I’m not very good at sales. Why? Because of my fear of rejection. The fear has crippled me in so many ways, but has also helped shape me in other ways. Apparently, the fear of rejection is a very common and deep fear that all humans experience.
Most of us don’t like to leave our comfort zones. We don’t like to change environment or try something new. We fear that we will be cut off from something or lose our value in some way. We always want to belong; being part of a community is a part of us as humans. Not being a part of a community, or, worse still, being sent out of a community makes us feel isolated or humiliated.
We usually get our first feelings of rejection from our parents, growing up. They’re love to us was kind of conditional. They’d usually show us some love when we do right and withdraw same when we do wrong; and at that point, we experience what we can term as rejection.
It continues when we’re older. People’s opinions begin to matter to us, to a fault. We become people-pleasers by doing things in a certain way, just to appeal to people and not feel alone of rejected. It makes most people follow the crowd and not take a stand that seems different from the popular opinion, thereby making us take less risks and we don’t take advantage of opportunities.
But, I’ve learnt that to get anything worthwhile, you have to put yourself out there. Whether it’s to make friends, find a partner, get your desired job, get wealthy, or attain any goals, you must not allow the fear of rejection to deter you. Fear itself does not allow you to take action; and nothing happens without action.
The fear of rejection holds one back in so many ways and in so many aspects of one’s life, thereby hindering one from getting the happiness you really deserve. Yes, rejection WILL happen; we can’t escape it. But no rejection should take away our confidence.
While I was in the United Kingdom, I got a job to work for St. John’s Ambulance. The daily task was to carry out door-to-door fundraising for the organisation, and I was assigned to the outskirts of London. A cousin I was living with at the time discouraged me from taking up the job, stating how I could experience significant racism in the outskirts.
I was stubborn. I delve into challenges mostly. So I decided to take it up anyways. Each knock on a door came with the fear of rejection, and sometimes even being insulted. However, my training instructed that I have a smile on my face when the home owner or occupier opens their door.
As you can imagine, it was one of the toughest things to do – getting a rejection (or sometimes three or five consecutive ones) and having seconds to put on the smile again by the time I was getting to the very next door. But, I did it. I met my targets every week; and I built up my confidence and interpersonal relationship skills in the process.
To round up, I found a summary of techniques, which covers exactly how I have learnt to deal with rejection or fear when it comes, while maintaining my confidence:
- Visualize yourself as fearless – Your self-image, the way you see and think about yourself, is eventually altered by feeding your mind positive mental pictures of yourself.
- Use The Law of Reversibility – If you act in a manner consistent with the feelings of courage, even if you don’t feel it, it will soon become a reality. I term this “Act yourself into feeling!” I recommend reading the book titled, “Feel the Fear, and Do It Anyway”.
- Move toward the fear – Confront, deal with and act in spite of your fears to put the fear behind you. As your fear grows smaller, your confidence grows bigger.
My advice: Practice focusing your conscious mind on the things you desire not on the things that cause you fear. I wish you success, and a constant victory over your fears.
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