How many times has it happened that you couldn’t ask your boss for a raise or promotion, fearing you might be rejected? Or couldn’t you ask someone for a dinner date, thinking they might reject you? Quite a few times, right? Sometimes, we all are afraid of being rejected & that fear cripples us so much that we often forget that the answer might be ‘yes’. Therefore, it is vital to Overcome a Fear of Rejection.
You must have heard the old joke. If internet explorer can ask to be your default browser, you can ask anybody anything. All you need is some confidence & acceptance of the fact that there is a 50-50 chance. Don’t be shy to ask what you want. You might actually get it.
Ways Of Overcoming Fear Of Rejection
1. Recognize There Is A 50-50 Chance
To Overcome a Fear of Rejection, you need to understand there is a 50-50 chance. After asking for something, you might be rejected; on the other hand, your request can be accepted. If you choose to be silent, you lose that 50% positive chance, making a 50-50 chance to 0.
You might be trying to ask your beautiful colleague out for a coffee but avoiding eye contact, fearing if they reject you & the word gets spread, you might be a laughing stock in your office. Remember, people who might laugh at you may be trying to ask them out, too. Just like you, they are also afraid of being rejected. Gather courage & do what you want to do.
2. Confront Your Fears
Evading coping comprises handling disagreeable feelings by avoiding the things that trigger those emotions. The problem with that particular approach is that it eventually increases the feelings of fear. Rather than overcoming your fear of rejection, it worsens the condition.
So rather than escaping situations where you might be rejected, try to put yourself out there & confronting your fear. Once you bravely confront your fear, you will recognize that the results are less anxiety-inducing than expected. You’ll also get greater confidence.
3. Remind Yourself Of Your Worth
One of the great Ways To Get Over Fear Of Rejection is always reminding yourself of your worth & capabilities. You might have some flaws & weaknesses, everyone got them, but you managed to come this far. If you were useless, you would still live in your family’s basement. But you are an independent, capable person with many skills & achievements to show.
If you are tongue-tied while asking your boss for a raise or promotion, remind yourself how efficiently you worked in this organization for so many years & dedicated your efforts to its benefit. Remind yourself how you managed to grab that business deal when many employees failed or how you never kept a job pending. Keep remembering all those things.
4. Remember Everyone Faced It
Always remember that even the most popular, rich, successful people faced rejection at a particular point in their lives. Still, it didn’t stop them from going ahead & explore new opportunities. Nobody laughed at them as they got rejected because they eventually bounced back.
Do you know our Hermione Granger Emma Watson was Rejected by Tom ‘Draco Malfoy’ Felton? Before you start to bad-mouth the bad boy, let us tell you he considered Emma as a sister. Still, a rejection is a rejection. Before getting her big break, the creator of Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, and J.K. Rowling were rejected by 12 publishers. Still, it didn’t dampen her spirit.
5. Use Positive Self-Talk
The fear starts from negative self-talk. Even before asking something, we frequently think, ‘Nah, I won’t get it,’ ‘They will definitely say no’, ‘I will surely get rejected’. This negative self-talk worsens the fear & we choose to keep silent or avoid the situation in general.
If you are genuinely trying to Overcome a Fear of Rejection, you must discard this negative self-talk & replace it with positive ones. Use thoughts like ‘I may get it’, ‘they may approve it’, ‘I will be accepted’. This positive self-talk will fortify your confidence. If you start to lose confidence, your body language will show it. With reinforced confidence, you will have stronger body language.
6. Build Up Your Confidence
We often suffer from fear of rejection as we lack confidence—lack of confidence in ourselves, our skills, our achievements, our worthiness. Therefore, even before asking for something, we fear the worst—this lack of confidence results in negative self-talk, as discussed in earlier points. Therefore developing confidence is a must to counter that fear.
There are many ways to develop confidence, such as reminding yourself of your skills & strengths, using positive self-talk, and believing in yourself. Churn up some positive feelings & like Journey sang, “Don’t stop believin’…hold on to that feelin”. Always believe in yourself & the fact that you are destined to be greater.
7. Keep Things In Positive Perspective
If you are really afraid of rejection & spend lots of time worrying about it, you are maybe considering worst-case scenarios. Suppose you didn’t get into the course of choice. You start worrying that all the courses you applied to will reject you & you’ll lose a valuable year.
But then you start to worry that you will be rejected the following year, too, that will make it impossible to get a job of your choice & develop your career, then you will start worrying that you will be dependent on your parents for the rest of your life & so on.
Instead of thinking like that, think about what other options you have to develop your career & how to do it. Always keep things in a positive perspective & have a backup plan.
Some Books To Help You Overcome Fear Of Rejection
There are several books that can help you to Overcome a Fear of Rejection. Some of them are:
- Atomic Habits by James Clear.
- Brave Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani.
- Overcoming Rejection Will Make You Rich’ by Larry Diangi.
- Bouncing Back from Rejection’ by Leslie Becker-Phelps.
- The Dip by Seth Godin.
- Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang.
- Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss.
- Mindset by Carol Dweck.
- Lead from the Outside by Stacey Abrams.
Q: Is the fear of rejection somehow tied to our subconscious mind?
A: Actually, it is just the opposite. Fear of rejection comes from our conscious feeling of inadequacy, lack of confidence & negativity.
Q: Can some childhood memory trigger fear of rejection?
A: If you were always rejected as a child, which can foster a fear of rejection.
Q: Despite my best efforts, can I shake off this fear; what to do?
A: If nothing works, talking to a counsellor or experienced therapist is best.