4 Strategies to Help You Let Go of the Need for Approval & Achieve Your Dreams
Life is an adventure, brimming with opportunities to seize!
But, for many of us, it can feel like there’s an invisible barrier keeping us stuck. Whether it’s going after your dream job, approaching someone new, or even expressing your opinion, this ever-so-common fear can keep you from living life to the fullest. When triggered, this fear can feel overwhelming and scary and prevent you from doing things you truly want to do.
In this post, I’ll help you learn how to overcome this fear– the fear of rejection– with strategies that empower you to open doors to new experiences and personal growth.
Understanding the Fear of Rejection: It’s a Mindset
The first step towards conquering any fear is to understand it.
The fear of rejection is born from our natural, human desire to be accepted, valued, and loved. As a human, it’s normal for you to desire belonging. It’s also normal to feel like the things that threaten your sense of belonging are scary. Rejection is one of those things!
Some people feel that being rejected confirms their worst fears that they are unlovable or not good enough. Others may feel driven to avoid the pain of rejection, prioritizing this short-term comfort by avoiding risk altogether.
The key here is realizing that rejection is not a verdict on your worth. It’s merely an outcome in a sea of possible outcomes.
The question is not “if” you will experience rejection, it’s when.
If avoiding rejection isn’t possible…
What can you do if the fear of it is negatively affecting your ability to achieve your dreams?
Shifting Perspectives: Embrace Feedback
One of the first strategies to practice if you want to overcome a fear of rejection is to reframe how you think of it. Since rejection is a part of life, you can reclaim your power over it by shifting your relationship with it.
Consider this: What if you were to think of rejection as a GPS guiding you towards the treasure you seek?
When your GPS instructs you to make a turn or go in a new direction, you probably know it isn’t a sign to stop your journey altogether.
Challenge yourself to learn to see rejection in the same way.
You see, every “no” actually moves you closer to your eventual “yes.” Embrace it as an opportunity to refine your approach, learn from mistakes, and strengthen your determination.
By reframing rejection, you’re taking back control and turning it into a stepping stone towards success.
So ask yourself… What would you do differently today if you knew that rejection wasn’t a sign of failure, but feedback?
The Gradual Approach: Start Small, Win Big
Remember the feeling of accomplishment when you had your first major success?
That accomplishment probably didn’t happen spontaneously. Weeks, months, or even years of effort supported it. You practiced, learned, and grew on your way to that moment.
Applying that principle here is just as rewarding! After all, small moments of success make up every big win.
Start small. Look for opportunities to engage in situations with minimal risk of rejection and build up from there.
For example, imagine you’ve always wanted to learn how to ballroom dance. But, you fear rejection and you feel anxious about others judging you.
Instead of immediately signing up for a dance class, you could start by watching online dance tutorials in the comfort of your own home. Then, you might join online dance forums and communities. There, you could share your progress, ask questions, and connect with others who are passionate about dancing.
Then, you could take the leap and join a beginner’s dance class at a local studio without the overwhelming sense of fear. Because your incremental steps helped you:
- Ease into the idea of dancing without the pressure of being in a public setting
- Build a sense of belonging and acceptance in a low-pressure environment
- Create a sense of a sense of self-assurance with small action steps before taking a bigger risk
- Gradually build up your confidence and skills, establishing a foundation of positive experience
By taking incremental steps, you can build resilience and help your mind see rejection as manageable, not monstrous. The key is to keep taking steps, no matter how small, in the direction of your dreams and goals.
Build Self-Love and Resilience
The time we spend worrying about rejection is usually fueled by negative thoughts and negative self talk.
Like a warrior heading into battle, you need armor to face the fear of rejection head-on. That armor is self-love and resilience.
When you find the fear of rejection coming up, try this:
- Press the Pause Button. Consciously stop the flow of negative self talk.
- Remind yourself of your strengths, talents, and accomplishments.
- Choose one time in the past where you succeeded. Imagine that time as clearly as you can, and specifically, the feelings you had at the time.
- Practice positive self-talk. Choose a new belief to replace the negative self talk triggered by your fear.
If rejection does strike, acknowledge your feelings, but don’t let them define you. Cultivate resilience through self-care practices, like journaling, meditation, or seeking support from trusted friends and family.
Diversify Your Interactions: Expand Your Comfort Zone
Imagine having a variety of experiences on your plate, each one more delightful than the last.
By diversifying your interactions, you can lessen the impact of a single rejection.
Engage in different activities, socialize with various groups, and explore multiple interests. This not only enriches your life but also lessens the fear’s grip on your mind.
You can feel good and build confidence- a win-win!
Your Journey Begins Here
As you embark on your journey to overcome the fear of rejection, remember this: You are capable, worthy, and deserving of a life you love.
The world is full of possibilities, waiting for you to seize them. So take a deep breath, put your fear aside, and step into the arena of life with confidence. Your dreams are waiting, and you’re more than equipped to make them a reality.
Remember, the fear of rejection is only a single page in a single chapter, not your whole story. Turn the page and start writing the narrative of your life, one where courage and determination triumph over fear.
And to help you do exactly that, I have a special gift for you!
Download this free 10-minute guided meditation. It will allow you to discover what TRUE, AUTHENTIC confidence really is – It’s NOT based on your past behavior, your history, your talents, or your IQ… it’s based on loving and valuing yourself fully, and knowing you have something unique and wonderful to share with the world, no matter what rejection you may or may not face.
When you live from this truth, you’ll feel completely at ease in your own skin, no matter what situation you find yourself in!