How to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection to Improve Self-Esteem
Tuesday, May 19 2015 Fay Agathangelou
Fear of rejection can be debilitating, however, you can overcome your fear of rejection to improve self-esteem. Fear of rejection can affect both your personal and professional life. For example, it may prevent you from socialising, speaking up for yourself or pursuing friendships, relationships or work opportunities. It may cause you to avoid some situations altogether or turn to people-pleasing. Fear of rejection can worsen your self-esteem. It creates anxiety and can make you feel depressed. The good news is that you can overcome your fear of rejection, build your self-esteem and improve your quality of life.
Change Your Thoughts to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection
Fear of rejection is associated with negative thoughts about yourself and rejection. You probably worry too much about what others think and believe you have to please everyone to be worthy. When you fear rejection, you might think that rejection is the end of the world and you may feel ashamed of being rejected.
It’s important to realise that your negative thoughts are a distortion of the truth. The key is to change your negative thoughts and replace them with healthy ones. Realise that everyone gets rejected sometimes. There’s no shame in that. Also understand that it doesn’t mean that everyone will reject you if one person does.
If you do get rejected, know that it’s probably not going to be as catastrophic as you imagine, and you will cope regardless. An idea is to ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can possibly happen?”
Face Your Fear of Rejection to Overcome It
Just like with any fear, you need to face your fear of rejection in order to overcome it. When you have a fear, negative thoughts will be overpowering. They will try very hard to talk you out of taking action and doing nothing might seem like the easier option. However, avoidance will reinforce your negative thoughts and it will worsen the fear.
The key to overcoming your fear of rejection is to act regardless of your negative thoughts and feelings. Take small steps outside of your comfort zone and be prepared to tolerate some discomfort. Take the risk of being rejected. Know that feelings of discomfort are temporary. If you do nothing, your fear of rejection will cause ongoing feelings of discomfort. What have you got to lose by taking action?
The chances are that you won’t be rejected. However, even if you are rejected it won’t be as bad as you imagined. By challenging yourself, your comfort zone will gradually expand over time and the fear will start to diminish.
It’s important to know that you are worthy even if you are rejected. You can’t please everyone and you belong just as much as everyone else. Forget about what others think and stop trying to be perfect. Pay attention to your negative thoughts and challenge them.
Overcoming your fear of rejection and improving self-esteem will take effort and persistence but you can do it. There’s help available if you need it and there’s no shame in seeking mental health help. When you overcome your fear of rejection, your self-esteem will improve and you'll feel better about yourself. It’s well worth the effort.