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Understanding Human Motivation: Fear of Rejection

Understanding Human Motivation: Fear of Rejection

Understanding Human Motivation: Fear of Rejection

All human behaviour is motivated by various combinations of desire, fear and anger.

This blog focuses on a particular fear that motivates many people: The fear of rejection.

Many people don't attempt to achieve their goals because of the fear of rejection they may suffer, if they were to try, but fail.

So, they don't even try.

Why is the fear of rejection so strong in some people?

The fear of rejection is strong because humans are social animals, which means we survive in groups, not as individuals.

For millions of years of our evolutionary history, if any individual were rejected - banished and expelled from the family or group, forced to try to survive alone - then that would amount to a virtual death sentence.

Consequently, we have evolved to be acutely sensitive of our position within our family, or social group.

Subconsciously we feel that acceptance from the family, or group, is essential - rejection may mean danger and even death.

This leads to people being afraid to do things that could result in rejection: Salespeople don't make sales calls, people don't enter competitions they would like to win, nor submit applications for jobs they would like to do, all because of the fear of rejection.

On the other hand, some people will do almost anything, however weird or unlawful, in order to gain the acceptance of the gang or "The Family", which is why some "good kids" do bad things.

Overcoming the Fear of Rejection

Fortunately, humans are equipped with an advanced brain which allows them to override primitive instincts motivated by primitive emotions such as fear, anger and desire.

We can use our logical reason to override the irrational fears of rejection, because humans are no longer operating in a context of hunter-gathers surviving in small groups of individuals.

We live in communities of millions and so, you don't need to court the favours of any particular gang or family.

You can live life on your own terms.

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Further Reading in Motivation

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  • Goal Setting for Better Motivation
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