Rejection happens to all of us. Rejection hurts. It sucks! People want to belong and connect with others, but when they are rejected that creates a very unpleasant experience. The fear of rejection can keep us from taking risks that can lead to achieving our goals.
But remember, you’re not alone. Many people would prefer to die than being rejected. They can become depressed or sad and, as a result, such feelings might lead to a lot of unfortunate events in different parts of our society. If you want to overcome your fear of rejection, you need to understand that this is a pretty universal experience.
What can cause rejection?
The causes of rejection can be small or big and they depend on the individual’s scale of values. What is a small thing for me can be a big thing for you and vice versa. Rejection can happen in different situations like personal relationships, academics, business or job related, and today’s millennials favorite… social media. Here, it’s very common for relationships to be born virtually, sometimes without close contact of any kind.
If you want to overcome your fear of rejection you need to analyze your reaction when such an event happens. The best way to modify your reactions is by studying yourself. This might be difficult and sometimes the opinion of a close friend or family can help describe if we are taking things too personally, or if we are overreacting to a given situation.
Also, rejection affects us in a way that is proportional to our level of self-confidence. If you are applying for a job and don’t get the call, it might mean a lot of things besides you not being qualified for the job. Maybe you were overqualified! Or maybe someone else beat you to the punch (timing). Every time you are rejected, you must remember your self worth, which will always match the right opportunity, at the right time. We cannot expect to have a perfect record and never be rejected. That would be like expecting a baseball player to bat a thousand or a basketball player to score every shot or free throw. The right opportunity will meet the right preparation at the right time, given the right circumstances.
It’s just an opinion!
When trying to overcome your fear of rejection remember this: rejection is just an opinion, not a fact.
Now… let’s get to work!!!
What is the underlying cause of your fear of rejection?
If you are afraid of romantic relations because you don’t want to feel lonely, you need to accept that, because that will give you something to work with. Then, you can work on finding the right strategy to widen your network of contacts, both professionally and personally. The more friends and colleagues you have, the less you will feel left out or passed on. More opportunities will show up for you, although there’s also more risk implied. Remember, if you want to overcome your fear of rejection, you need to face such fear. Without taking chances, nothing will happen. You will miss all the shots you don’t take!
And when it comes to handling rejections, you can be either your own best friend or worst enemy. Sometimes in order to get over the hurdles ahead you need to get out of your own way. Replacing negative self-talk with a positive mindset requires us to ignore the six year old inner child that keeps nagging us and preventing us from reaching our potential. Here’s where you need to reach out to your support network, no matter how small that is, to find encouragement and accountability to make the right decisions and take actions oriented towards designing a path of success. If you don’t have a support network, that is the first priority in your transformation journey.
Help is available
Sometimes the help you need can come from a mentor or coach, who will help you see the qualities you possess and then will guide you and work with you giving you valuable advice that will allow you to discover your passion and how to use your talents to conquer the obstacles ahead. Your coach will help you in the tough times and the good times, helping you keep your feet on the ground and your head in the game. But always remember, your path to success will not get forged overnight, it will take time, hard work and patience, but the reward will be amazing. The harder the challenge, the most satisfying the success will be!
Do you see the glass half full or half empty?
Your answer to the above question defines your mentality, and with the right mindset you will see a rejection as an opportunity instead of a problem. In my professional journey I set as a goal to have at least five job interviews every year. I apply to jobs that match my profile, but also to those for what I appear to be overqualified. The goal is to have the opportunity to plead my case to the hiring person, and to learn something out of each of them. Asking questions such as, “why is this position open?”, “what is the long term goal for this position?”, “what is your impression of my performance during this interview?”, “can you give me any advice to improve myself?”, allow me to understand the cause of rejection, if it happens, so I can work on my weaknesses.
When you are rejected, it’s OK to worry, as long as you also get to work.
Life is not fair, nor easy. Getting help is the best decision if you want to get better, and getting help while accepting your flaws is a brave thing to do.
Alejandro Clavel is a Life and Career Coach. He specializes in Positive Mindset, helping people and businesses achieve their goals by providing tools and guidance to discover the limitless possibilities inside you! You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org