Overcoming 10 Common Leadership Fears


Audio # 8 - The Fear of Rejection

Leadership Fear of Rejection

Does our fear of rejection stand in the way of teamwork?

Leaders who have the Fear of Rejection confuse the rejection of their idea with the rejection of them as a person. The Fear of Rejection is really the enemy of acceptance and teamwork.

If you are a business leader who is a Christian, rejection has no power over you. It cannot change your true identity in Christ (Ephesians 2:10, Romans 8:1).

What Are The Telltale Behaviors That Identify The Fear of Rejection In Your Leadership?

  1. Being quick to place the blame on others but not yourself.
  2. Taking credit for every good idea.
  3. Distancing yourself from projects with signs of risk or problems.

The Fear of Rejection causes you to hold tight and fight for your opinions.

The Spirit of Teamwork allows you to give what you cannot keep to receive what you cannot lose.

Why A Mistaken Identity Is Unpredictable

The Fear of Rejection leads to a mistaken identity. What you say, what you do, and who you are will never be in sync if you have the Fear of Rejection.

Have you ever given feedback to a key manager and you were blindsided by how they took it as a judgmental criticism? Wouldn’t you like to see that one coming?

Wouldn’t it be nice if each of your team members came with a warning label, “Warning: I need you to like me, or I just might do something unpredictable!

Your leadership is not exempt from this unpredictability. The Fear of Rejection is even greater in leaders.

Is The Fear of Rejection Affecting Your Leadership?

Try this quick exercise: 

Try to remember the last presentation you made to your board members, your senior staff, or your team. Think of a time when they questioned any aspect of your plan or idea…

Did you feel they were rejecting you as a person? Or, did you feel they were only rejecting your idea?

The Fear of Rejection Robs Your Leadership

If you need validation from other people, your leadership is inescapably robbed of effectiveness. If you need to be validated by other another person’s opinion, you officially placed your leadership in their hands.

By definition, placing your leadership responsibilities in someone else’s hands is not leading at all. Yet, this is what it means to be weighed down by the Fear of Rejection God’s Word says you cannot lead in Truth while serving two masters (Matthew 6:24).

Two Leadership-Robbing Problems With The Fear Of Rejection

PROBLEM #1 – The Fear of Rejection keeps out the best ideas.

The Fear of Rejection keeps teams and leaders from finding the best ideas because their own opinions are linked to their personal identity.

Once an idea is spoken it incorrectly takes on the persona of the speaker. Anyone who challenges or debates them becomes an adversary. The best ideas never see the light of day without conflict, hurt, or breaking trust.

PROBLEM #2 - The Fear of Rejection keep the best team out of the game.

People who feel rejected don’t become part of the team. The Fear of Rejection rules out collaboration. Teammates who fear rejection withdraw and don’t participate. In reality, the attitude should be you either win as a team or you don’t win at all.

5 Empowering Beliefs That Foster Teamwork Instead of The Fear of Rejection

There’s a powerful possibility in your future. You can breakthrough the Fear of Rejection. The counterintuitive Truth of the Bible declares: it’s only in giving that you will receive (Luke 6:38, 1 Corinthians 4:7).

You can operate from total freedom as an individual, and as a team, by adopting these empowering statements:

  1. "We will win as a team or we don’t win at all."
  2. "I will make everyone around me feel better about themselves."
  3. "I commit to reflect praise on others."
  4. "I will pursue genuine selflessness as the true path to acceptance."
  5. "Even if I deserve the credit I hope to share the glory."

Instead of maneuvering around fear, you can have a breakthrough.

View the complete Audio Library for the more in our series, 10 Common Leadership Fears


1. Are there any defense mechanisms that mask the Fear of Rejection in your leadership?

2. Are you willing to create a healthy environment for your team where you can reject ideas while still affirming people?

3. Are you are pursuing best ideas? Does your pride of authorship block progress, or are you working towards the mission as a team?

I’d love to hear your comments on the Fear of Rejection. Leave your comment below.

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