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When you feel rejected, it can be a painful experience.

In fact it’s considered one of the most painful experiences we encounter as human beings. Research shows that experiencing social rejection fires up the same neural pathways as physical pain. Who knew? Well probably those of us who are extremely sensitive to rejection.

And for those who are extremely sensitive in can also feel like a signal that they’re not good enough. We don’t talk about the fear of being rejected very much because it can be as painful an experience as feeling abandoned. And very likely comes from the same place, usually connected to the initial relationships we had with our caretakers.

I know this was true for me…by the time I was five I had acquired the feeling of being abandoned. Maybe because for the first four years of my life my father was away in the Royal Air Force and my mother siblings and I lived with my grandparents.

And one day, seemingly out of the blue as far as I was concerned, this man, who I hardly knew arrived on the scene, and we moved away from the only home I’d ever known to live with this stranger who it appeared had not only taken away my original caretakers but to some degree my mum too. She had a husband to take care of, as well as her children, which is easily understood from the perspective of an adult, but not so much from that of a four year old.

Regardless of the whys and wherefores. Fear of being rejected is one of the most limiting beliefs we can have because it prevents us from doing so many simple things like asking for help when you need it, asking someone to go out with you, or asking for a raise…because what if….horrors of horror someone says ‘NO.’

You wouldn’t want to put yourself in that position on purpose, regardless of the possible rewards. The fear of that pain is greater than any pleasure that might be the end result of being willing to ask and hear that dreaded word.

You can see how this would get in the way of you living your best life possible.

You might be yearning for something, but the fear that going after it will end in you being rejected, and be the trigger for the belief that there’s something deeply wrong with you stops you in your tracks. And you’re back to feeling that you’re just not good enough. That there’s probably something really wrong with you.


There’s nothing wrong with you. Your are awesome, not perfect, but still awesome and I’m calling bullshit on this fear right now and am offering you a different perspective.

(Discover more ways to manage your fears…click here)

1. So what if you’re told no!

You asked for something. And the response was “no”.  So flipping what?  Why would this hurt you so much? And believe me, I know that it does…I’ve felt it myself.

It hurts because it reminds us that we actually don’t believe we were worthy of getting what we wanted.  This, dear ones, is a truly ugly and undeserving truth.

Turn it around, use these powerful emotions as fuel to inspire you to open the next chapter of your life story.

2. That’s all well and good…but

I still didn’t get what I wanted.

Sometimes we are so focused on how we’ll get something, or who can bring it into our lives that we entirely miss the point.  It’s our state of consciousness that determines what flows into or out of our life.

Other people and events are just the conduits through which our desires flow, and the fact that one person said “No” doesn’t mean that you’ll never get what you truly want.  Because every desire we have is ultimately about being happy and maybe the happiness in store for you is even greater than what you were asking for.

Stop making other people responsible for what comes into your life and you’ll discover that your feeling of being rejected starts to lose it’s power.

3. Give up end of the world thinking

Even if it feels like the end of the world is nigh when someone says “No” or doesn’t respond at all, or events conspire against us.  It really isn’t and they don’t.

Yet by rehashing things over and over in our minds we can easily magnify our irrational fear of outcomes. And by so doing put our happiness in the hands of external stimuli.

Remember that no-one and no-thing has the ability to create discontent and frustration within us. We manage that very nicely by ourselves!

One thing is for certain, if you give too much power to someone or something other than yourself, you become their prisoner.

 So never allow anything outside of you to steal your joy of life.

(Learn more strategies for living joyfully…click here)

4. Fear of being rejected depends solely on one thing

Most of the time we definitely don’t need the naysayers or those who reject us to mess up our life.  We do a pretty good job of it for ourselves.

Ever noticed how often people tell you how they don’t want to feel and what they don’t want to happen?  But at some point we need to put our attention on what we do want to feel, and what we do want to happen.

Whether you get what you want or not, whether you climb that highest mountain or not, at the very least you deserve a life of happiness.

And if you were naturally happy from within, then being rejected would hardly matter. 

That’s the shift that needs to happen to stop allowing rejection to get the best of you.

And here’s something I read about recently that sounds incredibly helpful. The 30 day challenge is a game designed by Canadian entrepreneur James Comely.

James wanted to “break the tyranny of social anxiety” by designing a real life game with just one rule. You have to be rejected by one person at least once every day. Like asking a stranger for a free ride (oh no!) or ask for a discount when buying something. You succeed by being denied – the game is designed to build resilience against rejection.

