“This Is How I Finally Got Over My Fear Of Rejection”
By Macaela Mackenzie; Photographs by Kate Mangostar/Freepik
Four women share their stories.
Being rejected is the worst. Whether it’s a dating rejection, a professional rejection, or even rejection from a total stranger on social media (damn you, trolls!) let’s be real—it stings. No wonder the fear of rejection keeps so many people sitting on the bench rather than getting in the game. But according to a new study, even though rejection may sting, it won’t stick with you like the disappointment over missing out on an opportunity you didn’t reach for.
In the new research published in , researchers looked at rejection in the context of romantic relationships, in a series of five different studies. Ultimately, they found that a) you’re more likely to remember missed opportunities than you are to remember getting turned down, b) you’re more likely to think those missed opportunities are important to your life in the long run than a little rejection, and c) that people are more willing to risk being turned down than they are to risk missing a chance with the love of their life.
The moral of the story? Rejection—whether romantic, social, or professional—is scary, but it will pass. Missing an opportunity on the other hand, is what will ultimately keep you up at night. Here’s how four women ditched their fear of being rejected in order to keep pursuing that perfect relationship/job/life.
“I took a page out of writer Monica Byrne’s book and made myself an anti-resume (a list of all my failures). This way when I’m rejected, I can reframe it into something more positive: I tried, and I’ll try again. As the list has gotten longer, it’s a nice visual reminder that despite my dozens of failures, rejection hasn’t killed me (at least not yet), so fear of it shouldn’t prevent me from trying.” —Jane H.
“I no longer fear rejection. I just accept that it’s part of the business. To ensure I don’t wallow in self-pity or negative thinking, I’ll go back to a few of my success stories. This helps remind me that a) I’m good enough and b) This rejection is just a temporary setback. Being able to deal with rejection has boosted my grit and ‘stick-to-it-iveness’ in areas such as relationships and personal goals. While I don’t ever *enjoy* rejection, I absolutely benefit from it in the long run.” —Lisa K.
“I don’t think I’ve overcome the fear at all—instead, I just push through it. I have a history of stopping before I get started because I allow fear to take over, and with my freelance career, I just decided that wasn’t possible. I ran into a situation where I could no longer work full time in an office, but still had to make an income to support two children. Bowing out because of fear was no longer an option for me. I’m fearful every time I get ready to hit send on an email, but experience has taught me to just hit send anyway.” —Nicole S.
“I just try to think that I’ll give it the best shot I can manage, and if I am not accepted, I could say that I at least tried. And then I let go.” —Sara A.
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