I love the topic of rejection. (Does that make me weird?)
It’s everywhere! And the picture of how often I avoid doing things that might lead to rejection is becoming clearer!
And that damn picture is a mural!
I’m in the middle of a nine-day coaching intensive with Rich Litvin, co-author of “The Prosperous Coach. “ At one point, we watched as he coached a high-performer; this guy runs up mountains in the hours before the intensive start each day. He’s a super successful coach and entrepreneur, and what is his Achilles heel?
He had a potential client tell him that they had decided to go with another coach. The rejection was painful for this guy. I’m guessing because he feels he can control the outcome in every other area of his life.
But you can’t control other people. They’ll reject you for all kinds of reasons that often have very little to do with you.
I think I’ve done a good amount of desensitizing when it comes to external rejection. People can reject me or my offer, and I’ll take some time to reflect on it, consider if there’s something I need to learn and move on.
But I do struggle with self-rejection. I’ll talk myself out of doing the thing I want to do like a champ.
- “Oh, they won’t want to work with me.
- They probably don’t need my help.
- I don’t have the ‘right’ credentials for that.”
It’s F*C%KING maddening!!!
(Sorry for the swear words, Mom)
This is why rejection is on my mind because I need to get better at dealing with it.
So here are five tips I’m using to help get over the fear of asking for what I want.
#1 – Visualize the ASK, not the OUTCOME
This has been a super helpful tip. Whenever I think about asking someone for something or putting an offer out for coaching, my mind goes to what I think the outcome will be. And, of course, my mental gremlins keep telling me shitty little stories. “This person is going to say no because….” Or, “they won’t want to work with me because…”
Those mental gremlins can go take a hike!
Learning to let go of focusing on the outcome and instead focusing on the thing I need to get better at – the ask, has given me so much more freedom. I can get the “no, thank you” and still celebrate. Because the outcome isn’t what I’m tracking right now.
And that freedom is helping me get better and better with experimenting and trying new ways to ask for what I want. It feels way more fun and playful.
The act of honoring yourself by asking for what you want, or doing the thing that feels scary in spite of the fears, no matter what the outcome, is the win.
#2 Question the Fear
We all have fears that can stop us in our tracks, but these fears start to dissipate when we put them under the microscope of questioning.
Self-rejection is a deception. It’s our ego attempting to keep us safe. If we don’t put ourselves out there, other people can’t reject us. But we really have no idea if they will or not. And, it really doesn’t matter if some do. That narrowing down helps us get closer to the people who are absolutely right for us.
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- What do you really have to lose?
- What if you had nothing to prove?
- What if you could get excited about collecting the “No’s”, knowing that with each one, you are getting closer to a yes?
- What if you looked at this next request as an experiment?
Question your fears like the powerful coach you are.
#3 Keep Asking
Listen, if you’re a coach building a business you have to know that success is in the numbers. The more people you can have a conversation with, the more you can ask people if they might want help building that vision of their life or dream.
I remember when I first started acting and going out on auditions. In the beginning, every single one of them held the weight of the world in their importance. When I was going out on 2 or 3 auditions a year, every one of them was critical.
Over time, the auditions became more regular, and when I didn’t care as much, I usually had a much higher success rate. There wasn’t that energy of desperation.
And, it’s the same with coaching. In the beginning, it can feel like every person you talk to that doesn’t sign up for your coaching means a strike or personal failure.
But just like anything else, the more you do it (the asking), the better you get at it.
#4 – Name the Doubts
Take some time in advance of your ask to consider what might be going through the mind of the person you’re requesting something from. If you can succinctly touch on those in your ask, you can build trust and credibility.
Notice I said succinctly.
You’ll waste your power and credibility if you give a rambling lead up to what you want. We’ve all witnessed (or, perhaps been) the person who goes all around the subject and takes forever to get to what they want. And by the time they do, the person who has the power to say yes or no is so frustrated the “No” is the emotional response for being dragged through the long leadup.
- “You may be wondering if I’m the right coach for you.”
- “I’m going to share with you what it costs to work with me and it might surprise you.”
- “You might be thinking you don’t need six months of coaching.”
When we address doubts it can open up the conversation and allow you to hear a bit more about their decision-making process.
#5 What to Do When You Get a No
Remember that people will often say no to you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. If you get a no, let that be the start of the conversation, not the end.
By becoming curious when you receive a no, you might be able to get some information that could help you, help them make a more informed decision.
Or you might be able to collaborate on another offer.
One of the best reframes I use, “It just wasn’t right at this time,” instead of “I wasn’t right.” It helps me remember to stay open in the conversation and not to write anyone off.
I’ve had clients come back to me over a year after talking to me for the first time, and now they’re ready to do the work.
So that’s it. These are some of the tips I’ve put into practice to transform my beliefs about self-rejection. I’ve witnessed the beginning of a transformation in this area for me.
Remember, successful people in any realm ask for what they want and need. If you ever want a little help in this area, let’s have a quick chat and see how I might be able to help.