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Last Updated on February 9, 2021

How to Beat Your Fear of Rejection and Embrace Failures

How to Beat Your Fear of Rejection and Embrace Failures

No one really likes to be rejected, right? Sure, some people deal with it better than others. Like if you’re a sales person and hearing “no” fires you up and gets you excited to find another way to get to “yes.” But those people are rare.

For the vast majority of us, hearing “no” or “you’re not good enough” or anything along those lines can have any affect ranging from mild annoyance to life-altering, catastrophic thoughts.

We all handle it differently. But we would all be better off if we just learned how to beat the fear of rejection and be able to handle whatever life throws our way.

But first, let’s talk about the word “failure.”

What Does Failure Really Mean?

To most people, “failure” is a dirty word. It’s just about the worst word you can be associated with. Because who wants to be labeled a failure, right? Or even have a singe failure in your life?

But let’s get real. ALL of us “fail” from time to time. And l really hate the word failure. It is so negative and implies that there is something wrong with you – or that you did something wrong.

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of us. We’re all different, and we all have our own talents.

So instead of defining failure in terms of shame, look at it as a learning experience.

For example, let’s say you’re divorced. Some people would label that as a “failure.” You know… a “failed” marriage.

Sure, it’s true that the marriage ended in divorce. But why is that automatically a failure? Hopefully you learned something about yourself, marriage, and what to do better next time.

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See? “Failure” can really be a learning experience. And it can make your life better.

Now, let’s look at how you can overcome the fear of rejection, so you don’t see yourself as a “failure.”

How to Beat Your Fear of Rejection

Now that you hopefully realize that “failure” is not a death sentence and can actually be a good thing, let’s look at how you can beat the fear of rejection.

1. Redefine the Meaning of Rejection

Just like we’ve re-defined the meaning of “failure,” we also need to re-define the meaning of “rejection.” Most people think it means you’re “not good enough.” But what does that mean, really? That’s not an objective, truthful statement. Instead, it’s completely subjective.

For example, let’s say you went on a first date and they never called you again. Sure, you could look at it as rejection and that you’re not good enough for them. Or, you could see it as a blessing. Thank God that person didn’t like you, because now it frees you up to find someone who really does. See the difference?

2. Examine Your History with Rejection

We all have a past, and it starts with our childhood. Some people are lucky and are born into loving families who build up your self-esteem and make you feel good about yourself. But not all.

A lot of people are born into families who tear them down and make them feel “not good enough.” And as a result, they probably have a self-fulfilling prophecy going on in their lives.

Whether it’s not getting the jobs they want, or accepting bad behavior from romantic partners, your history with rejection is directly related to how you deal with it.

3. Look at What You’re Doing (Or Not Doing)

Sometimes we do play a part in the rejection. That doesn’t mean we’re a bad person, a loser, or a failure. It just means that we can examine our behavior to see how we can change it so we can be more successful.

For instance, maybe someone broke up with you because you were chasing them and acting needy. Well, you can change that next time! Or you didn’t get a job because your interview skills weren’t up to par. Well, you can change that too!

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See what I’m getting at?

4. Expect the Rejection

This is not what it actually sounds like. I’m not suggesting that you see yourself as a loser who always gets rejected, so you always expect it.

What I really mean is that we usually put too much negative energy into what we fear. In other words, if you envision yourself getting rejected by someone (or something), then you can get “comfortable” with it.

If you “expect it,” then when it happens, you won’t be as devastated. This is tricky to do while keeping a positive attitude, but it can be done.

5. Let Go of the Victim Mentality

“Why me? Why me? Why do bad things always happen to me?” That’s called a victim mentality. It implies that you are powerless in life and that you have no control over what happens to you.

That is totally wrong. Sure, we can’t control everything that happens to us. What we CAN control is how we react to it, how we think about it, what we do with it in the future. That is all within our control.

But if you have a victim mentality, you’ll never be happy.

6. Develop Realistic Expectations

Say if you just graduated college, and you applied for a six-figure job that requires ten years of experience. And you don’t get the job. Ummm. Why would you? Your experience doesn’t match the requirements. So technically, you weren’t rejected. You just had unrealistic expectations.

This goes for anything else in life. Sure, we’d all like to date a super model who is a millionaire, but come on, how many of those do you now? Exactly my point.

7. Look at Life as a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Sometimes we get over-ambitious or impatient with the things we want. We live in a culture of people who want immediate gratification. We want it… and we want it NOW.

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Well, life doesn’t work that way. As the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait.” Just because you’re getting rejected now, doesn’t mean you will always get rejected. It just means it’s not the right time.

8. Embrace Rejection as Part of Personal Growth

You can get rejected, wallow in your negative feelings and never get over it. Or, you can look at rejection as way to grow as a person.

What did you learn from getting rejected? How can you improve the way you think, or what you do?

