Fear of Rejection

Failure to act, ask or take action for fear of being denied, turned down, embarrassed, ridiculed, refused or rejected

We should not let our fears hold us back from pursing our hopes.  John F Kennedy

 

Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.   Ralph W Emerson

 

The best way to confront your fears is to stop avoiding the situation you’re most afraid of.  David Burns

 

  We tend to be vulnerable to irrational fears. Not asking someone for a date, not filling out job applications, not asking for a raise are some examples of what is called “the fear of rejection”. Probably all of us have failed to follow through with things we wanted to do but did not do because we feared rejection. This is irrational behavior. We have great need to feel secure, liked, and loved. We tend to avoid taking actions that may endanger our shaky foundation of self-acceptance.

   Our lives are filled with doors to open, bridges to cross, forks in the road, and multitudes of decisions to make. Everything we do or fail to do has an effect on the person we are, the paths we take, and the person we ultimately become. It is logical we would want to take advantage of opportunities that might come our way. The fear of rejection is a major hindrance to doing that. There is no way to know all of the positive and good things, including personal growth and development; we have missed because we fail to ask.

    Our fear of rejection is illogical. We throw away potential opportunities, for fear that we will be told “No”. We fear we will lose value, become less important, loved less, or that we will be harmed in some way. Our self-image and self-respect is so fragile we do not want to expose it to anything that might tarnish or damage it in any way. We take rejection very personally, when often, if not most of the time, it is totally impersonal. Our thinking is faulty; chances are that when someone turns us down, it will not result in losing our life or a limb, will not include a merciless beating; or even a vicious verbal assault. The worst that happens is that we have been told “NO”. At least we tried. That is what counts.

   Sales people are taught that they should expect to receive a certain number of “No’s” before someone finally says “Yes”. The thinking is if you ask enough times, someone will finally say “Yes”. The more you ask, the better you get. This is fundamentally true. It is a numbers game. Ask enough times and eventually someone will give you the answer you desire. The key is to not take rejection personally. Never hesitate to ask!

 

Challenge:   Chances are that there are opportunities facing you at this very moment. You have not moved on them, because you fear being rejected. If you do not ask, nothing positively will likely happen. Usually, the worst that can happen is that someone will say “No!”  At least you tried, you go on, and you have grown as a result of the effort. Try to learn to be more resistant to rejection. Don’t take it personally. Get out there and ask

 

Wisdom: There are two kinds of people: those that are paralyzed by fear, and those who are afraid but go ahead anyway… Brooke Knapp

 

Spiritual: (NIV)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

 

We live by faith not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

 

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24

 

We are fearful creatures. If our life could be lived without any fear of any kind, how would our life be different than it is today? For most of us, we are better described as being much more fearful that we should be. The things we fear would fill up a rather long list. These fears affect every aspect of how we live. God is willing, ready and able to help us rid our life of fear. It is not his desire for us to be fearful. He will give us courage.

 

Prayer:   Help me to be free from fear in my life. Help me to trust in you and to have the courage I need.

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