We get rejected when we go prospecting. We get rejected when we ask for the sale. We get rejected when a sale falls through at the 11th hour.
Getting rejected though isn’t the problem. It’s our fear of rejection that is the problem.
When we let our fear of rejection stop us from doing something, we actually experience a whole lot more rejection. We actually end up rejecting ourselves, and that is the most painful rejection of all.
I’ve suffered from the fear of rejection for as long as I can remember. I still struggle with it today. I’m no guru. However, I have discovered four strategies that have helped me and thousands of other people overcome their fears of rejection. Let me share them with you.
1. Visualise the outcome you want
Whenever you’re feeling fearful of being rejected, take a moment to compose yourself and visualise how you want the conversation to go. Visualise the person saying yes, signing on the dotted line or giving you what you want. Make sure you also visualise what you need to do in order to give yourself the best chance of getting the outcome you want.
You see, the mind does not know the difference between what is imagined and what is real. So whatever images you feed your brain are automatically believed – and then your mind seeks to bring them into reality. So focus on what you want, rather than what you don’t want.
2. Have a public and painful consequence for giving in to your fear
Create a painful consequence for giving in to your fear of rejection. Promise a colleague that if you don’t make as many calls as you need to, you’ll eat a bucket of raw snails in front of them. Have everyone in your team make a similar promise. Now watch everyone’s fear of rejection disappear.
Make sure the consequence is something that really hits you hard emotionally. When the pain of not doing something you fear is greater than the perceived pain of actually doing it, you’ll do what you fear every time.
3. Get clear on your reasons why
Simon Sinek, author of the bestselling book Start With Why, and who has one of the most-watched TED talks of all time, says, “If your ‘why’ is strong enough, you can handle almost any ‘how’.” If your reasons are strong enough, you’ll find a way to overcome your fear".
As human beings, we’re wired to do more for the people we care about than ourselves. So get clear on who will suffer if you give in to your fear. When you realise exactly how your fear of rejection affects the people you care about most, it will motivate you to punch your fear in the face and move through it.
4. Create a ‘no’ game
This is something I have started to trial, and it’s had huge results for me. I set a daily goal of how many rejections I can get. How many people can I get to say “no” to me today? When you do that, the very thing you feared is now something you actually want to attain. Rejection almost becomes fun.
Make sure you celebrate every time you get a no (as well as when you get a yes), because you’re celebrating moving past your fear. By doing so, you condition your mind that rejection is not something to be feared and just part of the process.