If you just let rejection ruin you, and you don’t use the experience to grow as a person, then you are probably doomed to repeat it.

9. Rejection Gets You Closer to What You Want

Just because someone or something didn’t want you doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone or something (or many) that DOES want you!

I look back on my life and realize that everything I got rejected from was leading down a different path, which turned out way better than my original plan.

But the problem is that you can only realize how great the rejection was in retrospect – once you gain some insight when it become the past.

Trust me, it does happen if you have the right attitude.

10. Trust Yourself Enough to Know You’ll Survive

Ironically, sometimes being rejected isn’t the REAL fear. That sounds strange, right?

The REAL fear is not being able to cope with the rejection. You think that your world will fall apart, and you will crumble as a person.

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But think about it. If you get rejected, how is your life any different than it was yesterday? It’s NOT! And you survived yesterday just fine, right? It’s just that your expectations were violated. You survived before, and so you can survive this too!

11. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

There is a great song by Garth Brooks that I absolutely love, Standing Outside the Fire. If you’ve never heard it, some of the lyrics go like this:

“Life is not tired, it is merely survived if you’re standing outside the fire.”

He’s talking about the fire of life. Not everything in life feels good. We all have challenges. But if you choose not to put yourself “out there” because you fear rejection, then you miss out on all the good stuff too.

If you don’t try something out of fear of rejection, then you’re not really living. You’re just surviving.

Final Thoughts

As I hope you can see by now, rejection is all in the mind. You can’t feel rejected unless you allow yourself to feel rejected. Sounds crazy, but it’s true!

So, don’t take rejection or so-called “failure” personally. We’ve all been there. And the difference between people who are resilient to it and keep going and those who don’t, is a simply difference in perspective.

Featured photo credit: Casey Callahan via unsplash.com

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

How to Improve Intimacy in Your Marriage and Rekindle the Passion 10 Tips on How to Do Something You Don’t Want to Do How to Stop Being Absent Minded and Start to Be More Attentive How to Beat Your Fear of Rejection and Embrace Failures 7 Hidden Causes of Fatigue And Steps to Prevent Serious Health Damage 13 Things to Remember When Life Gets Rough

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Last Updated on April 27, 2021

How To Accept Responsibility For Your Life (7 No-Nonsense Tips)

How To Accept Responsibility For Your Life (7 No-Nonsense Tips)

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are human. This means that there is likely a time or two when you have not taken responsibility for something in your life. We’ve all been there. Maybe you broke an item at a place of employment but didn’t fess up to it, or you missed a deadline and blamed the reason why on someone else, or perhaps you decided a responsibility was too great to face.

Accepting responsibility can be challenging because it doesn’t always feel good. It can require time we think we don’t have. Feelings of shame or inadequacy can surface. Rather than face those feelings, it’s much easier to not accept responsibility.

This is all understandable. But it may not be serving us and who we want to be in the long run.

Accepting responsibility has benefits at work, home, and all aspects of life. When we demonstrate to ourselves that we can be responsible, we show our strength of character, our leadership qualities, and even our adulting skills.

Knowing that doesn’t make accepting responsibility any easier, does it?

Using the example of pretending that you live in an apartment with multiple roommates where you all have to share the kitchen, we will look at seven tips on how to accept responsibility for your life.

1. Stop Playing the Victim

You’ve just cooked a big meal involving several pots, pans, and cooking utensils. You reflect on feeling overwhelmed and stressed by life right now and decide that you just don’t have the time or energy to do your dishes right now. The next time you or your roommates want to use the kitchen, there’s a big mess and a lack of options for pans and cutlery to use.

Maybe one of your roommates will do it for you? Superman to the rescue? I hate to break it to you, but Superman doesn’t actually exist.

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Why insist on crushing every childhood fantasy? Because when we wait for someone else to fix our problems, we are playing the victim, and if Superman doesn’t exist (or Spiderman or Wonder Woman, or Black Panther, etc.), then we will be perpetually tied to the proverbial train tracks, waiting for someone else to save us.[1]

What we can do in this situation is acknowledge and validate our feelings. In the above scenario, you’re focusing on feeling overwhelmed. This feeling isn’t “bad.” But it does affect your motivation to accept responsibility, keeping you in a victim mindset. It isn’t just the dishes that you need to face. You also need to take responsibility for your emotions.

Acknowledging and validating emotions help you to understand what you’re feeling and why. You can then redirect the energy you’re wasting on being a victim and redirect it toward more productive things in life. Like doing your own dishes.

There are many different ways we can develop the skill of self-acknowledgment and validation. One of the best is to write about what you’re experiencing. You may be surprised by how you describe the “what” and “why” of your feelings. You may even uncover other times in your life when you felt this way and find that your current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are based on that past. You might even heal an old experience as you deal with the present circumstance!

