12 good things in life you’re missing out because you fear rejection

by Brendan Brown | February 26, 2024, 11:12 am

Everyone fears rejection to a certain extent. It’s only natural. 

The problem is that if we let that fear overwhelm us, we can end up missing out on things in life. For example, if you’re so afraid of rejection that you don’t ask someone out, you can miss out on a fulfilling relationship with the person of your dreams. 

It’s pretty self-evident that you can miss out on things due to your fear of rejection, and so I’m not going to dwell on that for too long.

Instead, let’s dive straight into the meat of this article and take a look at 12 of the good things in life that you could be missing out on because of your fear of rejection.

1) Finding love

Let’s start with finding love, because that’s the biggie.

Finding love inherently requires you to face your fear of rejection, because there will always be a chance you’ll be rejected. Even if you’re lucky enough to find yourself married or in a long-term relationship, there’s always a chance that your partner will decide to end things.

This possibility of rejection will always be there when it comes to love, and so you’ll have to choose between finding love and risking rejection or giving up on love altogether.

The problem is that if you go with the latter, you’re missing out on one of the best things that life has to offer.

Be brave and take the risk. You deserve to be loved.

2) Making new friends

Making new friends and finding love have a surprising amount in common, though you might not think so to begin with.

That’s because you’re essentially asking people to mesh with your personality, and if they decide they don’t want to spend time with you, it can hurt. It’s similar to dating, though perhaps the rejection doesn’t hurt quite as much.

In some ways, making new friends can be harder than dating, because there’s rarely a formal request where you ask them, “Would you like to be my friend?” This means it can actually be difficult to know whether someone is your friend or not.

But as we said when it comes to love, if you live your life without making friends, you’re missing out on one of the best things that life has to offer.

3) Getting the job of your dreams

We spend a huge amount of time at work, and so if we’re lucky enough to land a job that we love, it can make a huge difference to our lives.

They say that if you work a job that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. The problem is that finding the job of your dreams isn’t always easy, and it requires you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and to face your fear of rejection head on.

Even at the most basic level, you’ll find yourself receiving rejection emails along the way. If your dream is to start your own business, you’ll likely face rejection at numerous points along the way. That’s just the nature of doing business.

The good news is that if you can get past this, the world is your proverbial oyster.

4) Finding a new hobby

Our hobbies are what make us the people we are, and you can tell a lot about someone based upon their hobby.

For example, I have a friend who’s an amateur beekeeper, and I have another one who brews his own wine. I like to read and spend a lot of time writing, and I’m one of the few people I know who’s been able to take their passion and to turn it into an income stream.

Picking up a new hobby can unlock all sorts of opportunities for us in life, but we have to be willing to try different hobbies, even if that triggers our fear of rejection.

For example, I’d been reluctant to go to the gym because I’d thought that people would judge me as a newbie because I didn’t know what I was doing. Now, I love it!

The bottom line is that if you never try these things because of your fear of rejection, you’ll miss out on them.

5) Going to fun events

I can’t count the number of times I’ve turned down an invitation to something and later ended up regretting it.

I suffer from anxiety, and so I often feel anxious either way. If I agree to go, I’m anxious about going, and if I say no, I get anxious about missing out. With experience, I’ve learned that it’s generally best to say yes to things.

If you only ever say no, not only will you miss out on fun events and great chances to socialize, but also you’ll have no idea that they were happening in the first place. People will get sick of you saying no and stop inviting you.

And if your goal is to find love or to make friends, like we talked about earlier, there’s a good chance that this will happen to you at something that you said yes to.

6) Getting a pay rise at work

They say that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

This is true in a lot of areas, but it’s particularly true in the workplace.

Before I went self-employed, throughout my eight years or so working office jobs, I was given four pay rises. Three were because I asked for them and one was because I changed jobs and moved to a company that was willing to pay me what I was worth.

At the risk of being controversial, I have a theory that part of the reason for the wage gap between men and women is that men might be more likely to ask for a pay rise. In other words, men might be more likely to risk rejection.

But of course, that’s just a theory.

7) Exploring new places

This one is a little like what we said about going to fun events or finding a new hobby.

The idea is that if you’re afraid of rejection, you’re going to make a habit of revisiting your regular haunts instead of trying to go somewhere new. When this happens, you know what to expect and there aren’t any surprises, but surprises can also be positive.

If you’re struggling with this one, I find that the best thing to do is to buddy up with someone who can explore those places with you. That takes some of the pressure off you, and if you do get rejected, it’ll be a shared rejection.

And if all else fails and you feel brave enough, go ahead and explore those places on your own.

8) Finding your new favorite food

We all know someone who only ever eats chips and chicken nuggets.

Some people have specific reasons for this. For example, I have an autistic friend who only ever eats the same thing because they only like red foods. Some people have allergies or specific dietary requirements.

When I was vegetarian, I used to eat the same stuff every day, although I broadened my horizons a lot when I went vegan.

Trying out new foods is always a good idea, even though there’s a risk that comes with it. You might not like the food (which is an expensive mistake if you’re at a restaurant). And you risk rejection if you don’t know the unspoken rules around the cuisine you’re trying to eat.

For example, you’ll feel foolish if you’re the only person at the Chinese restaurant who doesn’t know how to use chopsticks.

9) Improving your mental and physical health

If we want to improve our mental and physical health, we need to try new things and reach out to people.

For example, I’ve already talked about how it felt to go to a gym for the first time in 20 years, and while it turned out to be absolutely fine, I worried beforehand that people would know that I was a newbie and laugh at me.

The same kind of feelings can crop up thanks to our fear of rejection when it comes to improving our mental health. We can worry that if we ask for help from friends or reach out to a counseling service, they’ll laugh at us or reject us.

The thing to remember is that your mental and physical health is important. Never let your fear of rejection hold you back.

10) Reconciling with people

Reconciling with people is all about making up over past arguments or disagreements.

Of course, this means that you’re risking rejection due to the very nature of reconciliation. There’s always the risk that you’re going to hold out the olive branch of peace, only for someone to turn around and tell you where to stick it.

I’ve had this happen to me, but I was able to console myself with the fact that I was doing the right thing. Sometimes that’s all you can do.

But the good news is that more often than not, the person you’re trying to reconcile with will respond well to the offer and you’ll both leave a lot happier as a result. After all, no one likes to argue or to be at odds with someone.

11) Starting your own business

We touched upon this earlier when we talked about getting the job of your dreams. Now it’s time for us to take a deeper dive.

When you’re setting up your own business, you open up virtually limitless opportunities for people to reject you. You could get turned down for a loan, your first customers might leave you for a competitor or when you try to hire your first employee, they might change their mind about working for you.

In fact, running a business is basically all about being rejected and coming to terms with that. You need to learn to pick yourself up and get back to it every time you get rejected, and so this isn’t one for the faint of heart.

But if you want to face a true test of your ability to handle rejection, start your own business.

12) Standing up for yourself

People who are afraid of rejection tend to struggle to stand up for themselves.

That’s not good, because we all need to be able to stand up for ourselves. In fact, this inability to stand your ground and fight your corner is the reason why people miss out on a lot of things on this list, most notably getting a pay rise.

You need to stand up for yourself if you want to get paid what you’re worth.

The thing with this one is that it takes a lot of practice to be able to stand up for yourself, but life will throw a lot of curveballs your way and so you’ll need to learn to stand up for yourself to deal with them.

Otherwise, you’re just going to sit at home and be too afraid to go out.

Then you’ll miss out on a whole heap of things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *