Do you avoid putting yourself out there for fear of being rejected by others? You know you should be pursuing clients, going after that business, and offering your services; but being assertive is just not something you are comfortable with.
Does this sound familiar:
“What if I am not good enough?”
“What if people say no to me, or judge me?”
You are not alone!
Being afraid of rejection is a major mental block for all entrepreneurs – especially women. Many female entrepreneurs even give up on their dreams because of this fear.
When I first began my career in sales, I was afraid of being rejected because I was young—and a woman. I was terrified by the possibility of hearing the big, bad “no” and being judged for my efforts.
Despite my fears, I still wanted to succeed and help my clients. I understood that this was a fear I needed to overcome if I wanted to do so. Over time, I learned how to overcome my fear.
Don’t get me wrong: this fear still creeps up on me from time to time. When I make videos for social media I am still afraid of being judged for my accent on camera. But I now know how to deal with my fears.
Do I avoid sales because of my fear of rejection?
Do I avoid calling my potential clients because I’m afraid of hearing “no” from them?
Do I keep offering free advice because I’m afraid people might not want to pay for my services?
Let’s tackle this problem right now so you can begin to pursue prospects and convert them into paying clients.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of overcoming the fear of rejection, it’s important to understand 2 essential mindset principals:
Mindset Principal #1: Fear is a Sign You Are Getting Closer to Success
The first step to overcoming the fear of rejection is to recognize the importance of this fear.
Whenever you sense fear during your entrepreneurial journey, it means you are doing something new, approaching new territory, or otherwise taking some sort of risk. You are in a position of vulnerability. But doing something new is critical to your future success! It means you are moving forward as an entrepreneur and stepping closer to your dreams.
So whenever you experience any degree of fear on your entrepreneurial journey, pat yourself on the back. You are doing something right. You are moving closer to your success!
Having a strong and joyful mindset is essential to leading a fulfilling business (and life). For more on this, check out some of my articles on Creating Joy in Sales.
Big Sales Mindset on Women Making Big Sales.
Mindset Principal #2:Rejection = Success
Many people are afraid of asking for a sale because they don’t want to get rejected.
But by not asking for the sale, they miss out on any opportunity for “yes”! If you never take the shot, you’ll never make the goal.
The more no’s you get, the more yes’ you will get as well. It is simply the nature of life.
When I first began my career in sales, I conducted dozens of cold calls. And I got dozens of rejections. Those rejections allowed me to improve not only my confidence, but also my ability to sell.
So whenever you think of rejection, tell yourself:
Rejection = Success
Here’s what I do whenever I start to feel defeated or that fear of rejection starts to gain ground:
I close my eyes and take some deep, slow breaths.
I remember that rejection = success.
I imagine all my rejections are hanging in the air around me.
I imagine myself breathing in all that rejection. Just like Popeye and his spinach; I become stronger and stronger as I breath.
I tell myself: “I will learn from my experience and become stronger.”
- Recognize that rejection is inevitable as an entrepreneur.
- Every rejection helps you grow and become stronger. It is your friend. Your ally.
Now, let’s talk about 3 exercises you can do right now to help you overcome your fear of rejection in just 7 days.
By the end of those 7 days, your mind will be so much better equipped to deal with rejection that your fear of it will become obsolete.
3 Mindset Exercises for Overcoming the Fear of Rejection in 7 Days
You now know it’s crucial to overcome the fear of rejection. How do you effectively overcome such a basic human fear?
Here are 3 exercises that will train your mind to overcome the fear of rejection in just 7 days.
Exercise #1: Use a Gratitude Journal to Focus on the Positive
Are you ultra critical of yourself and everything you do? Women often are; myself included. As entrepreneurs, we are always critical of our imperfections and we are constantly searching for ways to improve. So much so, that we often forget to celebrate our achievements.
Rather than focusing on every single “no” we receive, the gratitude journal allows us to focus on the positive aspects of the entrepreneurial journey.
For the next 7 days, use the Gratitude Journal I’ve provided here to help you focus on the positive things that have happened (and are happening) in your life.
By the end of Day 7, you will be surprised how much more energy and optimism you will have infused into your outlook.
Click here for the Gratitude Journal Template for Entrepreneurs.
Exercise #2: Get Used to Rejection in Sales
As I mentioned earlier, I did many cold calls when I first began my career. Cold calling allowed me to get used to hearing the big, bad “no” and ease my fear of being rejected.
The more you are exposed to rejection, the better you will become at accepting it and moving forward.
For the next 7 days, allocate 5-30 minutes per day to sales activities that will expose you to potential rejection.
Download my worksheet, Mindset Challenge for Overcoming Fear of Rejection, to plan your daily challenges.
Here are some examples:
- call a potential client (or an old client) and ask if they would like to catch up.
- conduct a live video on social media for your target audience.
- post an insightful comment or two on the social media group to which your potential clients belong.
- write a newsletter to your email subscribers to let them know about your latest blog post or offering.
- connect with your potential clients over social media.
- attend a networking event.
(Make sure to plan ahead so you don’t waste time trying to figure out what to do!)
Start with something familiar or that makes you feel a bit more comfortable. If you feel particularly nervous during this beginning stage you may wish to approach smaller clients, or those who do not fall under your usual target audience.
For the next 7 days, undertake one small act each day that will expose you to “no”.
When you take these small actions, be sure to focus on the action itself – not the feeling of rejection.
Remember, you don’t always have control over why people say no to you. They may have simply had a bad day.
You do, however, have 100% control over your actions. So focus on your actions and ONLY your actions.
It will likely be difficult and/or feel uncomfortable for the first 3 days. Trust me, after Day 3 you will feel more and more comfortable hearing “no”.
By Day 7, your mind will be in a much better place and ready to deal with the inevitable rejections you will face as an entrepreneur.
Exercise #3: Transforming Rejection into Motivation
Earlier, we talked about rejection being an inevitable aspect for business owners. We also talked about getting used to rejection.
At this stage, it’s time to learn how to transform rejection into motivation.
The only way to overcome the fear of rejection is to teach your mind that this state (however uncomfortable) is, in fact, a positive thing, one that will allow you to learn, grow, and become stronger.
For the next 7 days, use my Mindset Challenge worksheet to examine your actions day-to-day. If you experience success; celebrate that success. If you experience failure or challenge; learn from it.
Ask yourself what you can learn from these challenges. Answer this question, even if it doesn’t feel productive in the moment.
Remember, Rejection = Success.
The more rejections you get, the closer you are getting to your goals.
Give these 3 simple exercises a try. You will be surprised by how they will transform your mind and outlook.
Be sure to let me know how it goes for you; I would love to hear your about your results!
If you have trouble focusing on your actions, check out my Guided Meditation. I use this meditation to organize my thoughts, stay focused, and come up with action plans.
If you need help defining your sales strategy, check out Find Your Ideal Clients to identify the best sales strategy for getting in front of your ideal clients.
Together, let’s transform fear into motivation!