What would your life look like if you were free from worrying about the opinions of others? What if seeking the approval of other people failed to enter your mind? How would it change your life?
Our lives are negatively influenced by the fear of rejection. It holds us back in so many ways and limits our ability to experience the positive aspects of life.
Consider these ideas to banish your fear of rejection:
1. Rejection is largely a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you’re constantly worried about rejection, it changes the way you act. You become anxious and defensive. Those actions may cause you to be rejected by others. After all, who wants to spend time with someone who’s unpleasant to be around?
• Consider how this fear is affecting your behavior. Are you acting in a way that’s causing others to reject you?
2. Focus on how you want to feel. Most people focus on how they don’t want to feel, but they haven’t considered how they want to feel. It’s hard to accomplish something positive if you’re unsure of what you want.
• Choose how you want to feel in a situation that’s currently giving you trouble. Take actions that will bring you the feelings you want.
3. Use your imagination in a way that serves you well. We often look ahead to those challenging circumstances and imagine the worst possible outcome. This only adds stress to the situation and we’ve doomed ourselves to failure. See yourself as successful instead.
• Imagine being confident, relaxed, and carefree. If you do this enough times, it will become habitual. Your imagination has probably been hurting you up to this point. Put it to work in a way that is helpful rather than harmful.
4. What does rejection really mean? Suppose a child finds a gold nugget lying on the ground. The child doesn’t know what it is, so he just tosses it into the dirt. That doesn’t mean the nugget is worthless, but just that the person making the judgment is ignorant of its value.
• Many successful people were rejected at one time or another. A theater professor told Harrison Ford that he would never be a successful actor. The University of Evansville put out a scouting report on Larry Bird that stated he would, “Never play Division I basketball.” Record companies even rejected the Beatles.
• Sometimes others make poor judgments. Avoid giving the rejecter too much credibility.
5. Be wary of your own opinion. What if all of your beliefs were true? You’d be a billionaire and married to a supermodel. We all have false beliefs. These beliefs are highly limiting and steer you in a negative direction far more often than you realize. Question your beliefs.
Rejection is one of the worst feelings in the world. But remember that you have some influence on whether or not you’re rejected by others. It’s also important to keep in mind that rejection frequently has more to do with the person doing the rejecting than the one receiving it.
Eliminating the fear of rejection is a worthwhile endeavor. When you are free of this fear, a whole new world will open up to you.