Secret #1: Change your mental model of “success” and “failure.”
When you get rejected you might currently believe that you have failed and worse… that you are a failure. Getting rejected… that is, failing to get a ‘yes’ and “being a failure” are two very different things. You must change how you view both failure and success in order to reframe how you view rejection.
Most people operate with the following mental model:
SUCCESS ==>> YOU ==> FAILURE
They see themselves in the middle, with success on one end and failure on the other. They do everything they can to move toward success and away from failure. But, what if the model were reconfigured?
YOU ==> FAILURE ==> SUCCESS
What if, rather than seeing failure as something to be avoided it became a “stepping-stone” on the path to success? In other words: Yes is the Destination, No is How You Get There.
Secret #2: Intentionally increase your failure rate.
If it’s true that the more we fail (and hear NO) the more we succeed (and it is), then the immediate goal should be to intentionally increase your failure rate. Yes, this is a counterintuitive, reverse thinking philosophy… but it works.
When you intentionally go out of your way to increase the number of times people tell you ‘no’ you will begin the process of reprogramming how you think and feel about rejection. However, in order to somehow conquer their fear or dread of rejection, most people try and avoid doing things that would have them rejected. In fact, doing just the opposite is the way you can overcome and conquer rejection once and for all. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do the thing and you will have the power.”
Secret #3: Celebrate your failure and rejection.
Part of this process is about giving yourself permission to fail (Secret #1) and when you do the answer is not to punish yourself. Of course, it’s natural to be excited about our successes and to celebrate them, to give ourselves a reward or even throw a party. But, if the key to success is to increase our failures, then it only makes sense to celebrate our set backs as well.
Yes, you heard right: if someone turns you down, if you get a ‘no’ and get rejected…celebrate it! When’s the last time you rewarded yourself for failing? Probably never! Instead of mentally punishing yourself for not succeeding, what if you bought yourself your favorite treat recognizing that you just took one more action to get closer to your goals and dreams.
Do you reprimand a child when they are trying to learn how to ride a bike and they fall off? Do you talk down to a kid as they struggle learning to tie their shoe for the first time? Then why would you ever do that to yourself? Be a good friend to yourself and failure and rejection will stop having the negative hold it has on your thoughts and emotions.
Secret #4: See courage as a “muscle.”
If failure is the vehicle that can take you to success, then courage is the fuel! Most people, however, think that courage is something you’ve either got or you don’t; they don’t see it as a skill that can be developed and a process to be mastered. But that’s exactly what it is. Courage is a muscle. And, like any muscle, it must be exercised to be developed and strengthened. As the saying goes, use it, or lose it. It’s no different with courage. You use and develop your “courage muscle” by looking fear in the eye and taking action anyway. Every time you take action, the courage muscle gets stronger; every time you fail to take action, it atrophies a little. And before you know it your courage is gone.
It doesn’t have to be that way. All the courage you could ever want or need to achieve every goal you have is already in you, just waiting for you to say, “Come on. Let’s go for a ride.”
Secret #5: Stop taking rejections personally.
Intellectually we all know that a part of life is rejection. That does not make it any easier, but you have a choice in the moment when you get a ‘no’ and how you interpret it that will make all the difference.
Negative thoughts about what that rejection – that ‘no’ – means about you or your potential is where the pain comes in. The key is to understand ‘no doesn’t mean never, no means not now. And of course, any one ‘no’ or any one yes for that matter, means nothing in the grand scheme of your business.
Additionally, your ownership of someone’s negative reaction to you or your product or service is as smart as taking credit for someone liking your shoes. Sure you picked them out, but if someone likes your shoes, well that just happens to be their taste. Quite frankly, it has nothing to do with you. And neither does a negative opinion if someone does not like your shoes! Separate out other people’s opinions and beliefs from your worth. Let them own it all and you will free yourself from one of the most insidious of all issues around rejection.