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How to Improve Self Confidence, Self Esteem and Overcome Fear of Rejection (part 2)

Updated on September 4, 2012

How to Build Self Confidence Overcome the Fear of Rejection

Self-confidence is often eroded by the fear of rejection. Such fear immobilizes people, by preventing them from making something out of their lives.

All of us have a need to be loved, cherished and protected as we are social creatures. Our self-confidence takes a beating when these basic need is not met, often leaves people with a feeling that their very existence is threatened, causing them to be filled with a sense of hopeless.

For most people, rejection means that they are no good, unlovable, causing their self-esteem/ self confidence to shrink into nothingness. The truth is that boundaries between self and others are blurred, and this leads to distortion in perception of self and autonomy. We, as individuals, crave for attention, happiness and wealth, and most of the time these three things are tied up together in our wish lists.

Build Your self-Confidence


Factors that limit Self-Confidence

Can self-confidence be dependent on others? To answer this question, we need to understand from where this need arises. We have the innate need to be loved and accepted from the moment we are born as helpless babies. We need others to look after us and protect us, but this continues even as we grow up and establish ourselves in the world. Children are constantly looking for approval from parents. Teens are looking for approval from peers and members of the opposite sex. Grown-ups are looking for approval from their superiors, peers, and also from the society at large.

There is a constant need for approval in every human being. When we tie our happiness to approval from others or success or wealth, we have already set the limits on our happiness, satisfaction or capabilities. We limit ourselves to the expectations and opinions of others. We are constrained to work within these set parameters to achieve our goals. The truth is that we need neither approval, nor success nor wealth to be truly happy.

Abraham Maslow places self-actualization on the highest rung in the hierarchy of needs. The two aspects of self-actualization are independence of culture and environment. To put it simply, this means that self-actualized individuals are not dependent on the world or the people or the culture to be satisfied. In other words, a self-actualized person has his locus of control within himself and not beyond. This self-confident person does not require approval from society, peers or superiors, but makes decisions independently based on his/her own rational thinking and his/her value system.

Overcome Low Self-Esteem


Improving Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

When an individual gives too much importance to what others say or feel about them, they automatically devalue their self-worth. Such individuals have programmed their mind into thinking that they are worthless and that their ideas or opinions are worth nothing, while other people and their ideas are the only ones worth considering. When having such a program in their mind, it only works towards undermining their self-confidence and levels of productivity. This kind of negative thinking process does not allow for any positive outcome. They set themselves up for failure and unhappiness.

Individuals with low self-esteem/ self-confidence may often aspire to be someone else; they dress up, speak like and identify with people or personalities whom they consider to be successful, happy or popular. These individuals actually deny or disparage their own existence by trying to be people they are not and never will be.

People with low self-confidence conforming to what others expect of them because they want their approval. Their lives are lived based on the desires or aspirations of parents or partners or even friends. Sometimes, people take it to such a level that they try to gain the approval of even people who are dead – living by "what would mother or father have to say about this?"…etc.

Understand Fear of Rejection Improve Self-Confidence

  • People who seek approval and live in fear of rejection, they hardly exercise a will of their own. They are rarely able to decide what they want for themselves. Their whole lives are sacrificed at the altar of pleasing people.
  • People who harbor fear of rejection have a very high need for approval and are often non-assertive. They tend to take up more than their share of work and end up doing everyone’s work. They become everyone’s messenger boy or errand boy.
  • Most newspapers the world over carry news of suicides or attempted suicides every day. An important cause for such drastic action is a real or imagined loss, like the breakup of a romantic relationship, rejection by friends, loss of self-esteem or extreme hopelessness.
  • Fear of rejection, and need for approval also leads to various problems like anxiety, phobias, problems in relationships, dysfunctional family relationships, non-assertiveness, low self–esteem, depression, substance abuse etc. which could undermine the emotional health and physical health of the person.
  • Life is a constant chain of adjustment with the real world around us, the people we live with, our desires and aspirations and - through it all-evolving our own personal identity and self-confidence.


