Reading time 4 minutes
In my more than two decades of experience launching and running businesses, I have come to recognize that fear is a HUGE obstacle most people never get around to overcoming. Recently, I wrote my first book, The F Word, a content-packed handbook I wrote to help people recognize and get over their fears.
In the book, I take some time to identify the four major types of fears and how to recognize them in your own life. I walk readers through eight intensive exercises where we talk about our hopes and dreams, compare them to our realities then start weeding out the fears that are stifling our growth.
At the end of this week, The F Word will be available for you to download FOR FREE to preview the book before it goes live on Amazon. I encourage you to download this crucial playbook and also to download the supplemental workbook, which will guide you through an even deeper exploration of your fear triggers.
If you’re going to succeed in business, in relationships or in life, you need to conquer fear once and for all. I will teach you the tricks, strategies and techniques I’ve used to smother fear and live a fantastically adventurous life.
Tuesday, I talked about Fear of Success on The Magic of Real Estate blog. Wednesday, I dealt with the Fear of Failure. Thursday was our time to dismantle the Fear of the Unknown. Today, let’s talk about number four in our series of the four major fears – Fear of Rejection.
Fear of rejection
This one is HUGE. The threat of feeling rejected stops people from fulfilling a number of goals. I think more than anything else, people are afraid of being rejected. In the simplest terms, we all want to be loved, accepted and respected. Anytime something comes into our lives that threatens to tamper with our desire to be loved and accepted, we are programmed to automatically reject it.
I remember a scene from the movie 300 where the narrator was chronicling the birth and youth of King Leonidas. There was a moment in the movie where little Baby Leonidas was being inspected for weakness, sickness and disabilities. The narrator explained that babies who were found to have deficiencies were discarded. The scene then cut to a pile of infant skulls, evidence of children who were born with weaknesses and discarded by their parents. It was a truly horrifying moment in the movie.
Like it or not, we are heavily influenced by others’ perceptions of us. We instinctively crave their acceptance because we are social creatures who thrive in environments where we can move, live and work with others. So the fear of rejection is a huge obstacle to overcome for most of us. No, we may not be at risk of being discarded like the babies in Sparta, but we want the social and familial acceptance that comes with living as part of a community.
But we have to keep that instinct in perspective. The truth is our lives are not at stake when our siblings, parents and friends reject our ideas. The fact that they may not appreciate your business idea is not the same thing as them not appreciating you. We don’t live in Sparta and we’re not battling King Xerxes for our freedom. We live in a very different time than our predecessors did back in antiquity. In this part of the world, at this particular time in history, having your own opinion, your own business, and your own vision will not cost you your life. And the reality is those same people who criticize you while you’re in the midst of building your business will be the first to come around and offer their support when your idea works. That’s just the way of the world.
Exercise: What’s the Worst That Could Happen?
Imagine it’s go time. You’ve got an idea that you believe will work and you’ve told a few people about it. And now it’s time to hear their feedback. Play out the worst-case scenario in your mind. Go ahead and spend a few minutes living in the moments where no one supports you, the spouse walks out with the kids and your parents stop taking your calls. It will probably be uncomfortable for you, but it’s better to live it out and experience those negative emotions in their fullness rather than to let those emotions drip drop in your mind every time you have a new idea.
Now that you’ve already lived through the worst, write down what you think will actually happen if you present a business idea and no one in your close circle likes the idea. How close is it to your worst-case scenario? Now think about the absolute best scenario for you. Is reality closer to your dream or your nightmare?