Each of us has his or her own fear, but no fear in this world is greater than that of being rejected. But why does rejection hurt so much? Why is it such a big deal for us to be liked and cared for by everybody? Why do we worry so much when nobody seems to be clicking the like button on our social media status? Well, as Joshua Tongol mentioned in his book, we are all made for acceptance. We have a deep longing in our hearts to be accepted and to belong. While it’s normal to desire to be accepted, having an unusual fear of not getting approval from others can hurt us. If you believe you have this fear, here are practical steps to help you overcome and be a winner:
Realize That Fear, and Not People, is the Real Enemy
“Nobody likes me, Everybody hates me! I’m gonna eat some worms.”
Fear is crippling as it prevents you from truly becoming the person you were designed to be. When it comes to having feelings of rejection, you need to realize that fear is the real enemy and not the people you think or believe do not want to accept you. When you immerse yourself too much on the thought that somebody doesn’t like you, you will being to have negative feelings and bad thoughts about that person. Sooner or later, that person will not want to do anything with you because of the negative aura you are projecting, resulting to you saying, “I knew it! He never really liked me in the first place!” However, if you come to think of it, it was your negative thoughts and emotions that actually caused the person to avoid you, so the real enemy here is your fear of rejection and not the person you are craving attention from.
Focus on What You Want to Feel
I’ve mentioned several times before how powerful focus can be. If you focus on the things you want or don’t want to feel, you will surely and most definitely get them. Do you want to feel loved and not rejected? Then start thinking and believing that you are actually loved and accepted for who you are. You don’t learn how to play basketball by constantly thinking and claiming that you can’t shoot the ball in the hoop.
Deal With the Root of the Problem
There is root to every fear. If you have an unusual fear of being left alone in a dark place, it’s more likely that as a young child, someone intentionally or unintentionally gave you the impression that the dark is something to be scared of. It’s the same with having an unusual fear of rejection. Perhaps when you were younger, your parents got separated and you were left under the care of one of them, giving you the impression that your other parent didn’t like you and left you on purpose. This is just one possible root of having a fear of being rejected. What you can do is to try to dig deep into the root of your fear. You can ask professional help if you want, from either a spiritual adviser or mentor, or a psychologist.
Learn to Love Yourself
I may not completely agree with Whitney Houston saying that learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all, but I do believe that there is a certain power to it. The reason is that you can never give love if you don’t love yourself in the first place. To love yourself means to accept yourself for who you are. It means accepting the fact that you are not perfect and that nobody is. The moment you have learned to accept this truth in life and the moment you have learned to love yourself regardless of your personal flaws and shortcomings, you will start to have the power to overcome the fear of being rejected, and at the same time, have the power to love others.
Find Opportunities to Give Love
Speaking of loving others, one of the greatest ways to overcome the fear of rejection is to find opportunities to love on people. Love is a conscious decision, and the moment you decide to use your energy to offer yourself to others rather than sulk and feel depressed about not being liked by everybody, you will begin to see that there are more important issues in the world than your own fears. It’s not that your own fears and problems are not legitimate – it’s just that you are not alone in your battles and you have to see that, and one way to see that is by finding opportunities to give love.