Why is that so? We focus our attention on the few times we’ve been rejected rather than the many times we have not. And then we don’t take advantage of the opportunities before us. Nor do we take action toward our goals. We’re too afraid we will get rejected again.
How Many Rejections?
I recently attended High Performance Academy, one of Brendon Burchard’s signature programs. He asked people in the audience to raise their hands if they had been rejected once, twice, three times, and so on. The majority of people had only been rejected a few times.
In fact, you have been accepted numerous more times than you’ve been rejected. But the rejections hurt…and so you remember them more than the acceptances.
Do the Math
One way to stop letting the fear of rejection get in the way of your success is to “do the math.” Answer these questions:
- How many times have you been rejected in a life-altering manner?
- How many times have you been accepted wholeheartedly?
Now…tell me: Which number is larger than the other? I bet it’s the acceptance number.
Knowing that, the next time your thoughts move to fear of rejection, just tell yourself, “I’ve been accepted more than rejected.” Or, as Burchard suggests, just say, “Bad math!”
Then take some action that moves you forward.
You’ve got Nothing to Lose
Here’s another way to look at rejection—one I learned from bestselling author Jack Canfield. He says that when you become afraid of rejection, realize you have nothing to lose.
Many years ago I had the good fortune to hear Canfield address a group of writers, who face rejection quite often! He told a story about being at a high school dance and wanting to ask a girl to dance but fearing rejection. As I recall his words, he said, “If I were to walk across that gym floor and ask the girl to dance, and she said ‘no,’ when I walked back to my spot against the wall on the other side of the gym I’d be no different than I was before. I would have lost nothing. I still had no dance partner.”
On the other hand, he explained, “If I had taken that long walk across the floor and ask the girl to dance and she said ‘yes,’ I’d have gained something.”
So, when you feel that fear of rejection keeping you stuck—like a wallflower at a dance—tell yourself, “I’ve got nothing to lose…and everything to gain.” Or say, “I’ll be no worse off, and possibly better off, for trying.”
You’ve Got the Wrong Person
At that same event, I heard Canfield offer another great way to think of rejection: you’ve merely contacted the wrong person. When you approach the right one, you’ll be accepted. So, try contacting someone else.
For example, if you send out a query letter to a literary agent and get a rejection letter in return, your response is “I must have sent the letter to the wrong person. Next time, I’ll send it to the right one.”
Meet Your Rejection Quota
And here’s the thing…eventually, you meet your “rejection quota.” An easy way to grasp this concept is to think in terms of dates. You can go on a lot of dates in an attempt to find the right partner and, in the process, experience a lot of rejection. Eventually, however, you meet your quota…and then you get accepted.
Don’t stop reaching for opportunities, relationships, or goals. Even if you get rejected initially, your efforts will eventually turn in to acceptance.
How do you stop fearing rejection so you can move ahead? Tell me in a comment below.
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