How to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection

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“Every rejection is incremental payment on your dues that is some way will be translated back into your work.” – James Lee Burke

Fear of rejection is a common feeling a lot of people share. Let’s face it, rejection hurts at any age. Young or old. Wise or stupid. Rich or poor. Rejection is rejection and we all despise it. Regardless of our feelings towards it, fear of rejection is a feeling you must overcome. If you cannot overcome rejection, you’re bound to never progress in life.

Life is all about putting yourself out there. Yes, you may get rejected, but this is the risk you have to be willing to take.

Show me a person who has never been rejected and I’ll show you a person who has never amounted to anything.

Some people are so scared of being rejected that they never try their hand and hence they never do succeed.

It’s interesting to note that for the most part, the people who see the most success in life are also the same people who saw the most rejection.

For instance…

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Michael went home, locked himself in his room and cried.

Steve Jobs at age 30 was left devastated and depressed after being removed from the company that he started.

Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job as a news anchor and was made fun of because she wasn’t “fit for television.”

Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination” and having “no original ideas.”

And lastly, The Beatles were rejected by Decca Recording studios, who said, “We don’t like their sound…they have no future in show business.”

With all of this stated, it’s apparent that rejection is truly felt by all. One of the reasons why rejection hurts so badly and why we fear it is because we tend to take it personally. We view it to be a reflection of us, a reflection of what we are capable of. However, the list of famous rejections we went over goes to show that this is simply not the case.

Michael Jordan’s basketball ability was not reflective in his coach’s opinion.

Steve Jobs potential was not determined by his current circumstances.

Oprah Winfrey’s ability to be a talk show host was not determined by the people who demoted her.

Walt Disney’s imagination was not reflective of the words made by the newspapers owner.

And The Beatles musical talent was not reflective in the opinion of Decca Recording studios.

To put it bluntly, rejection is not an end all be all. It’s just an opinion and it isn’t reflective of you.

So many people tend to take it personally as they let the words of others impact the way they see themselves. If someone tells them they suck and they will never make it, they begin to believe them. If you take on this approach, you might as well hang it up because a person’s words should never make or break you. The feeling of rejection arises when you put too much weight on someone else’s voice.

Hence what this goes to show you is that rejection is not a reflection of your ability. Rejection is not an attack on you, although it may seem to be like that.

Most of the time rejection is due to circumstances that are completely out of your control.

Regardless, it’s apparent that the fear of rejection still looms over us so it’s time for an exercise…

I must say, although this exercise is very simple, it’s difficult at the same time.

It’s not an easy exercise to conduct. It may be very tough for you, but you have to kick the fear of rejection to the curb once and for all. If you cannot, you’re limiting your future in one way or another. Rejection is a key component of life. If you want success, you’re going to have to overcome it so it’s time for you to do so.

Here’s your exercise…

Approach a member of the opposite sex (a stranger preferably) and go in with the intention of getting their phone number. However, here’s the kicker…you have to go in to the interaction with the intention of purposely bombing. That’s right! Your objective is to get rejected. So do something that brings about rejection. Nothing too extreme that lands you in trouble. Just something simple and borderline offensive which in return gets you hit with the cold reality of rejection.

After you get rejected, you should learn two things…

1. Things are not that bad. You’re still breathing, you’re still alive, and you made it through in one piece. Although your ego may be bruised, your pride is still intact because you had the balls to put yourself out there. Success is dependent on putting yourself out there. So from now on place more importance on the opportunity to succeed rather than the possibility of being rejected.

And…

2. This is the feeling you get when you rely too much on someone else’s opinion. This is how you feel when you put someone else on a pedestal. From now on, place more importance on your own beliefs rather than someone else’s.

Lastly, although this feeling is horrible, ask yourself…

Is this feeling worth it? This is the feeling that is keeping you from success. Is this feeling big enough to keep you away from success?

The feeling of rejection hurts for a day or a week; however the feeling of regret which comes with never chasing your dreams because you feared rejection lasts a life time.

So make the decision today to never let the fear of rejection or failure or anything get in between you and success.