We have the choice as people to decide how rejection will affect us. It can be something that we view as harmful, or something we view as helpful. Rejection is a learning opportunity if we choose it to be. We can analyze a situation after the fact to see if maybe there was something we could improve. Maybe we need a different approach altogether. The choice is ours.
- Respect Yourself - Keep a proper sense of yourself and try not to let rejection, or the fear of rejection, lower your self-esteem. Remember, the effects of any one encounter do not define you as a person. Just because you are rejected once, twice, five, or one hundred times does not lower you value as an individual. Keep the attitude that you are worth knowing. You have skills, abilities, and talents just like everyone else.
As with most aspects of life, overcoming the fear of rejection is a matter of experience. The only way we can gain experience is by trying new things, stepping out, and meeting new people. As you grow in this area and overcome the fear of rejection, you will find a funny thing might start to happen. You might find that you welcome the rejection instead of shy away from it. You might enjoy it and see it as yet another opportunity to learn and grow. Rejection can become an opportunity to refine your skills and sharpen your abilities.
Whatever the case may be, overcoming the fear of rejection will aid you in all of your endeavors.