How to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection

UPDATED: April 1, 2024
PUBLISHED: May 15, 2022
How to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection

There is rarely a week in which we won’t be rejected in some way, whether we are being shot down by an out-of-control internet troll or receiving a firm no when we had expectations of a resounding yes. None of us are void of this fear, and neither are we void of the ability to manage and understand it at its core.

Our subconscious mind has programmed us to be part of the tribe as a mechanism for survival. In primordial times, if you were cast out from the clan, it would mean isolation and eventual death. Today, that translates into the threat of a dirty look from a co-worker, losing that job, receiving an opposing opinion or having a pitch go south. Rejection to our subconscious mind translates to the fear of death. When we pull apart what’s actually happening and look beneath the surface, we recognize that our reactions are prehistoric—exactly where they need to be left.We must arm ourselves with the mental resources to give us relief from the self-imposed mental anguish. Our own expectations of what life is meant to be like paralyzes us from moving forward, pulling us out of the moment in time in which we’re required to be fully present to be happy.

The problem? We’ve written a narrative up until one point in time. But that’s where the story ends and the precise point our fears begin. We’ve unconsciously told our subconscious mind that life stops at this moment in time, which causes internal conflict. We build this event up to be the one and only important event in our entire lifetime worth experiencing, without realizing that it will forever be one of many. The weight of importance we’ve given it is totally unbalanced.

When we pull apart what’s actually happening and look beneath the surface, we recognize that our reactions are prehistoric—exactly where they need to be left.

To give yourself instant relief from the fear of rejection, we must write a story that looks beyond this moment and well into the next. This can be done within seconds by closing your eyes and visualizing everything unfolding in the lead up to the event—the event itself, then the day, week, month and year after it’s over. Do all of this in rapid succession, see it unfold how you want to see it unfold, and rewind it in your mind’s eye—fast forward, rewind, fast forward.

This quick and easy visualization tricks your subconscious mind into thinking you’ve already been there and done it before, which means you’ve got nothing to worry about, regardless of what transpires, because a story always continues on.

This article was published in January 2018 and has been updated. Photo by @Olesyaklyots/Twenty20

Ben Angel, best-selling author of CLICK, Sleeping Your Way to The Top in Business and Flee 9-5, is Australia's leading marketing authority.

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