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How to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection | Brian Tracy

Define the Problem in Writing

Write a clear description of your problem, the answer to the question, “What exactly am I worrying about?”

Fully 50% of all problems can be solved at this definition stage. Many of our worries exist because we have not taken the time to sit down and really define clearly what it is that is bothering us.

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How to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection | Brian Tracy

How to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection | Brian Tracy

https://www.briantracy.com/blog/personal-success/fear-of-rejection/

briantracy.com

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Key Ideas

The Fear Of Rejection

It interferes with performance and inhibits expression.

Taken to its extreme, we become totally preoccupied with not making a mistake, with seeking approval for security above all other considerations.

Define the Problem in Writing

Write a clear description of your problem, the answer to the question, “What exactly am I worrying about?”

Fully 50% of all problems can be solved at this definition stage. Many of our worries exist because we have not taken the time to sit down and really define clearly what it is that is bothering us.

The Worst Possible Outcome

Write out the worst possible outcome of the worry situation. Answer the question, “What is the worst possible thing that can happen as a result of this problem?”

It is resistance to facing the worst possible outcome that causes most of the anxiety and stress associated with worry. Writing it down will take away its power.

Accept the Worst Possible Outcome

Start telling yourself,"If it happens this way, I’ll learn to live with it."

Once you have resolved to accept the worst, should it occur, you no longer have anything to worry about. All the stress caused by denial, by refusing to face what the worst could be, suddenly disappears.

Begin Improving On The Worst

Think of everything that you could possibly do to make sure that the very worst does not occur. 

Once you stop worrying and have resolved to accept the worst, your mind will be calm and clear and capable of creative thought. By overcoming fear you are now in a position to do something constructive.

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Making mistakes
Making mistakes

We're often presented with challenges that we've not encountered before that may leave us feeling fearful of making mistakes. But no one can reduce mistakes to zero.

Don’t be ashamed of your fear

Don't be ashamed or afraid of your fear of making mistakes, and don't think that being fearful is evidence that you're an indecisive leader. If you are prevention-focused, channel it to be bold and visionary.

The traditional image of a leader is one who is intelligent, brave, and unafraid. Your concern about making mistakes is there to remind you that you're in a challenging situation. Being cautious has value.

Emotional agility skills

Fear of mistakes can prevent people from taking action. Overcome this paralysis with emotional agility skills:

  • State your fears out loud. It will help diffuse them.
  • Accept reality. List every truth you need to accept. "I understand that people will not always behave in ideal ways."
  • Act on your values. Identify your five most important values related to decision-making in a crisis, then ask yourself how each of those is relevant to the critical choices you face.

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Some are useful, and some are useless fears that you can't or shouldn't do anything about. 

They sap your strength for no reason, and you shou...

Fear can harm you

In scuba diving, for instance, fear can cause you to breathe too fast, swim too hard, move too suddenly, fail to take note of your surroundings, or rise too quickly toward the surface.

Knowing that fear has the potential to harm you can help you set it aside. Fold up that fear, put it in a box, and promise you'll get back to it later at a less dangerous time.

Fear and chemicals

You may think it's your judgment deciding that something is dangerous and you should be afraid, but what actually happens is that fear chemicals are flooding into your brain.

Experiments have shown that fear can be induced artificially by injecting certain chemicals. Do the chemicals know what you should and shouldn't be afraid of? They don't. You do.

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Seneca

“We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.”

Seneca
Being afraid won't keep us safe

We misunderstand the value of fear when we think that being constantly hypervigilant will keep us safe.

Being afraid all the time doesn’t keep danger away from us. Instead, we need to learn to recognize key signals that could predict risk, in order to actually feel calmer and safer.

Picking up the real signals

When we walk around terrified all the time, we can’t pick out the signal from the noise.

If you’re constantly scared, you can’t correctly notice when there is something genuine to fear
. True fear is a momentary signal, not an ongoing state.

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From Openness to Closing Yourself Off

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Protecting Yourself with Destructive Behavior

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This, in turn, leaves many people feeling isolated and alone.

From Protecting to Forgiving Yourself

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Build the Mindfulness muscles
  • Acceptance: accept that the worries are here and stop trying to make them go away.
  • Attention: get out of your thoughts and focus on the world around you.
  • Labeling: When a worry pops up, label it as “a worrying thought.” It’s not you. Do not identify with it and don't let it overtake you.

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Judgment is subjective

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People who reject you are the minority
  • Estimate how many people you’ve met in your entire life. 
  • Count the number of people who have severely rejected you. 
  • Divide the second number by the first, and you’ll see how the result rarely exceeds 1%.

Is 1% significant? 

Don't focus on the rejection

You can be aware of the unpleasant experience, but if you don’t focus on it, you’ll take away its power.

Place your attention on the positive feedback and support you receive from others. Being consciously aware of the people who have encouraged you will allow you to align with high-energy emotions and positive situations.

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Fear Paralyzes Action

The most common reaction in a fear situation is the attitude of, “I can’t!”

This is the fear of failure that stops us from taking action. It often shuts down the brain and causes us to revert to the “fight-or-flight” reaction.

Visualize Yourself as Unafraid

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So visualize yourself performing with confidence and competence in an area where you are fearful.

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