How to Deal With Rejection or the Fear of Being Rejected

5 Ways to Cope With Events or Experiences That May Have Been Unpleasant

Most of us were never taught how to deal with rejection or overcome the fear of being rejected.

The fear of being rejected stops many people from taking action, which means they don’t achieve what they want.

Knowing how to deal with rejection can:

  • Prevent a loss of self-confidence or a drop in self-worth.
  • Lead to new achievements.
  • Reduce internal turmoil or stress.
  • Form new partnerships.
  • Open new possibilities or opportunities.

If we deal with rejection or the fear of being rejected well, we’re more likely to get the outcomes we want.

What Does Rejection Really Mean?

Whenever we believe we’ve been rejected, it means an outcome we experienced didn’t match our expectations. Something happened that made us feel we missed out on something, which caused an emotional reaction.

Having a fear of rejection means we’re imagining a negative consequence for an action we intend to take. We’re telling ourselves something we want may not happen or that it’s too risky.

If we’ve felt rejection, it means our identity was affected in some way. Having a fear of rejection means we’re trying to protect ourselves or our identity.

deal with rejection

Is Rejection Real?

When we feel rejected or have a fear of being rejected, it means we’re giving meaning to a past or future event. A mindset to adopt that will serve us is, “Rejection does not exist.”

If we experience rejection because we didn’t get or achieve something, the reality is we didn’t have that thing to begin with. After the event or experience, our reality or circumstance didn’t change. It stayed the same.

We feel rejection if we’re too attached to an outcome we want and don’t get it. If we’re not able to generate positive self-talk, it’ll be easy to feel rejected.

I remember when I first wanted to offer training programs focused on personal development to businesses, I was afraid of rejection. At that time, I didn’t have any experience offering such programs. My experience was in manufacturing operations.

That fear of rejection held me back for several months as I was hesitant to offer my services. After working with coaches and mentors who pushed me to face my fears, I decided to cold call businesses close to where I lived.

Most times, I couldn’t get past gatekeepers to speak to the decision-makers. Each time, I left a flyer and a business card with the person I spoke to. Within one week, I received a phone call from a manager of a real estate company, who wanted to know more about what I offered.

After our phone conversation, we set up a meeting where I outlined what my training program was all about and how it would benefit their business. He was impressed by what I could offer and hired me to work with his team. By facing my fear of being rejected, I was able to serve that business and those who worked there.

Often, the fear we make up in our minds rarely plays out. We have to be mindful not to make out events or experiences to be worse than they are.

5 Ways to Deal With Rejection or the Fear of Being Rejected

While having an awareness rejection doesn’t exist, it’s helpful to have ways to manage any emotions of rejection we may have. Here are five ways to deal with rejection or the fear of being rejected.

    1. Pay attention to your self-talk. We have to notice what we’re saying to ourselves and what meaning we’re making up. We can shift our perspective and make up a different meaning to generate the emotions we want to feel.
    2. Look for the learning opportunity. By facing our fears, it means we’ll learn something or have learned something. As we identify what we’ve learned or can learn, we can use it to help us make new decisions. It will also help us generate more self-confidence.
    3. Acknowledge yourself for taking a risk. Whenever we do something new or something uncomfortable, we’re challenging ourselves to take a risk. Not all risks go the way we’d like them to, therefore we should feel proud for taking a chance. As we generate more positive self-talk, we’ll continue to build our self-confidence and self-esteem.
    4. Focus on the next action you can take. Whenever we feel rejected, it’s easy to pull back and not put ourselves out again. Instead, what’s more valuable is to identify the next action we can take so we can continue to move forward.
    5. Ask for support. We don’t have to work through all our fears or insecurities on our own. Getting help from mentors or coaches can help us identify how we can improve so we can accelerate our progress.


Whenever we go for something new, we face the possibility it will not go the way we want it to. As we condition our minds to handle situations that are risky or have not gone our way, we’ll better manage and let go of any unhealthy emotions.

If we don’t learn how to deal with rejection or the fear of being rejected, we’ll stop ourselves from going for what we want. That means we’ll not create the experiences or results we want.

Action Step: Reflect on the last event or experience that felt like a rejection. What meaning were you making up? What meaning(s) can you make up now to generate the emotions you want to experience?

Question: What are other ways to deal with rejection or the fear of being rejected?