How to Deal with the Fear of Rejection

by Jason

dealing with the fear of rejection

The fear of rejection is something we deal with in social anxiety time and again.

But truly all human beings deal with it in life. All of us!

Most people want to avoid rejection.

I mean it makes sense right?

Who wants to be rejected – it can feel like the worst thing in the world, worse than even death itself maybe?

Maybe, maybe not.

THE PROBLEM WITH THE IDEA OF REJECTION

You see, the problem doesn’t lie with being rejected. I have come to find it lies within how we DEFINE being rejected.

For most of us, we have a bad definition, based on bad beliefs that generate low self-worth.

Certainly society has placed the fear of judgment and beliefs onto us, and it’s worked its way into avoiding rejection.

“What will people think of us if we say something and they reject us? Everyone will hate me.”

Sorry – or actually I am rather happy – to tell you this, but just as you are very self-interested, so are others.

It’s like there a low-level, subtle form on narcissism (self-obsession) with those of us that have suffered, or are currently suffering with social anxiety.

These are the wrong kinds of conversations about rejection to be having inside our heads, my friends. They’re lies of the mind. It’s time to lose your fear.

I have struggled with this fear of rejection immensely, but have made a lot of progress. I still do have fear of rejection. There is no escaping this.

Do you think that when I first started this blog I wasn’t afraid of people rejecting what I have to say, especially when I still used to have some social anxiety?

You bet I was scared to be rejected. But I did it anyway.

What you have to realize is that the story you create, and live, around what rejection is and isn’t is what fuels it, and that story can be changed.

You can live in a better way, without rejection controlling you.

REJECTION: WHAT IS IT?

I think most of us have a poor definition of rejection. It’s been drilled into us with TV, movies, and the social condition that is all around us.

It’s time to see through The Matrix like Neo, don’t you think?

According to Dictionary.com the original meaning of rejection was “to throw” or “to throw back”.

But when you “get rejected” what is being thrown back?

Somehow we think people are throwing us back as a human being.

I say this is NOT the case, especially in terms of strangers you don’t know, and are afraid of in public.

They don’t know you at all, there’s no way they could actually reject “you.”

So in those cases it’s not even possible for them to throw you back, or reject “you”. They don’t have that much power over you. It’s you that is giving them the power, they don’t actually have that kind of control of you.

In fact, I would say you are rejecting yourself, before they have a chance to know anything about you in order to avoid rejection.

That’s right, you are rejecting YOURSELF in advance.

WHY WOULD YOU REJECT YOURSELF?

Rejection is almost never about you, and it’s about them.

It is much more about their preferences, their desires, their path in life.

But you make it about you, and that’s the real trap here. There’s that narcissism showing up again!

Just as rejection is about them and not you, do you see how you’re making rejection about you, AND it is actually coming from you?

It is coming from your beliefs, your feelings, your way of showing up in the world.

You’re assigning what happens to other people’s actions to the definition of rejection.

It doesn’t have to be this way. It cannot be this way if you want to overcome the fear of rejection.

In a sense, you get to have control because the known outcome that it currently in your control is always the same.

You avoid talking to people, avoid leaving the house even, so that you won’t be rejected.

To a survival-based mindset like the one you have if you struggle with social anxiety, this approach of rejecting yourself ahead of time is safer than being in the unknown.

But you see it is in the unknown where the magic happens, where life is, where real progress is made.

But you’d rather stay “safe.”

Remember, by definition you can’t really be rejected, you are rejecting yourself, with YOUR definition of rejection, the one most of us have.

It’s actually kind of normal to have this definition, I’d say.

I say it is time to get abnormal then!

You need to start feeling out of control of the outcome in order to make progress. It’s this control over the outcome, that is a major part of keeping things in place.

BETTER TO JUST STAY ALIVE THAN TO BE FULLY ALIVE

As human beings, we are tuned for survival and doing what has worked up to this point, even if it makes us unhappy.

We seek safety, to stay alive, and we all have this mechanism.

It works to keep us alive, but often at a great cost. The cost of our lives.

So don’t feel bad that you have this. Be aware and start to handle it.

Rejecting oneself first gives a known outcome, which is safer than the unknown, the uncertain, even if it’s a better outcome in the long time.

Our ancient biology hasn’t kept up with our social, cultural and technological advances it would seem.

Except for that, knowing this, we can become conscious of it, and change it!

Because we have the technologies of psychology, therapy, coaching and the like to help ourselves do this.

So which would you rather have?

Stay alive, stay safe, keep things in the known realm and suffer – where the cost is a less fulfilled life, unfortunately.

Or….

Stepping into the unknown, with the possibility of having it be better than you could have imagined, be bolder, let go of control of the outcome.

Yes there will be pain, it will be tough, but the hope of lessening suffering and feeling more alive than eve, lives on this path.

WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE CLOSE TO ME?

Now let’s talk about people you do know well, like friends and family and their rejection of you.

This is harder to see, because we will be even MORE emotionally involved.

But it’s the same answer!

Their rejection is about them not you. We take that rejection and make it about us, again and again.

Quick Hint: if we come from understanding, compassion, acceptance then we can start to see it’s about them, that they need something different, and it’s about their beliefs. This is why we must work on understanding and compassion for both ourselves and others (something I teach how to do in the Dissolve Social Anxiety program.)

I don’t believe people can reject all of you. They may find something they don’t like about you, or that they don’t want to deal with, but that’s all about them.

What if your new life story included redefining rejection as an irrational, disempowering conversation, that isn’t really happening?

Start redefining rejection as about them and not you. Write down your negative beliefs, your negative story, and see how insane they really are. Then reframe then into ones that are about them, and not you.

If people “reject” you, then this is not your problem. Realize this and you can leave rejection behind.

TAKING THE NEXT STEP

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