We all deal with it, fear of being rejected. Everyone, from the youngest child to the oldest adult, experiences anxieties and fears at one time or another. Feeling anxious in a particularly uncomfortable situation never feels very good. Most of the time when I feel this, I want to eat a comfort food. Not good….:)
Anxiety is defined as “apprehension without apparent cause.” It usually occurs when there’s no immediate threat to a person’s safety or well-being, but the threat feels real. Anxiety makes someone want to escape the situation — fast. The heart beats quickly, the body might begin to perspire, and “butterflies” in the stomach soon follow. However, a little bit of anxiety can actually help people stay alert and focused but too much and we ask for trouble. Conquering our fears helps us become stronger once we face the fears and get through them.
The first important point for you to recognize is almost people you’ve ever met have had this fear at one time or another in their life. Fear of rejection is one of the most basic human fears. Until a person learns some skills to lessen their anxiety and communicate confidently, this nervousness will continue. The key to overcoming this problem is to recognize it and make a purposeful effort to control it.
Fear of rejection is usually determined by the perceived importance of the person we’re approaching. We want others to like us and it bothers us when we have not wronged people in any way yet they still reject us. When we realize that people have their own insecurities, jealously, or other issues, it is not us they are rejecting. Their rejection is because they too have fears, which have not been settled or conquered. Quite often it hinders us from reaching out and taking hold of special opportunities for victory, growth, unforeseen joy, and satisfaction. “What if I don’t fit in with this group of people and they reject me?” “What if someone doesn’t agree with my ideas or opinion and they shun me?” “What if I can’t perform well enough and they don’t want me around anymore?”
How can we face the fear of rejection? The good news is that you can learn new techniques that can help you overcome your fear of being rejected and improve your confidence in social situations. Focus on self-improvement. When anxiety or stress takes place in feeling of overwhelmed, try and do some breathing exercises. Take cleansing breaths and focus on relaxing the muscles in the face, shoulders, back or other parts of your body feeling tensed. Approach the issue head on, take responsibility for your feelings or emotions and tell yourself, “It is not going to be that bad”. With whatever the circumstance, if meeting a new person, job interview, or making a phone call, don’t let it hinder your possibilities of benefit for yourself or for others. When you approach the situation, try and focus on something else besides your insecurities. When I myself face new things and start feeling stressed about the situation, I pray. I take a little time to ask God to help me deal with my emotions or fears. Whichever we feed, that will grow. If we give in to the fears and avoid the situations that make us feel stressed or fearful, the next time we are faced with a similar situation we will find it harder to overcome and more overwhelming.
When we finally step through the door facing fear of rejection, it will lead to genuine admiration from others and lessen the fear of rejection the next time we are feeling it. If we think about things the way that we ought to think about them, then we will not have fear. For example, if I think about my own weaknesses and limitations, then I will fear that I cannot do something. But if I think about Jesus and His power in us, then I will be confident in Him. If I think of the power of God and of how He is master and Lord of all things, then I will not fear. Instead of fearing, I will have security in the promises of God. The degree to which you will be able to think what you ought to think in each situation is the degree to which you will serve God faithfully and live by faith. Your thought process will be all about the Word of God, God’s promises, God’s principles, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we just need that little extra reminder as believers who we really are. Our Father owns and knows all, who or why should we be afraid, dismayed or stressed? Perfect love casts out all fear!
II Timothy 1:7 God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind.