The word reject is often associated with faulty or damaged goods and equipment. We associate the word rejection with situations where we had an expectation that didn’t work out. #

Those situations could range from being unsuccessful in a job interview application, making fewer sales than we hoped, or very commonly, in affairs of the heart. So how do we overcome fear of rejection?

Whenever we have looked forward to success that was not forthcoming in the way we wanted, our emotions made themselves known. Depending on the situation and its importance to us, the emotions that we experienced could have been as mild as a feeling of disappointment or embarrassment or as painful as a broken heart.

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Hopefully your own personal history of rejections has mostly been at the level of disappointment rather than at the gut wrenchingly painful end of the spectrum. Whatever your feelings have been about a recent rejection, you have almost certainly overcome other experiences in the past and lived to tell the tale.

Unfortunately when we experience rejection we can easily and almost unconsciously run through a cycle that includes some of the emotions mentioned earlier with anger and blame for added measure. We might blame the other party or parties but also quite frequently make the assumption that it’s all our fault.

Sometimes that might be true but not always, so don’t beat yourself up before you have carefully reviewed the situation. In fact, even if you were to blame, don’t beat yourself up, because there are more useful things that you can do. Here are some suggestions.

Step 1: Review the rejection situation

Without reliving your disappointment, anger, sadness or hurt full on, and without dwelling for too long on the details, take just a minute to run through the scenario that left you feeling rejected.

Step 2: Change the emotional context

Remember a time, place and situation that still gives you really warm feelings. This could be an experience earlier this month or from many years ago. While you remain in that place, just run quickly through the situation of rejection that used to trigger your negative emotions.

Stop and take a few deep breaths and return to the memory of that time and place in the past and again very quickly run through the situation that used to trigger the feelings of rejection. Now do it again three or four times remembering to stop and take a few breaths at the end of each round. Notice any lessening of the negative emotions?

Step 3: Take rejection learnings to the future

They say that hindsight is a wonderful thing but foresight could be even more useful. You just need to accept that you cannot be in control of all factors in every situation. So, if you could step back in time, what if anything could you have done differently in the rejection experience that might have, but could not have guaranteed, a positive outcome?

 Rejection in Five Steps_2

Step 4: Teach yourself to become fearless of rejection

Don’t retreat to a place of safety inside. Instead commit yourself to another action ASAP. Don’t go for gold without building up to it. Decide on something you would like to do, preferably something that you have never done before that would be only mildly challenging.

Plan carefully and visualise yourself being successful. With that success under your belt prepare for another more demanding challenge. Then keep going!

Step 5: Write & sing your own mantra to overcome fear of rejection

Make up a short snappy phrase about your positive attitude to rejection in the future. This might be something like: ” I’m gonna reject all feelings of rejection from now on” or perhaps: “Nothing ventured nothing gained so I’ll just give it my best shot”. It’s far better if the words come from your own head or heart.

Now, fit your words to a song that you find catchy and uplifting. Sing it in the car. Sing it in the bath. Sing it to yourself and notice how much better you feel about the possibility of rejections in the future. Now spread your wings and go for it!

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