I thought I would put a few suggestions together about what has helped me to begin to unravel the chains of rejection.
My top tips for beginning to overcome the fear of rejection
Awareness is key
Yup, that’s right, the big A of awareness.
Becoming aware that you are afraid of rejection, and let’s face it we all are scared of being rejected at some point, is the first step.
When you become aware that you have a problem, you move yourself into a position where you are able to regain your personal power and can choose whether to stay stuck in fear or to make new choices.
But how do I become aware Kelly, I hear you ask.
For me personally, I thought a lot. I am naturally quite introspective. However, if you are not inclined to be as introspective as me (aka floating about in my head way too much), I would highly recommend you get out a pen, or pencil, or quill – whatever makes writing awesome for you – and write about what rejection means to you.
How do you feel when you are rejected? Does it upset you/scare you?
What areas of your life would rejection be a big issue for you? E.g., your career, relationships etc.
Finding out what it means to you will open up your own truth about your relationship with rejection. Once you know that then you can work on overcoming it.
Take baby steps
Just like the elephant. The baby elephant that is, not the adult one obviously because that would no longer be baby steps.
My issue with rejection is that it leads me to procrastinate over literally anything. And I mean literally everything. Sending emails. Asking questions. Starting a new fitness program. Making a phone-call. Writing for my blog. Taking action on my business. Literally anything.
So ask yourself the following:
How does your relationship with rejection hold you back in your life? Do you procrastinate/play small/not attempt new things?
Once you've started to notice how it's affecting your behaviour you can start taking steps to change it.
Do what you need to do
As Nike, (or Shia LeBeouf in the hilarious video) would say, Just Do It.
Just click that send button, make that phone-call, hand in that notice.
Just do whatever it is that you know you need to do.
Seriously, just get it done.
Don’t get me wrong, I know how hard it is. But the likelihood of the situation going the way that you played it out in your head, and my god does the mind like to play out some seriously bat shit crazy scenarios, is highly unlikely.
For example, I procrastinated for around 3 months to let my ex-PhD supervisor know that I had changed my mind about the focus of my project. Because it had been so long since I had emailed her (around 5 months, to be fair though I was writing a dissertation) I was terrified that she was going to turn round and say “no thanks, not interested anymore, your idea is shit, who do you think you are, how dare you”.
Instead, I got an extremely pleasant response, and of course she was happy to continue working with me (until i followed my gut and withdrew - but that's a post for another time). And then I wondered why the fuck I just didn’t send that email sooner.
I accept that I am scared of being rejected.
I accept that my fear of rejection results in me procrastinating.
I accept that my fear has held me back from doing the things that I want to do.
I accept that I will on occasion let the fear get to me because I am human and sometimes we humans have shit days.
I accept that I can change my relationship with rejection.
I accept that it may take longer than I want it to and that some days may be harder than others.
I accept that I will push through the fear even though I’m terrified.
Some days you will feel braver than others, and that is ok. Sometimes the fear will temporarily hold you back, delay your plans and keep you momentarily stuck, but that’s ok.
Don’t beat yourself up when the shitty days arrive, we need both the good and the bad to grow. Everything unfolds at the pace it is meant to unfold at.
Don’t go off on a trip to guilt land if your fear of rejection takes hold. It costs you too much and the ride is shit.
Just breathe, bring your awareness back to what you are scared of being rejected from, take a baby step, do what you need to do and accept that you are trying even though you are scared.
You are a brave motherfucker. Go you.
Please don’t let your fear of rejection get the best of you. You deserve to have a fantastic life, and do all the things you aspire to do. You are worthy of a great life. You are worthy of love, abundance and success.
We all have our own relationship with rejection, and whilst I’ve shared mine I encourage you to explore yours.
The man below was my real grandi. I know that he loved me, even if I may never be able to remember it. Whilst rejection hurts, it can be overcome. I urge you to keep trying.
It will be worth it.