So what is it about this fear that makes it so significant? Well lets take a look at some of the elements that this fear is associated with:
1. The Fear of Being Judged:
This fear operates under the premise that we are somehow the centre of the objective universe and everyone elses life revolves around what we do. Think of how absurd this fear really is!! We're afraid of someone having a negative thought about us!! How silly is that? How can a negative thought cause us any harm? Exactly, it can't.
So how do we overcome this fear? Simple, by realising that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we will never be able to control what people think of us, all we can do is our best and if they don't like it, that's their problem, not ours.
2. The Fear of Being Criticised:
This is another one that I've struggled with many a time in my life. I think the reason we struggle with this one is because we somehow allow the criticism to threaten our overall sense of self worth, and I think that comes primarily from a lack of self respect. That's definitely how it has seemed to be for me anyway.
So how do we overcome this fear?
By seeing criticism as an opportunity to improve and then using it to our advantage by looking at it objectively. Once you take yourself out of the equation, you'll be able to assess the criticism much more clearly and then decide if it is relevant or not.
And, we can also learn to respect ourselves and our values by becoming aware of our admirable qualities, which we will find we have many of, if we look for them. You can also remember any times you have been complimented for your attitude or character and use those compliments to validate and respect yourself too.
3. The Fear of Being Ridiculed:
We don't want to be ridiculed by others because it directly threatens our ego, and our ego only ever wants to be taken seriously. Well I think what we need to do here is lighten up and realise that our egos are not who we are, they are just a defense mechanism that we use to psychologically protect ourselves from perceived threats, but those threats are almost always illusions. And they only ever seem to threaten us when we take ourselves too seriously.
So how do we overcome this one? By learning to not take ourselves too seriously. And to realise that if someone is ridiculing us, it is just an opinion, nothing more. It's not a fact, so let it go. Opinions are just a mode of expression, and they are never absolute. They are just perceptions.
So why do we have any of these fears if they seem so illogical and ridiculous? Because human beings are emotional creatures that think they are logical creatures. Think about it; the need for logic itself is an emotional need, a need to prove, a need to analyse, a need to be right, a need to be validated for being right. This validation ties in with our sense of self worth, and our need for an adequate sense self worth is an emotional need that is in someway contributed to by logic, but that very same logic also tends to fail us where we need it most: our emotions.
And at the end of the day fear is just that: an emotion. And the fear of rejection is an emotion based on the fear of abandonment, which is a fear we adopted when we were young and reliant on our parents and carers for survival. But that fear is no longer required as we are now self sufficient.
Oh isn't it funny how the mind works?