How to Deal With the Fear of Rejection

If you focus too much on what you have to do to get what you want, you tend to attract your doubts and fears, especially the fear of rejection.

Are you afraid of being rejected?

When we do something new, different and challenging that forces us outside the safety of our comfort zone, our amygdala or reptilian brain goes on red alert. The voice of the reptilian brain says things like:

“Who do you think you are?”

“You’re not smart enough, slim enough, outgoing enough, pretty enough.”

Fear of Criticism and Rejection

Fear of criticism and rejection is programmed into our amygdala. Thousands of years ago, when we were living in tribal groups, we did not survive if we were cast out of the tribe.

This is why fear of criticism and rejection can prevent us from sharing our work with the world today.

When I was first thinking about my website, I felt terrified about putting myself out there. The fear dissipated when I talked about it with friends who supported me.

How do you feel about sharing your work with the world?

Are you afraid of being criticised or rejected?

Stress and Fear

When we are afraid, our bodies release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin.

Stress disrupts the body’s metabolism causing elevated blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and increased body fat levels due to increased appetite.

Stress stimulates cravings for sweets and salty, high carbohydrate snacks.

Stress makes you burn fewer calories and cortisol can reduce the body’s ability to release fat from its fat stores to use for energy.

Stress hormones cause increased body fat in the abdominal region, just where we don’t want it.


Routine daily stress shuts down the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for decision making, correcting errors and assessing situations.

– Dr Deepak Chopra and Rudolph E. Tanzi 

I can’t think clearly when I’m feeling stressed, can you?



These strategies will help you move past the fear of rejection, so you feel more confident showing up in the world and sharing your work.

#1 Mindfulness Breathing Exercise

Do this mindfulness breathing exercise for 5 minutes daily to reduce stress and calm your mind. Breathe in to the count of 7, hold for 7 and breathe out for 7 seconds. Do this exercise anytime you feel stressed.


#2 Schedule Time to Recharge Each Day

schedule time to recharge each day

#3 Focus on Your Future Not Your Past

We are human and we make mistakes. Acknowledge them, learn from them and move on. Focus on what you want to create in your future, not on what could have been. Do not look back on painful memories because each time you do, you strengthen their neural network in your brain. You are not your past and someone else’s opinion of you does not define you, unless you allow it.

#4 Make Leisure Time a Priority

I was brought up on the idea that I should be working, studying or doing something productive rather than enjoying myself. This is the puritan ethic that made thousands of people unhappy in the past.

Maureen P. Price scuba diving at Cod Hole, Lizard Island

Photo Credit: Laurie aka Ocean Man. Maureen diving with giant potato cod at the Cod Hole, Lizard Island.

We now know we are more productive when we have taken some time out to enjoy ourselves.

Many writers, entrepreneurs and creative people say their creative ideas came when they were engaged in an activity they enjoyed, like walking.

I find ideas come to me when I am walking in nature or driving a long distance.

#5 Unplug and Recharge in Nature

Take one day a week to completely unplug from your computers, devices and mobile phones and recharge in nature.

#6 Make Friends With Like-Minded People

Make friends with like-minded people and build your support network with friends who share the same values and interests and who believe in you, encourage you and support you. Don’t waste time with people who are critical, judgemental and toxic.


don't be distracted by criticism

I’m off to swim in my favourite rainforest creek to recharge now.

How do you feel about sharing your work with the world?

Do you have a fear of rejection?


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