Running a business is definitely not easy. Taking risks, facing your fears or overcoming failure can be really tough and yet on the other side of our fears are our greatest opportunities for growth and advancement. As the Anais Nin quote says, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”. So how do we expand with courage?
Whether it is reaching out to your ideal client for the first time, showcasing a new product that you’ve slogged your guts out to create or make those sales calls day in and day out. It takes a lot of courage and confidence to continually put yourself out there. Here are three strategies to be brave in business and deal with the hard days at work.
- Rejection is a muscle to build
Can’t handle rejection? Perhaps you need therapy – rejection therapy, that is. Yes it’s real. Rejection therapy offers a unique way to overcome fear and and be empowered.
Jia Jiang was a new entrepreneur after quitting his job a couple of days before his first son was born. With the stakes raised high, he soon felt demoralised after being turned down by an important investor. He knew he had to get over his fear of rejection if he was to succeed in business.
He embarked on a 100-day rejection therapy challenge, aiming to be rejected once every day for 100 days. His goal was to desensitise himself of the emotion of being turned down. Every day he would make these outrageous requests in a bid to be told ‘no’. To his amazement, many people would accommodate his requests! He ended the journey with 51 yes’s and 49 no’s, learning that handling rejection gets easier the more you do it!
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” –Maya Angelou
- Don’t take it personally
If you’ve read The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, you’ll know that the second agreement is ‘don’t take anything personally’. He explains that “Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”
People might say no to you for many reasons which have nothing to do with you. We have to see rejection as separate to our own self worth and resist own stories, emotions and fears. Pick yourself up, learn from every situation and move on.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said “Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
- Every rejection is an opportunity to learn
Rejections, mistakes and negative feedback are going to happen to us all. You can either feel upset and ashamed or you can realise that nobody’s perfect 100% of the time and choose to learn from it. We are all a work in progress! Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way writes “whatever we face, we have a choice: Will we be blocked by obstacles, or will we advance through and over them?.” Setbacks, obstacles and mistakes are hard at the time but they do make us better people, leaders and entrepreneurs. Revel in the learning opportunity!
Instead of shrinking at the sight of rejection, learn to love the ups and downs of the business journey. Love the practice.