How many times do you think you’ve been rejected in your life? Anything from not getting picked for the kickball lineup in elementary school to being dismissed by a clique in your adult life, and everything in between can classify as rejection. However, I’m guessing some of those took longer to recover from than others: the ones that made us feel truly embarrassed, made us realize we were wrong about our assumptions, the ones anchored in emotional involvement, or rejections served after an enormous amount of time and effort were devoted to the situation.
Fear of rejection is primal, so don’t beat yourself up about it.
We are social creatures and as such are pre-programmed to seek acceptance from each other. Even if we weren’t, you can’t control your thoughts anyway; so really….stop yelling at yourself for not letting rejection go. (Think I’m wrong? Under no circumstances, do not in any way, think of a cute little pink elephant with big floppy ears and a long trunk that shoots glitter. Don’t you dare continue picturing that little elephant with powder pink skin, and those cute floppy ears that flap when it walks. Turns out, I control your thoughts!)
However, it’s important to delineate the difference between the rejection of unrequited love, our friends leaving us out of an invite to a concert, and a sales call. The latter is much less offensive because it isn’t personal; yet, we seem to take it that way. While you may not be able to control the initial sting of rejection, you can control your response to it. Here are a couple ways that will help:
You will regret more of what you did NOT do in life, than what you did do.
Same holds true if we replace “life” with “sales”. You know this. How do you feel when you avoid prospecting even though you know it is vital to you and your company’s success? Yet, there have been more days you decided to rise above and do it anyway. I’m willing to bet you felt much better on those days. Same goes with fearing rejection. You will regret more that you tried to avoid rejection by choosing not to dig deeper and playing it safe rather than being brave for five seconds and doing what it takes to truly help your prospect.
step out of your comfort zone: A life fully lived is a life fully examined.
An examined life is NOT a life lived in a comfort zone. An examined life is a determined, honest, vulnerable life that doesn’t avoid experiences just because they may be uncomfortable. Socrates went so far as to write, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” He meant if you’re not going to experience as much as you can or examine all areas of your life and what you’re capable of, what’s the point? Are you going to let a comfort zone of avoiding rejection determine the level of success you’re willing to experience in life?
It’s impossible to reach your full potential when you’re hiding.
Whether you label it “fear of failure” or “fear of rejection” or “fear I’ll be annoying” it’s all the same thing. If you are or have been telling yourself you’re a loser and you suck at everything, how can you believe you deserve success? Only smart, cool, sexy people deserve success because that’s how Western society perceives wealth and how we define success…right? Or, we could define success as being willing to expose who and what you are. Are you a weirdo? Do you laugh at your own jokes? (Me too.) Are you awkward? Do you have an unorthodox past? Whatever “your thing” is you’re worried you’ll face rejection for – the person next to you is worried about the same thing. Maybe it’s the person down the hall from you, or the person sitting across from you in a sales call, or the one running the company. We are all human. And when we stop hiding from that and admit our relatable humanoid characteristics to another we empower each other, we lower defenses, we become easier to connect with and harder to reject.
Do you struggle to separate your identity from your role when selling? Does your team find it difficult to be gutsy, even for five seconds at a time? Contact our team of consultants to discuss creating a sales training program that pushes you and your team out of your comfort zone and to new levels of success.