How to Improve Self-Confidence?

To increase self-confidence you need to understand your behavior.

Why do you do the things you do?

Do you do what others expect you to do most of the time?

Do you focus a lot on impressing others, more than being comfortable yourself?

Is being popular important to you?

Do all your plans have to get the nod of approval from others before you put them into action?

Do you decide based on your rational thinking, beliefs and value system or based on what your friends or significant other want you to do?

Is handling negative feedback or criticism very difficult and emotionally disturbing for you?

How to Improve Self-Confidence and overcome fear of rejection

If most of the answers are in the positive, you need to reconsider your system of thinking.

  • It is important to understand that when a person rejects your ideas, it just means that the person does not subscribe to your views; to take that as rejection of self is personalizing another person’s opinion.
  • Secondly, not everyone is going to celebrate you; as you don’t celebrate everyone. Find a place where you are valued and work in that environment.
  • You need to understand that your life is your responsibility, and you need to be happy and fulfilled. You need to make your own decisions and stick by them.
  • Stop worrying about what others think; they have their own lives to lead.
  • It is okay to be who you are and enjoy yourself.
  • The opinions of others has a place, but you need to set your boundaries right. What they think is their business, as it is based on their understanding of life.
  • Your autonomous decision-based facts, your value systems and your priorities would not only motivate you to achieve more but will help you evolve as a healthy independent individual.
  • Take up projects which are in tune with your values and beliefs and where you passion lies. This way is a great way to keep your focus on the task and overcome the fear of rejection and fear of failure. As you experience success, your confidence will increase.
  • Learn to be assertive. It helps you express yourself clearly.
  • Balance your life, adopt a win-win formula in relationships with others, a natural give and take will bring back the balance and cause healthy relationships to blossom.
  • Learn to validate yourself, use positive affirmation or power affirmations or positive thoughts and statements frequently.
  • Never give up on yourself; you need to believe in yourself at all times! You will be soon be looking at yourself in a different light.


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    • dhimanreena profile image

      Reena Dhiman 3 years ago

      Thanks for these wonderful ideas. I got some confidence and power to overcome rejection fears after reading your hub.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 5 years ago

      Nupur, Thanks, I am glad you found this useful.

    • profile image

      nupur 5 years ago

      thanks for these great ideas. self confidence is to have confidence whatever you sometimes brings your confidence level to the lowest level when your familier & frnds does not support what u wanna i usually takes help from books & such good ideas.....i like it

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 5 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. Building your self-esteem is all about believing in yourself and really has nothing much to do with others. Appreciate the comment.

    • jeresteem99 profile image

      jeresteem99 5 years ago

      Thanks for the self-confidence ideas. It is really important that people know self-confidence is a skill that can be learnt. Finding the right strategy for each person is important and yes! persistence brings results. Never give up the search.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Kelleyward, Thanks for the comment and votes. Rejection is one of the major confidence breakers and you are spot on with your observation that high self-esteem is important for a happy life. Have a wonderful day! God Bless!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 6 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this article on self-esteem. I think it is so important to have a healthy self-esteem in order to fully enjoy life. Voted up and useful!

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      AM Lehrer, thanks for that natty summary. self confidence is also about not doubting yourself and being your very best friend. Thanks for the read and the comment. I appreciate this greatly :)

    • A M Lehrer profile image

      A M Lehrer 6 years ago from Southern United States

      Excellent! We should not be so worried what others think, SELF confidence comes from believing in yourself. Knowing yourself, finding that talent, mastering something you are good at, feeling good about yourself, etc. Thanks for the well written hub!

    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 6 years ago from Oakland, California

      You are most welcome.Thanks to you for the interesting hub!

