One of the most common reasons people don’t express themselves openly is because they fear rejection. People prefer to stay single than letting out their feelings for someone because they think a rejection would leave them heartbroken.

This kind of a fear typically has to do with mindset. When someone hears a ‘no’ to their request, they believe that it’s they — the person — who has gotten rejected, when, in most cases, it’s the request that gets turned down. Essentially, they take it personally when actually it’s not personal.

People with a fear of rejection don’t realize that they’re wasting away chances by living in this fear. And most important, that it’s holding them back. If you wish to overcome your fear of rejection, here are ways to do that.

1. Know and understand your fear.

To overcome your fear of rejection, you need to understand it first. You need to know what exactly you’re afraid of. You can ask yourself questions like, “What can really happen if someone rejects my proposal?” and “Why am I already thinking that they’ll reject my proposal?” Honest answers to such questions will help you understand your fears, and especially whether they’re real or imagined.

2. Tell yourself: it’s okay to be rejected.

Rejection is a part of life. There’s nothing to fear about rejection because it’s always a possibility, and for everyone, not just you. But that shouldn’t stop you. Just like when you apply for a job, there’s a possibility that you’ll get rejected. But does that mean you don’t apply for the job at all? Think of what would happen if you didn’t get rejected. The possible benefits of that far outweigh not doing something because you fear being rejected.

3. Let go of the times when you were rejected.

Just because you’re rejected once doesn’t mean you have to be upset all your life and stop trying because of a fear of rejection. Accepting past rejection gracefully will benefit you and your mental state. The better you cope with your rejections, the easier it becomes to overcome the fear of rejection in the future.

4. Treat rejection like an opportunity.

Remember the famous saying, “when one door closes, another door opens?” See your rejection in this light — like an opportunity to get more and better opportunities in the future. If the guy you like in your college didn’t accept your proposal for a dinner date, then there’s every chance that you’ve got someone better in store for you. A rejection doesn’t end things. It marks the beginning of new things.

5. Recall your strengths and back your abilities.

To overcome your fear of rejection, you also need to recall your strengths and be fully aware of them. You need to be confident about yourself and know your self-worth, so that even if you’re rejected by someone, you don’t feel doubtful about yourself and your qualities.

6. Your life doesn’t depend on the fate of your request.

Stop overthinking the result because your life is not based on whether this proposal of yours is going to be accepted or turned down. You’ll have many choices in life, so all you need to do is, wait for the right people and the right opportunities. The possibility of a rejection shouldn’t stop you from going after your hopes and dreams.

7. What matters is, you make the move, not think about the result.

Remember, it’s more about you taking the leap and not so much about the outcome. Acceptance and rejection will continue to happen and will depend on others. What depends on you, however, is that you stay courageous and excited about things and go after them — because you want to. It’s this sort of a mindset that hold you in good stead and keep you strong against possible rejection.