We can all agree that rejection sucks... it can even hurt, burn, sting and be embarrassing. So why would people put themselves in a position that could lead to rejection? They must be crazy. I mean, why apply for that promotion when there are way more talented applicants? Why approach that cute guy or girl in the bar when there are clearly better looking people around?
Because you somehow convinced yourself that you won't get that job, and you can't get that person. You need to snap out of that self-destructive mindset. How you perceive yourself is not necessarily how people view you. Those are your personal insecurities. Have you ever had someone like you that you would have never expected to like you? Have you ever won something, or got that promotion or job that you didn't expect? Exactly. Good things have happened to you without you expecting it, and don't think that it can't happen again. The fear of rejection is hard to shake, but I've come to realize that rejection is actually kind of awesome, and I will tell you why.
1. You Grow Thick Skin
As I established earlier, rejection hurts. Let's face the cold hard facts, you're not going to get everything you want all of the time. Such is life, it's a numbers game. You only need a few big wins, and the more times you give yourself the opportunity to be successful the closer you get to that big win. Developing thick skin is great because it gives you the resilience to keep pushing when things don't go your way. You are less likely to throw in the towel or lose hope. Don't let rejection get you down. Instead, take it as a learning experience and as fuel for your next endeavor.
2. You Become Fearless
If you can master the art of being fearless, you can do anything. Fear is what holds the majority of people back from pursuing their true passions. Social pressure and the fear of the unknown totally cripple people. When deciding whether or not to pursue something, ask yourself this: What's the worst that can happen? Then decide if you are willing to deal with the consequences. If the consequences are bearable, (and usually they are) then do it. We tend to think our first world problems are the end of the world, but when compared to mass killings and world hunger, it's really not a big deal. Potential embarrassment or having to pinch a few pennies shouldn't be enough to keep you from pursuing what you want. Mastering fear doesn't come in big leaps, but in small steps.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" -- Lao-tzu
It's time to take that step and not let fear run your life. Fear is almost like a disease of the mind, it can be so crippling that at times we convince ourselves of things that are not true. For instance, you may think "Oh this person couldn't possibly find me attractive," or "I'm not capable enough to do this job, I'll just leave it for someone who is." At the end of the day, life is too short to be a wimp.
3. You Are More Secure With Yourself
Being secure with yourself is the absolute best feeling in the world. You don't need validation from anyone or anything. You trust your gut and your decisions. There are some situations where you just need to act now and think later. Decide what you want, go for it and take that leap of faith.
"Jump first and grow your wings on the way down." -- Ray Bradbury
4. You Learn How To Not Take Things Personally
This goes back to life being a numbers game. Don't overthink everything. Not every rejection is about you or what you could have done better. Have you ever considered that the problem is with them and not you? Maybe you never stood a fair chance in that interview, and they decided to hire a family member instead. Perhaps that person rejected you because they are in a complicated relationship. Don't take things so personally or stress yourself out trying to analyze situations that you have no control over.
5. You Learn How To Move On
As the Jay Z song goes: on to the next one. If an opportunity does not go your way, take a step back to process the situation, and then take a few moments to feel your feelings. It's ok to be upset or frustrated in the moment, but after that let it go. There is no sense in dwelling on negative situations. Is it going to change it? No. Is it going to make you feel better? No. Then why add the additional stress to your life?
Life is too short to fear rejection. The future isn't promised, so worrying about it won't do you any good. There's nothing like the feeling of being courageous enough to go after what you want. It's a rewarding feeling to at least try something even if the situation doesn't play out as you expected.
Now, I challenge you to not let fear hold you back from whatever it is that you want. Be bold, take a deep breath and go out and do it!
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