By Guest Blogger Juan Santos M.S., CRC, LCMHC
If you’re afraid of rejection, you might feel:
- As though you need to control everything.
- You use the control to avoid getting hurt.
- The control later comes back and makes you feel anxious.
- The anxiety grows over time, and you feel less likely to trust anyone before you know it.
Learn To Trust Yourself
One of the first things you can start doing to navigate the process of learning to trust yourself is to practice mantras. Mantras are words that repeat to nurture our soul. They are the water that gives life to the flower.
- I accept myself.
- I love myself.
- I trust myself.
- I believe in myself.
Another strategy to support overcoming rejection fears is to journal on the prompts below:
- What would be different in my life if rejection was not an issue?
- If rejection was not an issue, what goals would I pursue?
Now that you have this in mind, think about tiny leaps you can take to reach your goal.
Be Honest About Who You Are And What You Want
Don’t worry about what other people think about you.
I get it. You probably heard this statement before. I know that it’s challenging to push away the opinions of others. Sometimes they are loud and, unfortunately, come from people who we, in some ways, wish would share more supportive words.
Please be mindful that the harmful and destructive opinions of others are simply not worth worrying about. One strategy I have found to help is to imagine the following…
You are walking down a hallway, and a person you shares, “you have rainbow skin.” You think to yourself, how odd was that. You are aware that you do not have purple skin. So, you decide to pay no mind to the words and reply with a non-verbal gesture of a half smile.
The narrative above aims to teach you that words hold strength only if you give them strength. Words hold strength only if you give them strength.
Accept People’s Opinions Without Resentment
The opinion of others strongly influences fear of rejection.
If you’re afraid of being rejected, you’ll probably feel hurt when you receive negative feedback. Be mindful that it is okay to experience sadness, frustration, and an array of other feelings. We are humans, after all.
The key is to not punish yourself by agreeing to hold resentment. The very word, resentment, is like poison in the body. It enters and slowly eats away at you. This will make you resentful towards those who gave you the criticism and even, at times yourself.
The goal is to try to accept criticism without resentment. Listen to the opinions of others while knowing that they are simply an external viewpoint and not a label on who you are.
You are the one that gets to decide your values, beliefs, and how you view yourself. That is why self-esteem, self-confidence, self-acceptance, self-love, and self-worth all start with SELF.
If your goal is to overcome the fear of rejection, try to focus on the following:
- The daily practice of mantras.
- Journal on the questions listed above.
- Give yourself empowerment by deciding what significance you will give to someone’s opinion.
- Do not hold on to resentment.
Lastly, it is okay if this process takes time. Be kind to yourself as you find your way to removing the fear of rejection.
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