It’s no secret that when you have self-confidence issues, a big part of them come from worrying whether or not other people like you. Fear of rejection plays a big role in this, because it makes it hard for you to connect with others on any level, let alone an authentic one. It’s not surprising really, when you stop to think about it. If you aren’t confident in your ability to be yourself and don’t like yourself, it’s hard to expect others will.
Living with a fear of rejection is something I’ve gotten pretty good at over the years. From being the funny-looking kid with “bucky beaver” teeth, being two years younger and a foot taller than everyone else in my classes, to the overweight adult version with the wildly eclectic tastes, I have always been the outsider wanting to be accepted, and yet fearing it at the same time. Dealing with rejection has been part and parcel of my mindset since childhood.
Even now on those days when my confidence takes a hit, I sometimes find myself back there wondering “why don’t they like me?”
Fortunately for me, those days are getting more rare as I work to be more accepting of myself and build my own self-confidence. And the further along this journey I go, the more I see the relationship between fear and self-confidence.
If you want to get rid of your fear of rejection there are a few things you can do to make the transition to self-confidence easier.
1. Know what you are afraid of
Fear of rejection can cover a lot of ground. Are you afraid of meeting new people in general? Or just men? Or women? Are you worried about your appearance because you’re overweight? Or too thin? Or have a disability of some sort? Is your mind spinning yet from all these things you could be afraid of?
The point is, that you can’t work on overcoming fear of anything until you know what you are really afraid of.
2. Let it go
Once you know what your main fear is, you need to let it go. Kick those feelings to the curb as quickly and with as much force as you can. Because here’s the thing when it comes to dealing with fear of rejection…
You are giving other people total control over your emotions and your self-confidence when you allow yourself to worry about what they think of you!
Yes, it’s easier said than done — and I’m quite comfortable in telling you this because it’s something I tell myself too on a regular basis.
What other people think of me is their business, not mine. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point, but it doesn’t really matter a whole lot anymore if someone likes me or they don’t. It’s their issue, not mine.
Once you get past the “they don’t like me” stage, you can look at things from the perspective of someone with confidence. You don’t know what’s going on in their head. For all you know, they may be wondering why you don’t like them!
3. Focus on the good stuff
It’s an amazing feeling to get rid of all that fear. The really cool thing is that it leaves all kinds of room for you to focus on the good things in your life. Things like family members who love you and think you hung the moon just for them; pets who will give you all the unconditional love you could ever want or need; all the good things you can do for yourself and others. When you are focusing on fear, all these things take a backseat.
Go ahead and make a list of all the good things in your life and all the things you do well and are confident about. You might be surprised at how long that list gets when you really start focusing on the good stuff.
Once you’ve got the list written out, read it out loud to yourself and you will really make it real.
4. Barrel on through
There’s an old saying that goes something like “feel the fear and do it anyway.”
That’s the best advice I’ve ever heard when it comes to dealing with fear of rejection. Feel the fear, hold your head up, and walk through the crowd like you just don’t give a hoot. I can tell you from experience, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
The only person you should be worried about rejecting you is… YOU! Because it’s when you reject yourself as being perfect just the way you are, that those self-confidence issues start to develop. And the longer you let it go on, the worse it gets.
When you get right down to it, the more you focus on one the less you have of the other. Choose to focus on building your confidence and you will find that the fear of rejection and worrying about what other people think of you is part of the past you can leave firmly behind you.