It’s hard to believe, but very true, that among all the fears—fear of getting old, losing your job, dying young, public speaking, etc.—one of the biggest, most widespread fears is, Fear of Rejection—the fear of losing approval from others, of not being accepted.
The one who fears rejection becomes frozen, like a deer in the headlights, and doesn’t take a step because they’re afraid they’ll get rejected. The irony is, that by not taking a step, not going for it, you get the same results as if you’d been rejected. You end up with nothing. At least if you take a risk, there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll get a “Yes!”
Often times the person afraid of rejection creates the very scenario they fear. For example, a young woman dating a guy might be afraid he’ll lose interest and leave her. Driven by her fear, she becomes defensive, anxious, and/or angry, resulting in driving the guy away. At this point, she can easily say, “See, I knew it, he didn’t really like me. I was sure he’d leave me, and he did!”
Rejection is just someone saying no. So what? If you go shopping and try on and discard an outfit, is it a reflection on the outfit, or is it about your personal preference? Someone else could love the very outfit you rejected. That’s why garage sales are so popular. What some people don’t want, others do.
People reject and get rejected all the time. Take a look at Walt Disney, for example, he was told he “lacked imagination.” And what about Elvis Presley? He was told he was better off driving a truck. Both Oprah and Madonna were fired from their jobs. These are people the whole world knows today, but at one time they were rejected. So was it about the reject-er, or the rejected? If someone rejects you, it doesn’t mean you’re not lovable, or worthy; it just means the person wanted something else. It may not have anything to do with you personally. And if it does, don’t make it your issue.
Stop seeking reassurance from others; doing so will often leave you feeling disappointed. Any look, tone of voice, or body language, can upset you and make you feel bad about yourself. Be your own reassurance. Don’t count on anyone else. This will set you free.
Next time you’re fearful of doing something because you’re afraid you’ll get rejected, think twice. Being rejected is not about you; it’s about saying “no” sometimes. And at times that no may be aimed at you. So what? Remember, a no will not make or break you. How could it? It’s just a word.
Don’t miss out on an opportunity just because you’re afraid. Be afraid to miss out by not taking a chance. What do you have to lose?