As part of our upcoming conversation about rejection and alternatives to fearing rejection in sales, check out this special post by my guest blogger and April Tea Topics with Tomasa guest…Penny Sampson, F.I.E.R.C.E. Leadership Life-Stylist
Tell me: what would it be like to live your life without being swallowed up by the concern or need to be liked and accepted, or to constantly please others? What if being yourself as you are – right here and now, flaws and all – was enough? Can you imagine the liberation? What you could accomplish, create, or do with your life?
The possibilities are limitless! The irony is, we know this; we’ve heard it before. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and Oscar Wilde said “Be yourself – everyone else is already taken.” So why do we still continue to feel the stifling FEAR of rejection, the need to please others, and the desire to be what they want us to be, instead of being who we authentically are (quirks & blemishes included)?
Fear of rejection and the driving need to be accepted are not new concepts. Its programming is deeply ingrained in our DNA, and for good reason…back in the day, if you weren’t accepted by the tribe and were subsequently “ousted”, this meant death! Thankfully today being rejected doesn’t result in the same outcome, but our feelings around rejection remain intense, and it is these feelings (and restricting thoughts) that stop us from doing what we want to do and being who we want to be.
What if you could stop rejection in its tracks? …or at least minimize its impact on your confidence, business, and life? What would be different?
Over the years, I’ve had as many rejections as anyone else, personally and professionally. However, once I stopped trying to please others, let go of the concern with being rejected, and started actively seeking opportunities for it to occur – the whole world opened up, and the results & benefits blew me away.
I do what I do, because I want to do it. I live my life according to my core beliefs, and I express myself openly, verbally, and physically (even in my wardrobe). I accept clients by referral and/or application alone, and my practice is booming. In the end, I am living life on my terms. I own my value, seek approval from no one (except myself), and I am loving life.
Here are some ways I’ve learned to stop the fear of rejection in its tracks:
1) Make self-fulfilling prophecy work for you.
A self-fulfilling prophecy is a belief (often false) about a situation that influences the person with the belief to take actions that cause the belief to come true. This kind of thinking often destroys big break opportunities, and tears connections or relationships apart.
The bottom line: your thoughts create your reality.
For example, if you think you will fail then chances are you will create the scenario that ensures your failure, and the reverse is also true. If you think you will succeed, you will put the necessary steps in place to make it happen for yourself. Do you see how this works? Examine your own tendencies. How do your fears and beliefs about potential rejection influence your behavior toward others? Take a stand. Instead of letting fear show you what might be wrong, start looking for signs of what might be right.
2) Let go of your need to always be right (in my youth, this one was tough).
The reason your fear of rejection sometimes gets the best of you is because part of you believes you’re always right. If you think someone doesn’t like you, then surely they don’t, right? WRONG!
People who never learn to question their emotions, especially when they’re feeling nervous or anxious, make life more difficult than it has to be. If your perception is always so accurate, why do you make so many mistakes? Exactly. It’s time to let go a wee bit. Being more confident in life partly means being okay with not knowing what’s going to happen, so you can relax and allow things to play out organically. Relaxing with not knowing is the key to liberation in life.
So here’s a new mantra for you—say it, and then say it again: “This is my life, my choosing, my blunders, and my lessons. I have nothing to prove. And as long as I’m not hurting people, I need not worry what they think of me.”
3) Ask yourself: what are you really afraid of?
FEAR is an incredibly strong “safety” emotion, so it’s helpful to ask ourselves what it is that we are really afraid of. Is the fear of rejection connected to potential loss of…
What do you stand to lose if you are rejected? Is your fear rational or overstated? Once you isolate what you are really afraid of, take a moment to acknowledge the fear and see it for what it really is. Make it rational as opposed to emotional. This practice actually helps to calm the nervous system.
4) Use rejection as precious evolutionary feedback.
As soon as someone criticizes or rejects you, you might find yourself thinking, “…that proves once again that I am not enough.” What you must realize is these other people are NOT worthy of YOU and your unique journey. Rejection is essential. It demonstrates how to reject relationships and opportunities that aren’t going to work, so you can quickly find new ones that will. It doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it just means someone else failed to notice what you have to offer. From this, you now have more time to improve yourself and explore your options.
Will you be annoyed for a moment? Potentially. Hurt? Very likely, you’re human after all. There isn’t a spirit on this earth that doesn’t feel a twinge of heartache in the presence of rejection. For a short time afterwards, you may ask yourself every question you can think of.
But then it’s time to let your emotions fuel you! This is the important part. Let your feelings of rejection drive, feed, and inspire one heck of a powerful opening to the next chapter of your story. As you look back on your life, you will often realize that many of the times you thought you were being rejected from something good, you were in fact being redirected to something better. You cannot control everything…especially the opinions of others. Sometimes you just need to relax and believe that things will work out. Let go a little, and just let life happen the way it is intended. Because sometimes the outcomes you can’t change, end up changing you and helping you grow into your strongest, smartest self.
5) Let go of your “end of the world” thinking and adopt the “I will survive” mentality.
All variations of fear, including the fear of rejection, thrive on “end of the world” thinking. In other words, our emotions convince us that an undesirable outcome results in annihilation.
None of these things result in the end of the world, but if we convince ourselves that they do, we will irrationally fear these outcomes and give our fears control over us. The truth is, we are inefficient at accurately predicting how future bad luck will make us feel. In fact, most of the time we avoid consciously thinking about it altogether, which only perpetuates our subconscious fears.
When you adopt the “I will survive” mentality and know that regardless of what the situation is, it will most certainly NOT be the end of the world, and perhaps you may even be wiser, stronger, and more fabulous because of it. You may find yourself looking forward to each new opportunity for rejection.
6) Let your presence replace your fear.
Ever noticed how people who are struggling with emotional problems tend to tell you how they don’t want to feel? All right, but at some point we need to focus on how we DO want to feel. When you’re in a social situation that’s making you uneasy, forget what you don’t want to feel for a moment. Work out how you DO want to feel right now in the present moment. Train yourself to live right here, right now without regretting how others once made you feel, or fearing the possibility of future judgment.
This is YOUR choice. You CAN change the way you think.
One of the greatest freedoms is truly not caring what everyone else thinks of you. As long as you are concerned about what others think of you, you are at their will. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself, can you own yourself.
Frank Zappa once said, “If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.”
And I couldn’t agree more.
Fear of rejection is the #1 tumbling block that prevented 97% of my clients from achieving, doing, being, and thriving in their lives, businesses, and careers prior to working with me.
Think about that for a moment. It wasn’t lack of knowledge, expertise, or drive. Not the lack of passion, skill, or purpose but the fear of being rejected.
Live life on your terms.
The upcoming Tea Topics with Tomasa will feature Penny Sampson, who will be sharing more about how to make rejection work for you to boost your confidence, business, and life. Sign on here to spring into action and join the interview happening in just a few days on April 17, 2014 at 2pm PT.