“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit of success.” ~Bo Bennett
If you’ve been in a situation where you suddenly felt that someone didn’t like you or didn’t respect you, even though you had no tangible proof other than “just a feeling”—you’re not alone.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, you’re right. There are unfortunately some very toxic people in the world today (however, they’re NOT your problem–remember that.)
But other times, you might just be projecting your own feelings on to those around you.
For example, if you feel like your boss has a problem with the job you’re doing, maybe it’s because you secretly believe that you could be doing more, doing better. But in reality, your boss might not feel that way at all—maybe you’re just a bit of a perfectionist. Or maybe you don’t love your job.
These kinds of feelings are all a very common part of the human experience—you’re normal, I promise. But the problem with these kinds of common feelings is that they change your energy—and when you focus too much on things that you fear, which brings more of those things into your world. It’s a snowball effect—the fear of rejection and the constant focus on that fear can literally cause you to experience rejection.
On the plus side, it’s possible to drop these kinds of concerns so that you can return to the business of creating the life you want.
So what does fear of rejection look like, anyway?
You might feel scared about meeting new people or getting together with old friends. You think that people might reject you for one of a number of reasons. Maybe you think you’re having a bad hair day or those extra pounds you’ve put on have dampened your self-confidence. All these things can be part of fear of rejection.
Use these solid strategies to banish those fears:
- Figure out what, specifically, you’re afraid of. Do you fear the opposite sex will be turned off by your looks or the clothes you wear? Maybe you think that others believe you have a big nose or that you have nothing interesting to say. Are you afraid that you’ll say something silly and embarrass yourself? The point is that you must know exactly what it is that you fear before you try to tackle it.
- Dispute your fear with facts. As an example, let’s say your fear is that you aren’t as smart as others. When was the last time you were graded on something? Chances are probably pretty good that you didn’t receive 100% failing grades. Acknowledge that there are times when you performed well. Write them down. Stick with reality when it comes to disputing your fears.
- Let go of others’ responses to you. If someone doesn’t accept you, that’s their choice. Really, it’s okay if someone doesn’t think you’re smart. No one gets 100% acceptance 100% of the time.
- Admit that you can function just fine, live well, and excel, even if someone rejects you. Even if 5 people reject you today, your life is still going to go on however you’ve planned from this point. Before going to a party, acknowledge you might encounter someone whom you believe doesn’t like you. You’ll also meet some people who do like you. Also, recognize that you probably won’t know for sure one way or the other whether someone you just met likes you or not.
- Apply the knowledge you have. What makes you attracted to other people? Maybe you like people who show humor or smile a lot. Perhaps you gravitate toward those who are helpful to the host of the party. Why not try displaying some of those pleasant characteristics that draw you to others? If you demonstrate the qualities that attract you to others, others will most likely be drawn to you as well.
- Feel the fear and do it anyway. The best way to get rid of a fear is to repeat the behavior that brings on the fear until you become comfortable and are no longer paralyzed by that fear. Follow through with attending parties, making the acquaintance of people, and facing your concerns. This is the single best way to learn that your fear is just a human emotion that you can overcome.
Friends, you can do this. Banishing your fears of rejection is totally within your reach. Use what you know about what makes you like other people and let go of how others respond to you. Since fears are just emotions, you can face your worries and apprehensions. Doing so will bring you lasting confidence and satisfaction.
How do you deal with the fear of rejection? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section, below.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.