President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” However, overcoming the fear of rejection is easier said than done. This fear is especially prevalent in people that suffer from low self-esteem. The fear of rejection can be paralyzing and will affect personal and professional growth. It also can increase a person’s anxiety, which can cause them to become depressed. For example, you might not pursue relationships or opportunities in the workplace for fear of being rejected. You might become a people pleaser or avoid social situations altogether because you are afraid of being rejected.
Looking back now, I realize that I suffered from the fear of rejection for years. My mother primarily raised me after she and my father were divorced. My mother, whether she realized it or not, was a very domineering person, not to mention a perfectionist. I could not seem to please her no matter how hard I tried. I was always fearful of her reprimand. I was always looking for some type of praise, but I never received any. I learned very early not to express my opinions, for fear of being shot down once again. It affected me in many ways. I found myself becoming withdrawn, anxious, and depressed. I didn’t have a lot of friends because I found it very difficult to pursue friendships as a child. Unfortunately, I carried this fear of rejection into my adult life.
In my professional life, I became more of a follower than a leader. I felt it was better to do just my job and not express my opinions or recommendations. I was afraid to speak up and did not want to take the chance of being rejected or look like a fool. In retrospect, I realize that I probably lost out on a lot of career opportunities because of these fears. I became more of a people pleaser, doing what others wanted me to do rather than taking initiative and doing what I felt was best. Unfortunately, my fear of rejection continued for years until I got fed up and decided to make some positive changes in my life. I began my journey by seeking out the help of people I could trust. They began to help me navigate through all of my feelings and helped me become more self-aware. As I progressed, my self-esteem increased and my negative way of looking at things became much more positive. I am living proof that you can overcome your fear of rejection and improve your quality of life.
If you are struggling with the fear of rejection, I would like to share with you some things I learned during my journey.
CHANGE YOUR THOUGHT PATTERNS
1. It is necessary to realize that negative thoughts are a distortion of the truth. Exchange negative thoughts for positive and healthy thoughts. Fear of rejection is associated with negative thinking. You do not have to please everyone to be worthy. Rejection is not the end of the world; In fact, we will all be rejected at some point in our lives. There is no need to feel ashamed. Also, it is important to realize that not everyone has rejected you, even if one person has. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that can happen?”
FACE YOUR FEAR OF REJECTION
2. In order to overcome your fear of rejection, you need to face it head on. The more you let negative thoughts take over, the more overpowering they will become, which in turn, will increase your fear. It is a vicious cycle!
Negative thoughts will prevent you from taking action, which may seem like the easier route, but it will reinforce negative thinking and allow fear to creep into every area of your life. You need to take action in order to overcome your fear of rejection, regardless of your negative thoughts. Prepare yourself by taking small steps, one at a time. Take the risk that you might be rejected. Ask yourself, “What do I have to lose by taking action?”
You probably won’t be rejected, but even if you are, it won’t be as bad as you thought it would be. Your fear will start to diminish the more you get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.
Realize that you can’t please everyone all the time, and that your opinions matter just as much as anyone else’s. Place less emphasis on what others think of you and remove the “ideal version” of yourself! No one is perfect!
SEEK OUT PROFESSIONAL HELP
3. It takes a lot of effort to overcome the fear of rejection and improve your self-esteem, however, it can be achieved through persistence. If you need help, the life coaches at the Journey Principles Institute are available to help you achieve your goals for a healthy, happy, and prosperous life.
It is my desire to help others who may be struggling with these feelings of rejection. I hope that the information provided will help others gain a new perspective and allow them to see that change is possible. You can break free and live the life you were meant to live!