Here’s the thing, as women we try really really hard to be liked. We try to be liked by everyone around us. We try to please our families, our neighbors, even the mailman on our street. It’s true. It’s just part of who we are.
Unfortunately, (or fortunately!) we’re also the ones who typically go around seeking out self help books, meditation techniques and local courses to sharpen our skills. The ways in which we try to improve ourselves and our lives are endless.
So after many years of self study, and what feels like an inordinate amount of time, we finally figure out who we are and what we’re good at. We have a slew of skills and talents that we’re sure are our own unique strengths and we want nothing more than to use those strengths to help the people around us.
Being the industrious types, we usually then decide it’s time to live our lives in accordance with our true selves. We start to align our lives to reflect our inner passions and priorities.
Up until now in this self discovery process things are great! We feel a renewed zest for life and everything is moving along swimmingly.
However, just as we start to consider making real changes and start imagining a new future or way of life for ourselves, this sneaky voice somewhere in the back of our mind starts whispering,
“What if they don’t like me?”
Although this question is something that most of us experience in our earlier years such as high school, now as an adult, having done all of this research into ourselves, all of this soul searching and digging, this question becomes tremendously more powerful.
This doubt is truly gut wrenching. Why? Because whereas before you might have said to yourself, “Well I still have time to figure out who I really am. This nerd/shy/ugly/whatever that they don’t like isn’t the real me anyway. When I’m older the real me will be confident and successful. They’ll like the real me. I just have to figure out who that is.”
But now you know exactly who that real you is, so if people don’t like you now, you have no more excuses to make to yourself about why they don’t like you. They really just don’t like YOU.
This is where your fear of rejection can become paralyzing.
We start asking ourselves terrifying questions. What if the friends I’ve had all along don’t like the real me? What if this new business I’m imagining based on my real skills and talents never has any clients? What if after all this I’m still not good enough?
If this is how you feel right now, today, then I want you to listen, and I want you to listen closely because if you don’t overcome what you’re feeling right now you will be stuck living a life that isn’t you and certainly wasn’t meant to be you.
You have to overcome this destructive thinking. You have to let the world see you, learn from you and become a better place because you were brave enough to share your gifts with everyone who needed them.
Below are a few tips, quotes and perspectives that I believe will resonate with you. I hope at least one of these things sinks deeply into your soul and quiets the doubtful, betraying voice of fear that does have the power to stop you in your tracks – if you let it.
Don’t let it!
You’re meant to stand strong and proud in your uniqueness. You will be successful when you utilize your talents, and more than anything, please remember that just being you is always enough.
5 Tips & Perspectives to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection
1. There are more than 7 billion people in this world. Not all of them are going to like you and that’s okay – because there are 7 billion people in this world which means there are millions and millions of people who will LOVE you.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
― Bernard M. Baruch
2. Once you know who you are, being anything other than that is not only the equivalent of lying, but you’ll live your life never reaching your full potential. Why? Because no one can ever be their best trying to be someone else. You can only be the best you.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
― Oscar Wilde
“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
― Judy Garland
3. Make a list of people you admire, then make a list of the qualities you admire most in those people. It’s very likely that the same qualities you look up to in them are also latent qualities you recognize within yourself. We admire in other people what we know deep down is also within us.
4. Being your authentic self regardless of who that is will inspire other people around you to do the same. So what if the real you is the biggest nerd in the world? Be proud of your nerd-self! People who are younger than you who have those same traits within themselves will see that who they are is not only ok, but can be amazing! (Remember I just said you usually admire people who have the same hidden qualities as you do?) Without even trying, and usually without even knowing, you will become a role model, and it’s impossible for you to foresee the positive impacts you might have on others.
*Special Note for Mothers: For those of us who are mothers, this is particularly true since it’s highly likely that your own children are struggling, or will struggle, with the same insecurity issues you did. (If you were a shy bookworm, they probably are too!) Isn’t the thought of being able to show your children an example of a proud, happy, successful “bookworm” all the encouragement you need to get over this fear of not being liked? I know it was for me.
5. And finally…
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching