Sunday, February 13, 2005


Fear of Rejection - Can't make that call

Minimize Your Fear of Cold Calling, Marketing, and Starting
Neil Fiore

These steps were not derived from any sales training manuals. This article offers the human, psychological perspective that is missing from most of those manuals. However, these steps are based on conversations with people in sales - Insurance, Real Estate, Retail, and Services – and our coaching sessions and motivational seminars. These steps are also intended for anyone who delays on making calls - business or personal.

To minimize your resistance to cold calling, take a Self-Leadership role in facing fear:

1. Prepare for Rejection.
To deal with Fear of Rejection - one of main reasons we avoid worthwhile projects – do the “worst-case scenario” drill. A) Answer all the “what ifs” that repeat in your head. Answer all fears/”what if’s” with “This is what I will do if . . .” [NOTE: Do not say, “It’s okay.” And please, please, never say, “You told me to say ‘It’s okay.’ but it didn’t work.”]
B) Be honest [not positive] about what you expect your initial reactions to be. For example: “First, I’d cry, hate myself; make myself anxious and depressed for six months, like I did last time.”
C) Get used to recognizing your initial reactions as just that, “initial reactions,” that will be followed by corrective, stronger actions such as step 2.

2. Build Your Psychological and Emotional Safety Net.
Find a way to accept yourself, no matter what. This is what your Worrying-“What if”- mind needs to know – “Wake-up and tell me the plan for survival.” You need to build the inner safety and acceptance with yourself that says:
“Regardless of what happens, I will be on your side. I will never abandon you.” Or
“Regardless of what happens; regardless of what anyone says or thinks, your worth is safe with me.”

How did Michael Jordan respond in 1993 to the “What if’s” of the reporters when he quit basketball to play baseball?
He showed amazing leadership ability of his inner team by responding to the “what ifs” with:
“You’re not always going to be successful in life. I can accept failure. What I will not accept from myself is not trying [that is, I’m a leader who chooses to take risks]. If I fail, I won’t feel bad [that is, I won’t make you - my worrying mind - feel bad]. I’m strong enough as a person to face failure and move on.”

If that dialogue represents any of Michael’s leadership vision for his life, you can bet that the inner team is going to show to do its best and take the risks. It knows that there isn’t going to be a lot of self-criticism, anxiety, or depression if they fail. Under Michael’s leadership, they can face failure, learn from mistakes, and move on.

2. Choose Growth over Comfort.
Make it one of your top priorities to rapidly confront discomfort, fear, self-doubt, or
lack of confidence. Never let "I don't want to" or "I'm afraid" be reasons for avoiding
a worthwhile goal or challenge. Choose to show up and get your Fear-Inoculation

3. Don’t wait to confident or motivated. Choose to act like a leader.
Lacking confidence, motivation, or even knowledge is not an excuse for inaction. You don’t have to want a root canal [or to complete your Income Tax forms and pay your taxes] in order to take action.
Instead, ignite your curiosity about what will happen when you choose to show up and face something you don't know yet how to do. Tell yourself: "Soon you will know something you don't know yet." "This is going to be interesting." "I will land this one or something better."
Put the creative part of your brain on alert: I'm expecting a creative solution. Going from not-knowing to knowing is the essence of creative problem solving. Expect a surprise!

4. Practice strategic cramming. Deadlines work. Give yourself personal deadlines.
Face your list of calls and see how many you can make in 15-30 minutes. If a project is overwhelming, commit to exploring it for only 5-10 hours this week. You'll be breaking through the inertia and be onto momentum and motivation. Then decide if the project deserves investing another 10 hours next week. In the first 5-10 hours you will reach a critical mass of knowledge to build on as well as confidence that the creative genius in you can go rapidly from not-knowing to knowing – creative problem-solving and working in the Zone.

Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation.
- Aristotle
A Law of Physics: A body at rest remains at rest; a body in motion tends to stay in motion.
A Law of Productivity: Break through the inertia and you will find momentum and motivation.
Permission to use this article is granted only if the following contact information and copyright is included.
© 2004 Neil Fiore. All rights reserved. Neil Fiore is a psychologist, speaker, and Life Coach in Berkeley, CA. Sign up for his newsletter and free articles at Email: 510/ 525 - 2673.
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