When I first started my coaching business, I worked with a 7-figure coach who, at the very beginning of her business, got 54 nos in a row. That’s 54 people who refused to work with her – in a row. Can you imagine how demoralising that can be? 😞
I swore the same wouldn’t happen to me. And yet… it almost did…
I lost count of how many nos I got in that first year. That rejection hurt so much, I voice messaged my coach in tears: “Flo, all I keep getting is nos. Maybe it’s a sign I should give up my coaching dream and go back to my skincare business.”
Luckily, my coach didn’t accept that and reminded me that, if I was booking so many calls, I was doing something right. Every call was an opportunity to get feedback on what was not working in my sales approach and tweak it, until I mastered the art of selling. So, I picked my teary self off the floor, kept going and, eventually got my first yes. YES!! (And more followed after that.) 🎉
Rejection, like anything else in life, is there to serve you in some ways. You can learn the lesson and eventually reach your goals – or you can let it bring you down and quit. If you’re here, you’re not a quitter. You’re just scared of rejection (totally normal). Here’s how to overcome the fear of rejection once and for all:
Why Do You Take Rejection So Personally?
Do you remember the first time you were rejected? Probably not. If you’re anything like me, you were too young to remember what the rejection was about. But your mind still remembers the way it felt. Icky. Shameful. Like someone tore out your heart from your chest.
Maybe some children on the playground didn’t allow you to join in their game. Or your big sister was too busy to watch cartoons with you. You were too little to understand what was going on. You just knew you asked for something or did a certain thing and people weren’t happy with you. At that age, you think everything is your fault. Now that you’re all grown up, every rejection threatens your self-worth. You feel like that little girl again.
In reality, rejection is never about your worth as a person. It’s when you make up stories in your mind about it that the rejection becomes personal.
Why Is The Fear Of Rejection Costing You?
Rejection is so painful, you’re tempted to avoid it completely.
👉 Maybe you’re not applyingY for a business loan for fear those nasty bankers will turn you down.
👉 Maybe you’re avoiding going to networking events and meeting new business partners for fear they won’t like you.
👉 Maybe you’re not starting that podcast for fear no one will listen to it?
But… what’s the alternative?
If you don’t risk rejection, you’ll stay stuck where you are now. If you’re reading this, you’re not happy with that. But… what if you risk rejection and succeed?
Think of all the people you could help if you only started that business or wrote that book. Imagine how fulfilling your life would be if you spent every day doing what sets your soul on fire. If you don’t go for what you want, you don’t condemn only yourself to a life of misery. You’re robbing the world of your gifts and people of the help they need – help only you can provide.
How To Overcome The Fear Of Rejection
It’s one thing to say facing rejection is worth it. Doing it is a whole lot harder. How can you overcome the fear of rejection, so it won’t hold you back from doing the work you’re meant to do in the world?
1. Focus On Your Potential Gains, Not Losses
I know what you’re thinking: “If I try and get rejected, all I have to gain is a broken heart and a big dollop of self-hate.” I hear ya. Us human beings are hard-wired to focus more on what we have to lose than what we have to gain. But what if you flipped the switch and focused on the positive, instead?
Even if you don’t get what you want, you’ll receive valuable feedback on what to improve when you’re ready to try again. You’ll also be exercising your rejection muscle. Every time you confront your fear, you’ll be a little less scared, a little stronger and a little braver.
With each try, you get closer to what you want.
Think of something fear of rejection is holding you back from doing and answer these questions:
- What would you gain if you succeeded?
- How would your life improve if you went for it and did it?
- How would the life of your loved ones improve if you make it?
- Based on everything you’ve written above, is risking rejection to gain all that worth it?
2. What Advice Would You Give To Your Best Friend?
Picture this. Your BFF is telling you she’s just written a book and is thinking of sending it to different publishers. But she’s afraid she’ll be rejected. What would you tell her?
A: “You’re a horrible writer. No one will ever publish anything you write. Don’t embarrass yourself.”
B: “Of course you should send it to as many publishers as you can. You’re a great writer and every publisher will be lucky to have you. And if they reject you, well, they can always give you valuable feedback on what to improve so your manuscript will be accepted next time.”
It’s easier to support other people’s dreams because you’re not the one putting yourself out there and risking feeling rejected. But rejection is just that – a feeling. A not very pleasant one. But, like all feelings, it will come and it will go.
When giving your BFF advice, you’re aware of this. You know she’s risking the chance of getting hurt for a while for the opportunity to reach her goals and transform her life. It’s a chance work taking. Remember that when it’s your turn to go after what you want.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Next time you’re wondering if you should go for it and risk rejection, grab pen and paper and answer this question: “What advice would I give to my BFF about this?” Follow that.
3. Visualise Your Life If You Let The Fear Of Rejection Win
When you’re deciding whether or not to take that risk, pivot your business, write your book, or whatever it is you want to do, you immediately think of all the things that could go wrong and all the ways you could be rejected.
It’s all speculation, but it’s enough to scare you off and keep you playing it safe. You tell yourself you’re not ready yet and you’ll get round to it one day. Too often, that day never comes. What you never do is imagine what your life would be like if you never took that chance in the first place.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Close your eyes and think of something you want to accomplish in your life. What would you life be like if you never took that risk? Feel it, in every cell of your body.
Now, visualise yourself taking that risk. What would your life be like if you did take the risk of rejection? Feel it in every cell of your body.
Which of the two scenarios is the most painful?
If that something is really important to you, you’ll find the fear of rejection doesn’t hurt anywhere near as bad as not going after what you want in the first place.
Wrapping It Up
The key to overcome the fear of rejection is to focus on what you have to gain and your vision and treat yourself like you’d treat your BFF. And remember, not going for your dreams hurts, too – A LOT more.
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