Our top 5 Fears – No.3 – Rejection

Rejection, without doubt, can be one of the biggest fears faced by many and can affect every area of your life.

  • Relationships
  • Work
  • Personal projects
  • Ideas
  • Dreams
  • Wishes

It can leave you with a huge feeling of why which may never be fully answered and can send your mind spinning in ever decreasing circles at all times of the day or night.

You may have put everything you had on the line and risked all including your time, money and pride to:

  • ask that person out on a date
  • submit your ideas
  • go for that job or
  • ask for that raise,

and it could have taken every ounce of courage you had in the process, only to hear a very loud ‘no’.

At such point your confidence sinks, your self-esteem crumbles and your negative self-talk can become relentless, you may want to give it all up completely and forever as you recite, why, why, why over and over with endless possible, sometimes outlandish, made up reasons, but nothing makes any real sense until you convince yourself of one single thought that must be true, otherwise you would have been told yes. It’s hard work being rejected.

The word no is not the issue, it’s that someone doesn’t want what you are offering and that it contains various parts of your heart and soul; and that’s where rejection strikes the most.  It hits your belief in yourself.

As human beings we have a natural need to be accepted and when we are rejected this can deeply affect our sense of belonging to others and to ourselves; to be somebody and to be heard.

Our self-belief is what carries us through life and to have this knocked can be a hard road to walk.

Is rejection all it’s made out to be?

It may come as a surprise to you, but my own personal belief is that there is no such thing as rejection; am I deluding myself? I don’t think so, I see it as being about personal opinion or beliefs and when you match or align yours with another you will be accepted, but the dilemma is that until you ask you don’t know, and if you never ask you will never get, and rejection comes out of asking; so how do you get what you want?

The majority of people have been rejected for something in their lives at some time, and I would guess that for many in hindsight it has turned out to be one of the best things that happened to them.  It may have helped them re-focus, re-write, re-evaluate or re-apply or re-ask in another way, so I see it as part of reinventing ourselves, and from a perceived rejection we can only grow.

So what usually happens after the thoughts of rejection have settled down in your mind, do you give up or fight harder?

I believe that rejection is a numbers game, now that doesn’t mean that you can ask that same person out on a date fifty times until you get that ‘yes’, you may need to re-evaluate or re-adjust so you become a better you, or you could ask other people out and you will, eventually, get that yes.  It could be the second or the fifty second person you ask, you don’t know which, but it will come.

The same goes for these now famous people which could easily not have been if they had taken rejection as the end of the line. How would life be for them, and us in some way, if they had have given up?

Walt Disney

Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because, his editor said, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He was further turned down some 302 times before he got financing for Disneyland.


After a performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, Elvis was told by the concert hall manager that he was better off returning to Memphis and driving trucks (his former career).

Stephen King

His most renowned and first book, Carrie, was rejected thirty times. He decided to toss the book in the bin which his wife rescued and convinced him to re-submit it.

JK Rowling

She was rejected by 12 publishers before Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone was accepted.

Michael Jordon

He was cut from his high school basketball team for not being good enough, which he said only made him a better player.

I would encourage you to start to embrace rejection, to get back up and try again and again as quickly as possible to find that magic, unknown, number that will be your  ‘yes’.  Look for the positives behind the no and keep moving forward and re-adjusting where needed.

One very important question to ask when receiving rejection is, “what do I need to do to make it a yes”?  That can help you decide if you want to make those changes to align with that person or company, or if you want to reach those you will naturally align with.  The choice is yours but above all, never give up.