Overcoming Fear of Rejection – An Article on Embracing Fear and Finding Strength
Fear of rejection is something that almost everyone experiences at some point in their lives. It’s a natural emotion that originated from our ancestors who had to stay connected to one another to survive. The fear of rejection ensured that people wouldn’t become outcasts and face the dangers of living alone in the wilderness.
The human brain processes rejection in a manner similar to how it processes physical pain. This makes rejection an extremely difficult emotion to deal with, and often, it can lead one to become an outcast.
My Traumatic Experience of Rejection
In the 4th grade, I had issues with anger, emotional problems, and ADHD. Due to my inability to control my emotions, I became violent when someone annoyed me. I wasn’t proud of the fact that I became a bully and eventually became an outcast. I didn’t have friends, and the pain, hatred, despair, depression, anger, and hopelessness were overwhelming. The intensity of the emotions almost drove me to take my own life.
While I realized I was too young to end my life and could start over in a new high school where no one knew me, the fear of rejection still haunted me. I feared being rejected again, and I didn’t want that.
Fear of Incompetence
When I started high school, I studied the popular kids to understand what made them so popular. My lack of social skills meant that I felt awkward around people, and my fear of rejection kept me from taking action to address my shortcomings. I began to ask myself, “What if I sound dumb? This isn’t who I am. What if they don’t like me?” The fear of rejection stopped me from taking action to improve myself.
Fear Can Control You
A whole year passed, and I was still afraid of rejection. I began to understand that I had to embrace my fears, even though it was hard. Fear will always be there – it’s what I do with it that matters. If I tried to numb the fear, as some suggest, I would numb all my emotions. That wouldn’t be a good idea since it would leave me feeling empty and meaningless.
The Source of Strength
Fear becomes a source of strength when I refuse to let it control me. My strength isn’t in my ability to conquer my fears. Instead, it’s in my willingness to do what’s necessary even though I’m afraid. I’m more than a mindless puppet that lets my fears control my actions. Instead of focusing on my fears, I focus on the task at hand.
The soldiers who go back for their wounded members during enemy gunfire show extreme courage. Despite their fears of death, they continue to serve their fellow soldiers. Courage means willing to be afraid and act anyway.
The fear of rejection is a natural emotion that all of us have. It’s not the enemy – it’s when we let it control us that creates the real problem. We mustn’t numb ourselves of it since that will lead to feelings of emptiness and meaninglessness. Instead, we should embrace it, focus on the task at hand, and be courageous. Courageousness isn’t a lack of fear; it’s doing what needs doing, even though we’re terrified.