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Dealing with fear of rejection.

May 29, 2024

We have all encountered rejection in various aspects of our lives, and its impact can be significant. To effectively address and mitigate the effects of rejection, it is crucial to understand its root causes and the associated emotions. Rejection can stem from various sources, including self-rejection, relationship or hereditary rejection, and deep-seated feelings such as hurt, anger, bitterness, pride, and fear. These emotions can profoundly influence our lives and relationships.


These external factors, coupled with personal fears such as fear of failure, loss, rejection, how you will be perceived by others or simply taking risks of any form, can exacerbate our fear and rejection.


Fearss is an emotional response to a perceived threat or danger, a perceived threat that has not happened. This, in turn, makes us dread what could go wrong. It is a natural and instinctual reaction that can trigger a "fight or flight" response in the body. Our lives get smaller and smaller as we are hemmed in by worries and 'what-ifs'. Fear paralyses us, imprisons our thoughts and self-being, and limits our potential. This silent fear can stop you from doing what you should and make you do things you shouldn't.

Fear can arise in response to physical, emotional, or psychological stimuli and serve as a protective mechanism to help individuals respond to potential risks or harm. While fear can be a helpful survival instinct, it can also become overwhelming and limiting if it starts to control one's actions and decisions. Recognising and understanding fear is essential in learning to manage and overcome it.


Rejecting something means turning it down or declining an offer, request, or idea. It can occur in various aspects of life, such as relationships, work, and personal aspirations, where you have had multiple moderate acts of relationship or job rejection. Rejection can lead to feelings of hurt, disappointment, and inadequacy. Recognising and understanding rejection is essential in addressing its impact and developing strategies to cope with it.

Confronting the silent fear of rejection poses its challenges, but there are effective strategies to help overcome it:

1. Challenging negative thoughts: When faced with the fear of rejection, it is essential to evaluate these thoughts critically. Our inner critics can be our own worst enemy. When you find yourself fearing rejection, challenge those thoughts. Are they realistic? Helpful?


2. Embracing self-compassion: Treating oneself with kindness and understanding is crucial, as rejection is a universal experience and does not define one's worth. Treat yourself with compassion and understanding. Everyone experiences rejection sometimes. It does not define you.


3. Reframing rejection: Viewing rejection as a learning opportunity can provide valuable feedback and contribute to personal growth. Rejection is someone's opinion and does not define who you are.


4. Developing resilience: Embracing challenges and setbacks gradually can strengthen resilience and make handling rejection easier.


5. Recognising and accepting fear: It is essential to acknowledge that fear of rejection is normal and allow oneself to experience it without judgment or shame.


6. Feedback: For personal growth, consider seeking input from trusted friends, mentors, colleagues, or supervisors. Self-assessment and reflection can also provide valuable insights. To grow from rejection, it's essential to acknowledge and accept your feelings and remember that rejection doesn't define your worth. Use rejection as an opportunity for self-reflection and growth and consider the feedback to understand areas for improvement. Maintaining a positive mindset and perseverance can help you progress and grow from the experience.


7. Starting small and building confidence: Initiating small steps in facing rejection and uncomfortable situations can gradually build confidence and resilience. Baby steps are better than no steps at all. Risk is essential for growth. You only know once you try.


8. Focusing on positive outcomes: Redirecting attention towards positive outcomes and visualising success can help combat the fear of rejection. Instead of dwelling on potential rejection, redirect your attention to positive outcomes. Visualise success and remind yourself of the possible rewards and why you are taking risks.


9. Seeking social support: Sharing fears and concerns with trusted friends or family members gifted with listening skills that you feel can provide support and encouragement can alleviate anxiety.


10. Educating oneself about rejection: Learning about successful individuals who have faced rejection on their path to success can help reframe one's mindset regarding rejection. Spend time reading from reputable sources on personal growth.


11. Setting realistic expectations: It is essential to understand that not everyone will accept or approve of you. Focusing on those who appreciate and value you is more productive.


12. Seeking professional help if necessary: If fear of rejection becomes overwhelming and starts to interfere with daily life, seeking support from a therapist or counsellor specialising in anxiety or self-esteem issues can be beneficial.


It is important to remember that facing and overcoming rejection is a part of personal growth and development. By taking small steps and practising self-care, it is possible to gradually reduce fear and gain the confidence to confront rejection with resilience. Every situation is different, so try not to generalise rejection. The fact that you were rejected yesterday or multiple times doesn’t mean you will be rejected again. 


By Abigail Borquaye @ Healing Wings Support.