Many people struggle with the fear of rejection today, and it is one that can have serious consequences on other areas of our lives. It can show up as an unwillingness to take new opportunities or do new things because you are scared it won’t work out as expected.
In severe cases, the fear of rejection might have drastic consequences that actually worsen your relationships, career advancement and the general quality of your life. For example, if you struggle with this fear, you might find yourself displaying a lack of confidence and self-esteem in a job interview which may in turn affect your performance at the interview itself. Or take dating as another example, someone with the fear of rejection may show a reluctance to enter into romantic relationships because he/she isn’t certain the opposite sex will ever be interested in them. For other people, their fear may show up as an avoidance of meeting new people and this will ultimately affect their reach in life.
Perhaps the most dangerous thing about the fear of rejection is that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. That means that this fear causes you to act in certain ways that will cause people to stay away from you further entrenching the fear in your mind. To use our first example, a job candidate who struggles with the fear of rejection will display a lack of confidence and poise in a job interview, which may be qualities that the recruiter may want in that position, and the lack of these qualities may cause the candidate to be rejected. This reaction only helps to strengthen that fear in the candidate who will then carry on with their behaviors.
The question then is how does a person rid themselves of the fear of rejection. Well, here are four simple things you can do.
- Reject your self-fulfilling prophecies.
Like I explained earlier, the fear of rejection can be self-fulfilling, and when you expect people to reject you, you create signals that cause that rejection to occur. So decide that you will reject those mindsets – to do this, simply reframe your thinking by calling to memory situations where you have been accepted and choose to focus on them. Take out some thinking time and begin to journal those times where you have not been rejected. You will find that they are more frequent than you ever imagined.
- Develop a resilient mindset.
The reality is that everyone will face rejection at least once in their life, and you cannot escape it. However, having a resilient mindset can help you when those events occur. A resilient mindset is one that can handle failure successfully and see it as an opportunity for growth. To build this mindset, avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You should also use your negative events as learning experiences.
- Tap into the power of your imagination.
For many people that deal with the fear of rejection, they are constantly visualizing themselves being rejected, leaving their minds consumed by these mental pictures of being rejected. It’s time to shift that mental narrative. Begin to imagine yourself in situations that leave you acting confidently and surviving. Let go of those mental images where you are rejected and create new ones. By doing these, you will be building new neural connections in your brain that can ultimately affect your behavior.
- Get coaching or therapy.
Sometimes, your fear of rejection can be so pervasive that it negatively affects every other area of your life. When that happens, it’s time to sign up for therapy or coaching to help you deal with it. You should also consider getting coaching if you cannot get through practicing some of the strategies explained above by yourself. A good coach will provide accountability and support to help you through the process.