If you’re interested in more of the game you can find it by clicking this link.

5. Check your tendencies

Because the very thing we fear is often the thing we experience, look carefully at your expectations and beliefs.

Sometimes we get fixated on the ideas that certain people will reject us so we become defensive beforehand, to protect ourselves from what we fear.

But all you’re doing is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy which, eventually brings about the feared rejection, that might never have been there in the first place.  And then of course you get to believe you were ‘right’ all along.


When you feel rejected its far too easy to assume that it’s YOU that’s being rejected. Your character, your values, your very being.

Take a look at how this might be working in your life and how your reactions and fears might be influencing your behavior. And then take a stand and practice rejecting your beliefs.  Notice I said your beliefs, not YOU.

(Discover beliefs that always hold you back…click here)

Final thoughts

Bear in mind that the whole Universe is set up on the premise that you deserve to live an incredibly beautiful and happy life. And it wants to give it to you. So are you ready to say yes?

Remember: When you say yes to life, it says yes right back.

This is going to be so brilliant. Fear of rejection?  What rejection?

Encourage one another.

Love Elle



Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Hi Elle,

    Great points here. Focusing on the wrong thing does conjure up a lot of fear.

    I’ve notice what you mention with a lot of people, spending a lot of time taking about what they don’t want. When it comes down to it people so aware of what they don’t want, yet they’re speechless when it comes to what they do want. When you ask they actually have to take time to think about it.

    You can always be aware of potential obstacles but you can’t allow them to be your main focus.


    • Hi Lea…you are so right…it’s much harder for many to be able to say what it is they want in life. No wonder so many have a hard time living happily. And as you say what we desire in life needs to be our main focus. 🙂

  2. I felt rejected by my co workers. I am 41 and they are much younger, like 16,19,30 and I really felt the age gap. I have my own family and they are still single, so my perspectives are different. I could not take any more wrongdoings from their side because I felt rejected and I left work. I walked away intentionally. Does that mean I am weak?

    • Hi Claudia…I’m so sorry for your unhappy experience with your co-workers.

      You ask if you’re weak because you chose to walk away. Not in my book! There are times in life when we have to say enough is enough and it’s no longer acceptable to be in toxic situations. I wish you every good luck for your future. 🙂

  3. I hadn’t thought about rejection from this perspective, how the fear of it keeps us from doing something new or different. Rejection can be so painful for many of us, but I think you are right. Often it’s not about us, it’s about the process the other person needs to go through. And if we believe in ourselves, it’s much harder to feel rejected! Great post, Elle.

    • Hi Sandra…self belief makes life so much better all around doesn’t it? Thank you for your kind words, they are much appreciated. 🙂

  4. Great tips here Elle. I know when I have felt rejected in the past, I’ve wanted to give up. However, I have found that it isn’t helpful to let the opinions of others dictate what I’m going to do. Fear, as you say, can get in the way. This is so true, “Sometimes we get fixated on the ideas that certain people will reject us so we become defensive beforehand, to protect ourselves from what we fear.”

    I have learned through time however,, to not let rejection get me down if there is something I really want to do, I just go for it. Thank you for a great post!

    • Hi Cathy…glad you no longer let rejection get to you. It’s not always easy to do so big hugs to you. 🙂

  5. I like your tip #3: give up the end of the world thinking.

    The ego loves to dramatise things. It’s important not to let the ego take charge by telling us to give our power away. Let’s not make our lives a soap opera!

    • I like your perspective Evelyn. Life as a soap opera lol…hmmm…I can think of some I know who live pretty much like that! 🙂

  6. Our brains have an innate desire to be included, to be part of the group, for safety reasons. At one time, being rejected could have meant not enough food or no shelter, and it was a matter of life or death to your brain. Now, it’s not.

    Good suggestions for adjusting our thinking accordingly.

  7. I love your perspective in this post Elle. Rejection can create a sense of havoc within the kind that isnt good for us. Thats why I do so love all your tips. More power to me and less power to fear 🙂
    xoxo, Z~

  8. I love how the “so what….” prefix works for so many situations in life. It is when we ask this that we actually realize that everything is temporary and can be overcome. Of course, feeling rejected is never easy to deal with, but I love your list of ways to deal with it!

    • So true Vidya…it somehow frees us from our mind constantly wanting to go over and over the things that trouble us. 🙂

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