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Alladream.. thanks again.. I truly appreciate the bookmarking :) God Bless :) Hope to read some of your work soon :)

    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 6 years ago from Oakland, California

      Very useful information. Marked so.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      Yes, you need to have faith in your abilities, do not doubt yourself, take responsibility for yourself, enjoy what you do and use positive affirmation to validate your ability and beliefs. Yes do not give too much importance to the negative views of others, that would help you become more self confident.

      Thank you Kasiapl, for the visit and the comment, I do appreciate it!

    • kasiapl profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from New Jersey , USA

      Great article :) it's true that you have to put your needs first and be true to your self. Don't follow the crowd but do what is best for you. People always have different views but be you and have faith and be positive and good things will always happen :)

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      Angela Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Glad it helped you.. hope that you will be able to put it to use .. You just have to be patient with yourself and keep trying, never give up ..believe in yourself!!

      Best wishes to you and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!!

    • Angela Nielsen profile image

      Angela Nielsen 7 years ago

      Thanks sofs very inspiring article. I learned a lot from it.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      Nclark, I just left you a fan mail, I had not read your comment then. You are already on the road to getting what you want. Self esteem and confidence comes from inside of you, nothing from outside can undermine it including MS. Just make up your mind today that you are a fighter and you will see that it is not just your self esteem that grows but even MS may have to take the back seat.

      I know this from experience, not exactly MS but something almost crippling. Best wishes to you and God Bless!! Keep in touch!!

    • nclark140 profile image

      nclark140 7 years ago from Deep Dirty South

      sofs you are offering potentially life enhancing advice here. Great Job. Over the years, I have battled with self esteem issues. The multiple sclerosis I have just came along and aggravated scars that were already there. But I must say my self esteem has come along way. MS tends to put things in perspective for me. Writing has become an outlet. This too shall pass. Great job.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      TroyM thank you for stopping by and posting your thoughts here, yes we need to make the best of our human frailties. We need to overcome them and allow ourselves to perform to our potential. Though it would always be good to take support from friends and well wishers it would not be be very wise to become dependent on anyone for increasing your self worth or self esteem. Thank you once again for adding value to the hub.

    • TroyM profile image

      TroyM 7 years ago

      Sharing your feelings / thoughts with close friends helps. We all need to make the best of our human frailties :)

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      Hi Js You just have to begin somewhere, can I help you start.. decide today that you are worth it, write about positive your qualities, keep telling yourself that you are good in each area and focus on them and keep making the list longer as you discover more soon you will be looking at yourself in a different light.

      Need more help, don't hesitate to get in touch... God bless!

    • profile image

      js 7 years ago

      There is so much information out there about how to regain self confidence - what is the best? I don't know where to begin.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      Hi sarah, I am really glad that you found this helpful. I like that attitude, you really ought to be sick and tired of fighting against yourself, You need to be your best friend. Yeah I can see that you are taking the right route, you need to stop the negative thinking and change them to positive ones. You are right Life is too beautiful to be wasted.

      Please do feel free to contact if you need further help, click on the contact and I can get in touch with you.

      There are other related articles that I have written which could help you along the way..on positive attitude at work, change your thought, change your life etc..

      If you need me to write on anything specific , please feel free to say so..

      My best wishes to you and God Bless!!

      Keep the positive affirmations going.

    • profile image

      Sarah 7 years ago

      This has been very helpful to me today. I caught myself multiple times today doing the self-negative talk, and stopped it. focused on the task at hand. caught myself thinking of what others are thinking of me and caught myself immediately and stopped it. I will look for the "program your mind for success". I am sick and tired of the negative talk track in my head, and ready to stop it and turn it around. life is too beautiful to waste like that. Thanks for the support.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      Sarah, I am glad that you found this helpful, yes it is like exercise or eating right. This also needs a certain amount of self discipline and self control, you need to check those thoughts that are negative and replace them with positive ones. This has been explained in the hub 'Program your mind for success' this is a technique that needs practice.

      Thank you Sarah for expressing your views. God blesss you.

