How do you cope with the fear of rejection?

14 replies


Rejection is only a 'not yet', it is not final. Rejection is an opportunity to realize that something better suited for us is waiting in the future, so focus efforts on achieving it. I listened to a TedTalk, it could help you too. Google this - "What I learned from 100 days of rejection | Jia Jiang | May 2015" All the best Roy.
Edward G
@gogloballakshmi Second the suggestion for Jia Jiang's Ted Talk!
@roy_outgrow I published on GumRoad, a collection to TedTalks to help with mental health of founders and creators. Its free, check it out if you like -
Surender Singh
After a few of them, one develops internal mechanism to cope. The only way to get past rejections is to face them head-on and keep your head high and understand that you are one step closer to a yes. Every successful person has faced rejection at one point or the other. All of us are ducks that look calm on the surface but paddling furiously inside the water. It's a part of the game.
Ruben Wolff
Easier said than done, but ignore this fear. If you don't try you can't know. Try to appreciate the rush of adrenaline instead
Wael Khattar
The hard part is those first few, after that you'll realize there's nothing to be afraid of. Rejection is part of the process and it's actually a healthy one if you learn from it. Every rejection is an opportunity to learn more about your customers/investors/partners, what they're looking for and how you can deliver better. Also keep in mind that a rejection is never final, if they are looking for something else and deliver that, they might change their mind. A company that builds what their customers want is usually loved by those clients.
Lalit Tyagi
Rejection is part of each and every one life. Fear is not the solutions fo it. Just embrace it. Watch movie and enjoy and go for next rejection. Its okay if someone saying no to you. Don't take to much on heart.
Alexander Moen
I like a lot of the responses here already about just getting through it. So, to add a little bit onto that, I'd recommend the steps to forming a habit by Charles Duhigg and his book "The Power of Habit." First, I'll start with my little mental trick of how to think about this. Don't judge the quality of your actions by the outcome. To use a sports analogy, if someone takes a horrible shot and it goes in at the buzzer, sure, that's great, but that player got lucky and needs to make better decisions or they will lose more often in the long run. Similarly, if that person took an easy shot and happened to miss (because nothing is 100%), then they shouldn't be down on themselves either. They took the action that had the best chance of success. So, whatever you are afraid of being rejected by, you need to not look at the end result as determining whether your action was successful or not. If you did the action properly/as intended, it's something to celebrate. Next, think about the proper actions you need to take, and how to form a habit around those. In the book mentioned above, there are 4 steps: cue, craving, response, reward. Response is generally the action you want to take. But, the cue is the mental or physical thing that starts the process. Let's start with the hypothetical situation of pitching your product to someone and you're afraid they'll say no. Well, maybe your cue is that at a certain time each day, you're going to start calling, emailing, or whatever. Or, maybe it's when you realize you're talking to someone in your target audience in the real world that you're going to try to pitch your product. It doesn't matter what the cue is, just determine what thing will kick start you toward your desired action and commit to doing it every time. Craving, step 2, is an internal feeling you want to tie this to. Maybe it's thinking about your progress in building your company, or checking a box on your to-do list, or simply smiling and feeling happy. It doesn't really matter what it is, so long as there is a feeling of some sort that is consistently tied to the cue. For instance, whenever I see a sale come into my email (cue) I clench my fist and do an arm pump and say in my head "yes! Thank you so and so, we're going to do right by you" and have a smile on my face (craving). It sounds dumb, but it works for me and puts me in the right frame of mind that I'm thankful for the customer and need to do right by them and not take things for granted, and kickstarts the onboarding and fulfillment processes for me. The 3rd step again, is the habit/action you want to develop. The 4th step, reward, is what you do at the very end. This is the satisfying of the craving that you built up. This should be tied to some deeper meaning that you're working toward. It can be something like eating food or drinking water, or tied to a monetary or fame sort of goal, or something else. Think of the whole process like this: cue is what starts your action, craving is some feeling that pushes you toward the action and reward, then comes the actual action itself, then reward is something meaningful and felt to you so that your brain wants to do it again. Do this a handful of times, and whatever you are doing will eventually become a habit. When something is a habit, you cease to think about it in the same way and you cease to be fearful of it. Your brain will actually begin optimizing for that habit so that you DON'T consciously think about it anymore. And, fear simply doesn't exist outside of your consciousness. It's the anticipated fear of some unknown. But, you will have done the steps so often that whatever your habit was is completely known, good parts and bad. Hopefully that was helpful.
Ingo Rauth
One thing I found really inspiring is the idea of "rejection therapy" the basic idea is that you purposefully engage in situations in which you get reject to tame your emotional response. Watch the following, very entertaining TED talk if you are interested:
This links to what @alexander_moen wrote in terms of separating actions from outcome. We often falsely attribute our own worth to the judgement of the action we undertake - thanks to our parents ;) So experiencing that we will "survive" even when the feedback is bad is the firs step.
Miriam Dorsett
Start rejection therapy. Rejection is a good thing. Strive for it.
Rick Turoczy
I always try and approach it as objectively as I can. "No" is just a metric the same way "Yes" is. The added benefit of "no" is that it's often easier to gain beneficial insights as to why someone said "no" than it is to determine why they said "yes."
Abel G. weldu
By detaching myself from my ideas.
Nurlan Nurmanov
Take it easy, there are might be other reasons, not because of you.