“Overcoming Fear of Rejection Using the 4-Hour Work Week Technique” written by Bren Koger.
Everyone must try and overcome fear of rejection if they want to be successful, or accomplish great things. The fear of rejection may prevent people from doing things that would be of great benefit to them.
Overcoming Fear of Rejection Using the Flooding Technique
In the book, The 4-Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss he challenges his readers to get out of their comfort zone and overcome fear of rejection by doing the following exercise:
Being sure to maintain eye contact, ask for the phone numbers of at least two (the more you attempt, the less stressful it will be) attractive members of the opposite sex for three days. Girls, this means you’re in the game as well, and it doesn’t matter if you’re 50+. Remember that the real goal is not to get numbers, but to get over the fear of asking, so the outcome is unimportant. If you’re in a relationship, sign up to (or pretend to) gather information for Greenpeace. Just toss the numbers if you get them.
This exercise is known by psychologists as “flooding” and it works by exposure to the feared stimulus, in this case it is rejection, which induces an adrenaline and fear response which over time minimizes until the person realizes it is not something to be afraid of.
In other words, like seeing a scary movie over and over again we become desensitized to the fear…
Why is this important?
When you think about it, the fear of rejection is just the fear of what others think about you and its impact is to limit, to constrain, to constrict.
Examples of Famous People Overcoming Fear of Rejection
There are countless examples of famous people who have overcome huge levels of rejection. If they hadn’t been able to handle rejection, they would not be where they are today:
- Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books were turned down 130 times by publishers who told them that their book would never sell;
- Madonna was rejected by the music producer behind Dirty Dancing’s soundtrack the year before she debuted her first album;
- U2 was rejected by RSO Records in May of 1979, before signing with Island Records;
- Stephen King threw his manuscript for Carrie into the trash, because he was tired of receiving so many rejections;
- Google’s original founders approached Yahoo! and suggested a merger. Yahoo! told them to go home with their little school project and come back when they had grown up.
You can be the most talented person in the world, but if you don’t have the belief in yourself you won’t have what it takes to become mega successful. In all the above examples they didn’t allow rejection to keep them closed to new opportunity, but used it as a lesson to quicken their resolve and become more determined.
Overcoming Fear of Rejection in Your Life
On a smaller scale, in my own life, I’ve hesitated to plan a party for fear that no one will want to come, or not approach a person to ask a favor because they might say no, or didn’t strike up a conversation with a complete stranger for fear of looking stupid. On a bigger scale, I’ve have had times where I shy away from posting a blog or not asked for an interview with someone I admire for fear of what others might think.
The thing is that people WILL say no at times and not for the reason you might think. They will be preoccupied and have other plans.
The Four Agreements
As Don Miguel Ruiz in the second agreement of his classic book, The Four Agreements, says:
“Don’t take it personally.
“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.
“Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds…Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators, the black magicians. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up….
“But if you do not take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell. Immunity in the middle of hell is the gift of this agreement.”
Take the Challenge With Me in Overcoming Fear of Rejection
So take the comfort challenge with me and together we can develop the self-confidence to take our lives to a new level.
People who fear rejection miss out on so much of life. Across the room they see what could be the person of their dreams, but they don’t approach because of what a roomful of strangers might think if they’re rejected.
By caring what these others think, they’re allowing others to control their behavior.
Fear of rejection makes people think small.
Accomplishing anything big is going to annoy some people, who will try to deter you. To really have an impact, you can’t let them get in your way.
Here are a few of the benefits of rejection:
- It allows you to pay it forward. You may get a rejection from one person only to find that the good energy you have put forth comes back to you in a completely unrelated and unexpected way in the form of an opportunity.
- Rejection can concentrate the mind wonderfully. It shows you that the world can’t be taken for granted and that you have to fight for what you want.
- It can make you more determined to prove your abilities.
- It sharpens your competitiveness and gives you an incentive to prove people wrong.
- Not only does rejection help you learn a lesson and quicken your resolve, it’s a sign that you are living life to the fullest by putting yourself out there.
- You open yourself to new opportunities and the potential to meet new people.
I hope you’ll join me in one of these challenges. Let’s become better together! Are you in?
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