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Starting from "No"
10 Strategies to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection and Succeed in Business
by Azriela Jaffe
Are you sitting in front of the phone, but can't stand the thought of making your daily sales calls? Are you extremely nervous before a speech you must give tomorrow and afraid someone will humiliate you? Are you feeling down because a customer criticized your product? Feeling bad because you've been voted off a desert island?
Dealing with rejection is something we all need to learn. Successfully bouncing back from rejection and staying in the game is crucial to success in business and in life. Some people seem immune to rejection, but most of us aren't.
If you are looking for ways to strengthen your resolve, confront rejection wisely, and bolster your self-confidence, I highly recommend Starting from "No" 10 Strategies to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection and Succeed in Business by Azriela Jaffe.
Jaffe identifies some of the underlying psychological and practical reasons we fear rejection, including 1) A fear of not being liked; 2) A fear of being humiliated; 3) A fear of success which might force us to "abandon our comfort zone" and 4) A fear of financial disaster.
For each fear, Jaffe offers self-tests and projects to see how badly the reader is affected by the given fear. She then gives practical ideas for working to overcome the fear. For example, for those perfectionists who fear failing, because they feel they must be great at everything, Jaffe recommends "pursue a hobby or an endeavor that you know you might enjoy, even if you won't shine at it." Watercolor painting, golf, whatever. The idea is not to have your ego and self-worth riding on every little undertaking, but to learn to have fun and relax.
For those who fear humiliation, Jaffe suggests taking an acting or dancing class, or even trying stand-up comedy. Jaffe says you should confront your fear where you objectively have little at risk and can afford to look silly. The newfound confidence will probably transfer into your business dealings.
Jaffe hits a key point, when she gives her best advice about public speaking, "When you look out at that huge sea of faces and you are scared to death about your performance, shift your focus from trying to impress the audience to how you can best serve them. When you take the focus off of yourself and place it where it belongs-on the client-you will be much more effective."
Today, this is the hallmark of performance psychology. Once we start worrying about how well we are doing, we won't be at our best. Just as an actor watching and judging his performance won't be "in the moment," self-preoccupation only makes us more susceptible to feeling rejection and bringing it about.
One of my favorite chapters discusses finding what motivates you in your business. It discusses the value of strengthening your motivation for success to help you overcome difficulties and rejection. Jaffe writes about positive motivation (moving toward a dream goal, for example) and negative motivation (moving away from something, needing to prove your worth to others, for example).
However, rather than just saying negative motivations are bad, Jaffe shows us how some negative motivations can help propel a person toward success. It is a matter of accepting a balance among all of the forces motivating you.
For example, Jaffe writes, "Your anxiety about what you might lose if you don't succeed can propel you to jump over hurdles and suffer some of the pain of rejection." So, negative motivations aren't always bad. At the same time, "Although positive visualization and goal setting is essential to business success, the drawback to positive motivations is that they can be vague, elusive, and not powerful enough to get you to do what you need to do today to succeed."
Starting from "No" 10 Strategies to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection and Succeed in Business doesn't promise miracles. Jaffe says we must acknowledge our limits while we work to extend them.
Jaffe writes, "I would venture a guess that less than 5 percent of the world actually has the fortitude, dedication, and courage to surmount every obstacle that comes its way. The other 95 to 99 percent of us achieve moderate success given whatever weaknesses, fears, and laziness we carry with us as baggage." So it's important to find a suitable direction for your career and business.
Starting from "No" 10 Strategies to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection and Succeed in Business includes an excellent discussion about turning customer complaints into opportunities, as well as sales-specific rejection advice.
10 Strategies to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection
and Succeed in Business