If you have never experienced any rejections in life, it’s probably because you are living your life too safe and not taking enough risks. And I want you to know that there’s absolutely nothing wrong in that. After all, who in their right minds would want to experience a rejection, right? It’s one of the worst feelings one can experience and many adults go to great lengths to avoid facing rejection.
Actually, rejection in itself is not the real issue. Rather, it is the fear of being rejected that is the real problem. It’s that fear of rejection that makes many sales professionals postpone making that important sales call. It’s the same fear that stops potential writers from sending out their manuscripts. It’s also the same fear that stops people from chasing their dream.
So, why is the fear of rejection so powerful and frightening? Actually, it goes back to the basic human need to be loved and the fear of not being loved by others. One is desirable while the other is painful. Somehow, we have connected rejection to not being loved or accepted by others. People naturally look for ways and means to avoid that feeling of pain. Some common ways are avoid taking risks, postpone from making a decision and stop believing in their dreams.
But the downside to living our life too safely and not taking enough of risks is this – we are turning our back to the joy of being human; the joy of discovering what we are truly capable of achieving. All the great breakthroughs in human history went through their fair share of rejection and ridicule before their eventual success. However, if people like Galileo or Edison gave in to the fear of rejection and stopped believing in their dreams prematurely, the world would have been a very different place today.
How do you use rejection as the springboard to your success?
Firstly, learn to differentiate between people rejecting your idea and people rejecting you as a person. The difference is big. When people reject your idea, you can always come out with a new one. However, when people reject you as a person, the feeling is more personal and it can kill the soul.
But the good news is the majority of rejections that you will ever face have got nothing to do with you as a person! For example, if you are in sales and your prospective client turns you down, he or she is simply rejecting your product and service. There is nothing against you as a human being. It’s never personal. Remind yourself of that.
Secondly, learn to ask the right questions. Instead of asking yourself, “What’s wrong with me?” which will invariably result in all sorts of morale busting answers, ask “What can I do to start getting a ‘yes’ from my prospect?” When Thomas Edison was experimenting with the filament for his bulb, he labeled each ‘failure’ meticulously, but not to remind him that he had failed. Instead it reminded him that he had tried a particular approach before that didn’t work and it was time to try another one.
Thirdly, remind yourself about your goal or mission in life daily. It’s so easy to lose sight of them and start to focus on the fear of rejection. Your mind can only focus on one thing at a time. So, either you are focusing on your goal or you are focusing on your fear of rejection. Choose to focus on your goal daily so that the seeds of fear will not have space to take root in your mind.
Fourthly, apply the following mantra. “Every ‘NO’ I receive takes me one step closer to my ‘YES’.” I strongly believe that the best revenge you can take on people who have rejected or hurt you is to live a more successful, happy and meaningful life than them. So, for everyone who has rejected your ideas, products, services or even you in the past, don’t allow them to also hold you back from living a better life.
Finally, do what Tony Robbins says. “Take massive action.” It’s the magical cure for overcoming rejections. Just keep going and stop only to make the necessary changes to your approach. Keep perfecting it because it’ll never be perfect.