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Overcoming the Fear of Rejection: ‘No’ is Better than Silence.

Rejection is a regular of life. Specifically, it’s a part of every day. There is no way to avoid rejection completely. It’s just not possible. Overcoming the fear of rejection can be difficult, and it can take time to get comfortable with hearing the word ‘no.’ The good news is, once you accept ‘no’ as a necessary and regular occurrence, rejection becomes much easier to handle. Don’t Be Afraid of the Answer Often the problem is we are afraid of the answer. We build the potential rejection up in our minds to a point where we don’t try at all,

Grumpy Cat
Image Credit: Grumpycats.com
Image Credit: Grumpycats.com

Rejection is a regular of life. Specifically, it’s a part of every day. There is no way to avoid rejection completely. It’s just not possible. Overcoming the fear of rejection can be difficult, and it can take time to get comfortable with hearing the word ‘no.’ The good news is, once you accept ‘no’ as a necessary and regular occurrence, rejection becomes much easier to handle.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Answer

Often the problem is we are afraid of the answer. We build the potential rejection up in our minds to a point where we don’t try at all, and therefore take on an immediate ‘no’ outcome. If we’re not careful, this fear of rejection can immobilize us to inaction and failure.

‘No’ is Better than Silence

‘No’ is not failure. The truth is, receiving a ‘no’ answer is better than silence. Why? Because ‘no’ leaves little room for debate. You have your answer, and you can move on to bigger and better things. It wasn’t a ‘yes’ but a ‘yes’ is coming, and that ‘no’ wasn’t it.

Make sense?

So, by being afraid of ‘no’, we are actually closing off the possibility of a YES.

There are only two acceptable outcomes: Yes and no. You have to try until you get to one or the other. Don’t settle for silence because it is not an absolute. You can neither leave the door open or closed because silence puts everything in limbo. ‘No’ is therefore, better than silence.

Overcome Fear and Release the Possibilities

How do you make yourself more open to accepting your fear of the answer? Practice. You have to push yourself to seek the answer while being reminded that this is what you need and want. You want the ‘yes’. The ‘no’ is part of the journey to the ‘YES’.

Here are some practical thoughts I use when I start to prefer silence to an actually answer. Think on each of these points and then take action.

Steps to Overcoming the Fear of Rejection (the answer):

  • Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that could happen?
  • Practice by approaching the ‘low hanging fruit’ (aka scenarios where you’re more likely to receive a ‘yes’ outcome)
  • Anticipate a ‘yes.’
  • Plan for a ‘no.’
  • Once received, use the power of a ‘yes’ to propel yourself forward into more success.

I have to deal with the possibility of ‘no’ every day in my business. I choose to focus on the ‘yes’, and see the ‘no’ as a necessary counterpart to my desired outcome. Overcoming the fear of rejection takes practice.  However, the more you practice, and put yourself in the position to receive an answer instead of silence, the more comfortable you will become with this two-letter word.

Are you comfortable with the word ‘no’? What steps are you taking to overcome the fear of rejection?

Kate Finley

Founder + CEO of Belle
Currently thriving in Puerto Rico

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