If you’re hesitant to ask or answer a question, even if your life depended on it, there’s ought to be a reason for that. And we all know what it is — the fear of rejection. Although rejection is almost never personal (I said, “almost”) it sure does feel like it. Now, I don’t want to get into the psychology of all that here. But let me tell you one little secret — anyone can become “rejection proof.”
- Actively seek rejection — expose yourself to situations or circumstances where you’re forced to go out of your comfort zone to do or ask something. Like a discount at your local Starbucks. Tried that? I have. And no, they don’t give you a discount unless you’ve got something (a surprise gift, like a tall drink free or perhaps a beverage upgrade) on your loyalty card.
- Face your fears — and don’t just stand there to get humiliated. Develop a set of questions that will serve as a ledge, giving you enough time to think rationally and acknowledge the situation. Remember: no matter what happens, a rejection is never meant to be personal.
- Be open to learning — with great adversity and pain comes even greater learning, provided you’re open for it. Are you? What did you learn from last evening’s rejection — when your girlfriend dumped you or that sucker of a potential client you’ve been speaking with for the past 7 months? Trust me when I say this, there’s always something to learn. And it’s always your fault. 😉
- Don’t get comfortable — choosing to seek out rejection or avoiding rejection (which is ludicrous) is a choice. You can choose to get comfortable and live your life as a wandering generality or get out of your comfort zone often and be a meaningful specific. The most successful among us always pushed the envelope, got rejected but bounced back to win what they’d wanted all along.
Get more ideas from Jia Jiang’s Rejection Proof! I haven’t read it yet but I’ve heard and read great reviews about the book, which is a documented account of Jia’s 100-day experiment to face rejection head-on! The experience allowed Jia to overcome his own emotional obstacles that failed him as an entrepreneur.
Here’s the best part — he quit his job to focus on this 100-day experiment. Can you beat that? No, I don’t want you to quit your jobs but instead think what can you do to make yourself rejection proof? The little things add up. Perhaps you can start with your local Starbucks and work your way through the other restaurant chains out there.
Besides the fact that you’re going to get a lot of rejections, I would encourage you to focus on the different reasons that the person in front of you (your prospect) comes up. It’s funny but highly educational.