2. End the Blame Game

“If my roommates were more consistent about doing their dishes, then I would feel like I could do mine.”

It’s so easy to come up with excuses and reasons why we shouldn’t be held to a higher standard than anyone else. We find interesting ways to blame others for why we can’t do something. This becomes another way to avoid taking responsibility, and we can do so out of a perspective of anger.[2]

Anger can be energetically compelling, but it’s not always rooted in reality. It can keep us stuck and prevent us from having the life and relationships we really want. Much like being the victim, it’s important to ask yourself how being and staying angry is serving you. Again, it’s important to acknowledge and validate these thoughts and feelings too.

Perhaps you’re really feeling mad at someone at your workplace who isn’t taking responsibility for their own projects. You end up taking on their work, allowing anger to build up. By the time you get home, you need a place to let that anger out. And so, your anger is directed toward your kitchen and your roommates.

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This may help you feel better for a little while, but it’s not sustainable. There are so many ways of dealing with anger. It would serve you and others around you well to learn how to manage and work with any anger you have in your life so that you can resume your acceptance of responsibility.

3. Forgive Yourself and others

After reading tips number 1 and 2, perhaps you are now adept at practicing acknowledging and validating your feelings. Because of that work, it’s easier to forgive yourself and others.

For instance, without the feelings of victimhood and blame, you have the energy to see things from a perspective of forgiveness and tolerance.

From a place of forgiveness, you see that even though your roommates don’t take care of their dishes right away every time, they do so more often than not. Plus, you can see that all of you have challenging things happening in your lives right now, so why should your challenges make it so that you can slack off? You may even remember times when your roommates have helped you out with cleaning the kitchen even though the mess wasn’t theirs.

As you forgive others, you forgive yourself too and take ownership of your own tasks.

4. Use Responsibility as a Way to Help Others

Shirking our responsibilities can actually affect others’ well-being. We can step into a space of considering how our actions, or lack thereof, might be burdening or harming others.

For example, not doing your dishes and leaving the kitchen dirty means that when another roommate wants to use the kitchen to make a meal, they may have to clean the kitchen first to have access to the pots, pans, and utensils required. They may feel annoyed that you didn’t take responsibility for your mess, which affects your relationship with your roommate. A confrontation may be on the horizon.

However, if you can put yourself in the frame of mind to consider things from your roommate’s position, you might think twice about leaving the dishes. By taking responsibility and doing your part to keep the kitchen clean, you are taking care of the space and your roommates.

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A lot of people find it easier and highly beneficial to do things out of a sense of responsibility for others.[3] Thinking about things from another’s perspective can be a motivating factor and can provide us with feelings of purpose.

5. Look for the Win-Win

When we choose not to take responsibility, we are choosing a zero-sum game, meaning nobody wins. What if you looked for the win-win opportunity of taking responsibility instead?

Maybe there have been times when your roommates have saddled you with a messy kitchen. If you now decide to leave your mess, nobody wins. Whereas, cleaning up after yourself now means that you are modeling how you want the space to be treated by everyone. You are also ensuring that your roommates can trust you to take responsibility for your cleaning tasks, and the next person who wants to use the kitchen will be able to do so.

In this scenario, you will be taking responsibility, cultivating a relationship of trust with your roommates, and making it so that nobody else has to clean up after you. Everyone wins.

6. Make Taking Responsibility Fun

Another vantage point from which we could look is the place of joy. Yes, joy.

It’s easy to paint “cleaning the kitchen” in a negative light when shows are streaming on Netflix and downtime activities calling. But what could happen for you if you made the task of doing the dishes fun?

How can it be fun? This is where you get to be creative.

Some ideas could be playing some of your favorite music as you clean, invite a roommate to chat while you clean, or you could play that show you’re binging on Netflix as you scrub. Have Airpods? Call a friend as you clean!

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Finding a way to make it fun helps you lose track of time and get the job done faster. It could also provide some necessary “play” time. We don’t play enough as adults. Get back to your childhood roots and find ways to incorporate play into your daily routine, and get the dishes done at the same time!

7. Choose Your Own Adventure

When we approach responsibility from our highest self, we can be at choice for how we want to accept it. This requires an awareness of what we intend to accomplish or learn in any life experience.

For instance, when faced with a responsibility, you could consider all the ways of looking at it (from a place of victimhood, blame, forgiveness, service to others, win-win, or fun) and decide which perspective would serve the highest good of all, yourself included.

When we can approach any life situation from the standpoint of having choices, doesn’t that feel better than feeling forced into a decision or action?

Conclusion

Knowing that you can make conscious choices at any time in your life hopefully helps you to feel freer and more energized for any life responsibility you choose to accept. These seven tips on how to accept responsibility will set you up for a good start.

More Tips on How To Be a Responsible Person

Featured photo credit: Marcos Paulo Prado via unsplash.com

Reference

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