How to DESTROY Fear of Rejection
For most of my life, like most people, the “fear” of rejection was one of my greatest fears, and so, I can now say from experience that it’s one of the most important things I’ve had to learn how to conquer.
Conquering my fear of rejection is why I’m sitting here right now talking to you guys with the one of the fastest growing YouTube channels, instead of just sitting around worrying if other people will accept my content.
I mean, just think about it for a second, what would your life be like if you suddenly had no fear of rejection?
If you could go up to any guy or girl without hesitation, and start a conversation, if you could suddenly express that thing you have inside of you and share it with the rest of the world, through writing, art, dancing, maybe even YouTube videos, if you could suddenly, at all times and in all situations, just be you.
My worst experience of rejection happened at a nightclub about 10 years ago, a girl walked past, thin, dark features and so, summoning all the courage in the world, I went up to her, tapped her on the shoulder, and said “Hey”, she turned around and looked at me with a gaze that I felt permeating through the pores on my face and into the very fabric of my being and without hesitation, she said “Ew” and walked away. I felt like I had just been stabbed with a pitchfork, but I remember going back to my friends, who were hysterically laughing at what they had just witnessed, and I started to laugh hysterically as well.
Lao Tzu famously said
“There is no illusion greater than fear”.
And in that moment, I realized that the thing I had probably most feared had just come true and it wasn’t that bad, I didn’t die, within a few minutes I had my confidence back and was already talking to other girls.
How? What is it about our fear of rejection that often keeps us from acting on what could potentially be some of the biggest opportunities in our lifetime? And how can we come face to face with this fear, not only learn to manage it? But instead, learn how to completely conquer it, so that when we are inevitably “rejected”, iit just rolls off of us like water off of a roof.
In this video I’ll show you the exact 3 steps that I’ve used to completely destroy fear of rejection within every aspect of my life. Let’s begin.
Step 1: Understand why we fear rejection
So what is it exactly about the “fear of rejection” that makes it one of the greatest fears that we experience on a day to day basis?
Well for starters, it’s rooted deep within our biology, we’re programmed to want to belong and to be accepted as part of an evolved survival mechanism. Groups were critically important for survival as they meant shared resources and greater protection from predators, being accepted by a desirable potential mate meant we were more likely to produce strong offspring. In the modern day, most of why we fear rejection is because we exist within capitalistic societies that encourage the seeking of pleasure and avoidance of pain.
Rejection can be painful because it may reflect deep-rooted judgements that we hold about ourselves, that we’re inferior, that we have no real worth or value, that we’re unlovable. So when we feel rejection, whether it be a guy or girl that we like, a job we really wanted, something we posted to Instagram that made us feel vulnerable and only got a few likes, we feel as if our entire being, the sum totality of who we are, has somehow been rejected.
This is of course, entirely irrational, who knows what’s going on in that guy or girl’s life who rejected us, they don’t know who we are in totality, not even close.
Our job application is literally just a piece of paper with a few bullet points about your work experience and why you think you’d be a good fit, what we posted to Instagram, well maybe it was just a pathetic attempt at getting attention instead of the deeper “expression” of our being that we thought it was.
My point here is that, people can endure an entire lifetime of fearing rejection, without ever just taking a few fucking minutes to consider the why behind it and this is the first step, take a few minutes to sit down on a sofa, invite your fear of rejection to sit next to you and have a good look at it.
Ask yourself why until you can’t go any further.
– Why do I fear rejection? Because I’m avoiding pain
– Why am I associating rejection with pain? Because I don’t really feel self worth.
– Why don’t I feel self-worth? Because I haven’t done anything in my life that I’m proud of. Because I spend too much time on Instagram consuming the successful digital projections of others.
– Why haven’t you done anything that you’re proud of? Why do you spend so much time on Instagram?
– Why, why, why, why, why?
In the words of Bruce Lee,
“To understand your fear is the beginning of really seeing”.
Step 2: Be someone worth not rejecting
If you perform the “why” exercise I mentioned in the previous section, do not be afraid to come to the conclusion that, maybe you deserve to be rejected.
That dream job you applied for and got rejected? How hard have you actually worked in your previous jobs? How much effort did you actually put into your application? As someone who has reviewed thousands of job applications for my own business, I can count the number of applications that have really impressed me, on a single hand.
Why the f*ck are you making YouTube videos teaching others how to be successful when you yourself aren’t successful? Have you considered the possibility that you care more about being perceived as successful than you do about actually being successful?
That person that you like, why should they like you? Do you take care of your body and physical appearance? Are you kind and respectful to others? If you’re a guy, are you successful, or working towards it? Are able to provide for a family?
I see this all the time with men especially, that instead of just doing the things that will make them more attractive to their ideal partner, they instead resort to silly games or the world of “pickup”, which may help trick a few more girls to get into bed with you, without ever considering that, maybe what they actually crave are deep meaningful connections with people that they actually care about. My point in all of this is that, maybe we fear rejection because we deserve to be rejected.
And here’s the thing, if we want an ideal partner in a world where most people don’t end up with ideal partners, if we want a dream job in a world where most people don’t get to work dream jobs, if we want people to appreciate our art in a world where, most people have not done the self-work necessary to go deeply enough within themselves, to discover the expressive capacity necessary to “create” actual art, if we are to be one of the few who get to have these things, then we should be one of the few who is actually willing to work for them.
I’m not saying that we have to be “perfect”, perfection is an ideal, ideals are perfect things, and we are imperfect things, but I do think that we need to feel “whole”, which is to say, to feel confident of who we are because we know we’re putting in the work necessary to get to where we’re supposed to go.
It’s ok to be alone for some time while we work on ourselves instead of trying to fill the void of who we are with someone else, ok to work a job we don’t like if we know we’re working harder than everyone else, towards a job that we really do like, ok to practice our art in the shadows, to protect the “why” that we create transform from “authentic self-expression”, into a “desperate craving for social validation”.
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Step 3: Use rejection as a self improvement tool
Once we’ve worked to understand why it is that we fear rejection and worked to feel confident of who we are because we know where we’re going, then all that’s really left to do is, get rejected, so that we can see start to understand rejection not as a rejection of the totality of who we are, but instead, as a critically important step in the path towards becoming who we really want to be.
In this sense, fear of rejection is very similar to fear of failure, you’ll hear people all the time, myself included, tell you how important failure is and how failure isn’t actually failure, it’s just an experience, how it’s a good indication that we’re moving in the right direction, how if we’re not failing, it’s because we’re not challenging ourselves enough, rejection is almost exactly the same in that sense.
All of my past rejections were extremely important lessons for me to become the person that I know I am destined to become, these days I still get rejected all the time. In my business I’ll reach out to explore partnerships or collaborations with people and many times not even get a response, it doesn’t bother me because I know my business is incredible, and my industry knowledge is superior, because I’ve done the work necessary to earn the confidence to believe those things, so maybe I just need to work on how I’m wording my emails or think of more creative ways to reach out to people.
With my YouTube channel, I had a video that I was able to write in a single evening that got over 1 million views in the first two weeks, and then the next video, which I had spent months working on, that has to do with the single most important moment of my life, got only 35 thousand views in the same amount of time, that video was “rejected”, but I don’t see it as rejection, I see it as highlighting somewhere that I need to improve, I know that as I learn to become a better writer and video maker, and learn to better express these things that I feel so deeply, that someday I’ll make a version of that video that will get millions of views.
The fear of rejection that frankly, has been the hardest for me to overcome, has been my fear of rejection by women, but before we get into that, let’s do a quick summary of the 3 steps.
Step 1: Understand why we fear rejection
The “Fear of Rejection” is deeply rooted within our biology and has generally evolved to encourage the seeking of pleasure and avoidance of pain, rejection can be painful because it may reflect deep-rooted judgements that we hold about ourselves, judgements that in some cases may be irrational, but likely have some justification, whatever the case, we should “sit” with this fear of rejection, and ask ourselves why as much and as deeply as we can to gain a more profound understanding.
Step 2: Be someone worth not rejecting
The weak way to deal with fear of rejection is to resort to “positive thinking” or silly mental gymnastics, when instead, we should consider that we might very damn well deserve to be rejected, if we truly want the glorious things that are waiting for us on the other side or rejection, then we should do the work required to actually be worthy of those things, we don’t have to be perfect, but we should feel confident of who we are because we know we’re putting in the work necessary to get to where we’re supposed to go.
Step 3: Use rejection as a self improvement tool
If we understand why we fear rejection and we’ve worked to feel confident of who we are, then the “fear” of rejection transforms from an irrational fear, to invaluable learning experience, a constant reminder that we are moving further along the path of self-development towards becoming the person we know we’re destined to be.
That girl in that nightclub all those years ago, who knows why she chose to respond that way, but what was important was this, having come face to face with the thing I most feared, I realized in that moment that I didn’t really have anything to fear. I didn’t see her “Ew” as a rejection of my total being, I just saw it as a rejection of who I was in that moment, knowing that I would one day be someone greater.
Back then, and even in recent years, a lot of my fear of rejection when it came to women was rooted in a deep-seated belief that I might never find an ideal partner, these days it’s the complete opposite, I have so much confidence when it comes to women because I know that I have done the work to be the greatest catch that a women could hope to net, so I get “rejected” by a woman, I don’t even see it as rejection, I just see it as incompatibility, which frankly is something I’m happy to see right away, as it moves me closer down the path towards finding the person that is right for me.
This is the exact same mentality that I carry within everything I do, because I know that I’ve done the hard work necessary to have earned the confidence required to actually seek situations where there exists a risk of rejection, on the path to becoming what I know I am meant to become.
Fear or rejection is itself an illusion and by looking at it squarely in the face, preparing ourselves for the battle, and proactively seeking it out, instead of waiting for it to come to us, we can conquer it.
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In the comments below, let’s have some fun, share your most embarrassing story of rejection, and what you learned from it?
And lastly, follow me on instagram @NelsonQuest if you want to see first-hand what someone who has conquered most of their fear of rejection looks like.
Ciao and cya in the next post.