RejectedIt sucks.

You’ve been interviewing for several months, and each time you think it’s probably gone well, you get a call from the recruiter saying they’re not taking your application further.

Each post-interview call erodes your self-esteem.

You feel like you’re worthless. Like no one wants you on their team. Just like it feels in school when the others would choose everyone else and no one would pick you.

So you’ve come to associate that phone call with massive anxiety and an expectation of disappointment.

Perhaps, for you, it’s not phone calls. Maybe it’s when you go to your email and expect bad news and disappointment. Or you’re still in a job, but you’re just waiting for the message that spells the end of your term there.

Whatever form it shows up in, this kind of anxiety and waiting taps directly into an underlying fear of rejection.

The natural way to avoid rejection is by not stepping out. But if you’re not stepping out, you’re not going to build that career you really want. You’re going to end up stuck in the same job (or worse, without a job) indefinitely.


The Big Problem with Avoidance

The biggest problem with this, other than having to live with the constant sense of dread, is that it can paralyze you and stop you from going after what you really want.

You end up avoiding every possible scenario when you could be rejected. You avoid selling yourself. You avoid volunteering. You avoid taking a chance and going for it.

In short, you lead a half-life.

You lose your edge.

On some level, you already know this. You’re reading this because you’re ready to “man up.” You’re ready to do whatever it takes to stop feeling this way.

Which is great. I get it. When you’re done with this feeling, you really are done.

So let’s talk about how you move out of this and on to the great things your career has to offer you.


You Need to Kick the Underlying Habit

In order to combat the pattern of rejection and aversion, you need to look inward and start mastering your thoughts. When you avoid being rejected, you just reinforce the notion that you’re safer by not stepping up.

Being rejected is a habit. (Click here to tweet this thought.) It’s something you get addicted to, and you reinforce that dynamic every time you shy away from things you think you’re going to be rejected by.

Even if you push yourself to go for something, you ensure that you’re going to be rejected. How? Because you just don’t have the right air of confidence that instills trust in people. You’re giving off the subconscious vibe of “reject me!”

Luckily, there is a way out.


How to Drop Being Rejected

1.  It starts with awareness. Start to notice where you’re expecting to be rejected. You may see that you feel anxious opening up emails from employers, or you might be dreading receiving stuff in the mail.

2. Acknowledge the feeling. You’re the one feeling these feelings, and you are in control. Feel them, but then allow them to leave by observing them, rather than trying to do something about them.

3. Decide how you would feel if you weren’t afraid of being rejected in that situation. Choose to feel that way instead. Gradually, you will find the anxiety subsides and will be replaced by a quiet confidence.

4. Practice! Dropping the pattern of being rejected doesn’t happen instantly, or over a week or two. It takes practice and awareness. But the payoff is worth it. Imagine you’ve kicked the habit of having people reject you. Wouldn’t that give you the confidence to go and get any job you choose?


The New You Starts Here

You have the capacity to be anything you want to be. If you’re not constantly in fear of being rejected, wouldn’t life be so much easier?

Imagine the energy you could stop wasting on worrying and trying to avoid rejection. Imagine the possibilities that would open up for you — not just in your career, but all areas of your life.

Take a moment right now to imagine what your life would be like if you finally kicked that habit of being rejected…  and then go to work on the process above.

You can do this.

How has fear of rejection gotten in your way? Share with us in the comments!

Image: Flickr