    • profile image

      Sarah 7 years ago

      This is very helpful, but I find this very similar to exercise and eating healthy. we all know what to do, but we don't do it. This seems the same for me. I know I should stop the negative thinking, focus on just my tasks, not compare my performance to others, but I don't seem to figure out to do it consistently. as such, my esteem goes up with my successes, and goes down with the failures, and when i get into what i view as failures, it's hard to get back up, to achieve another win that will get me back to my highs. How can one do it consistently? no matter the amount of fearful tasks ahead.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      Simple Yes, Just needs a little self discipline to put it into practice!! Thank you Milenaamr, for the stopping by and letting me know that you have been here, I do appreciate your comment!

    • milenaamr profile image

      milenaamr 7 years ago

      Great hub. There are so simple rule to understand and leave happy with our self but we don't always realize that. Thanks for the article.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      No one is perfect, don't compare yourself with anyone. You always add value to my hubs.

      Thank you Embee, It means a lot to me to hear your views on these subjects that I write!

    • embee77 profile image

      embee77 7 years ago

      Wow, does this hit home! Until recently I always felt inadequate in comparison to others in my various jobs, even though I was actually pretty good at what I did. No, I was not perfect by any means. Neither was anyone else! But my own perfectionism turned into constant negative self-talk (ants - automatic negative thoughts). I've written about my journey with "self unsteem" in my own hubs. It's great to find someone like you who is such a natural at putting together all the relevant information to help people with these difficult problems.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      Paradise, it is wonderful to know that you have enough faith in yourself, but many others like your sister have a problem in this area. More than believing that the bad times will pass away it is important to believe that you can see yourself through any difficulty.

      All it takes for people with low self esteem or low self confidence is to place a little more faith in self. With a just a little help and motivation they can get back living a hope filled and full life.

      Thank you Paradise for sharing one more tip to overcoming this problem, just finding a program or a getting professional help will take them through!

      God bless!!

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      Joy indeed to have you comment on my hubs. That is the message- Getting up your self esteem is easy. People just have to put their mind to it! Self confidence is all about placing a little more faith in self, not a great deal to ask but still somehow some people have such hard time doing this because they are listening more to others than themselves. Thank you Joy, for stopping by and saying what you say.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Excellent hub, good advice. For some reason, I never suffered very much from low self-esteem, though my sister did (does). Even when going through some very rough times, I always had the confidence that the bad times were temporary and something better was in store; and that I had the power to improve matters for myself.

      My poor sister, on the other hand, seemed to find the worst men in the world, then become his slave. It was gruesome. She didn't seem to have any confidence in herself, at all!! I worked and worked and worked on getting her to think well of herself. It seems to me, it wasn't anything I said or did, but she found a program and a group of people that had problems similar to hers, then, she found herself.

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 7 years ago

      hi this was very well put together, and makes lots of sense, it can be done, even if it takes a while to gain confidence, that has been lost.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      Tatto Guy Sorry about what happened to you, yes, self esteem does take a beating but when major upheavals like that happen. It happens to everyone, but the real deal is to be able to get up and get going. Believe in yourself at all times, the word confidence means not doubting... So don't doubt yourself as a person, or your abilities.. My very best wishes and would like to see and read more of yours hubs on SEO and backlinking . I truly appreciate this sharing!!

    • profile image

      TattoGuy 7 years ago

      I am enjoying your self esteem hubs Sofs, mine got low after my seperation but I am getting it back, I liked this line a lot "Never give up on yourself; you need to believe in your self at all times!", great hub !

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 7 years ago

      I fully agree with you Kerrie, you can have good grades but if you have no self esteem you could be a Zero not a Hero. Thank you for stopping by and adding value to this page. I do appreciate this!! God bless!!

    • Kerrie Lynskey profile image

      Kerrie Lynskey 7 years ago from London

      I enjoyed reading your article. I agree, self-esteem is so important, especially in my job as a teacher. I think it's much more important than good grades


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