Blog | Entrepreneurship

Overcoming Rejection: A True Underdog Story

Being rejected is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. Learn the key to overcome rejection for ever

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Ahh, dogs. Man’s best friend. They wag their tail non-stop whenever they see us no matter how long it’s been. Their love knows no bounds. This endless love can be seen no better than a game of fetch.

No matter how many times you fire the slobbery ball across the yard, they will inevitably return with it clenched between their teeth awaiting another sprint on your command. No matter if you turn your back to carry on a conversation with your spouse or take a quick dip in the pool with your kids, there they wait.

Why? What keeps them constantly returning in the face of rejection?

As entrepreneurs, why can’t we do the same thing in the face of rejection and obstacles? Again, think of our furry companions. Do we need to give dogs a pep talk to boost their self-esteem? Are there multiple rounds of negotiations to get them fetching the ball?

Of course not.

The biggest reason they can handle rejection is because they’re used to it.

Unfortunately there’s no shortcut to experience rejections. And what makes this experience more humbling is that you can’t gain this knowledge without time, commitment and pain.

In order to experience rejection you need to understand it and move through it so many times that it ceases to bother you.

Most people won’t even attempt it because of fear. This is the same fear that prohibits them from chasing their dreams.

Sound familiar?

There is one proven method to help you get past this, however. It’s quite simple, get acclimated to it — quickly. Completely immerse yourself in it.

With over thirty common rejections and objections, it’s nothing more than hearing and overcoming these objections than can help you dilute their impact on you. In time they truly become an afterthought.

The Presentation of John

When I began my career presenting to groups, I spent a lot of time locked in rooms with similar folks attempting to learn the same skills. We would spend hours trying to handle fictitious questions and objections. Needless to say, after a few hours (and days) of doing this, tempers would occasionally flare.

In one particular session, my friend John, was prepping for a presentation we was set to give the next day. He took his place at the front of the room and began his presentation. Dry. Uninspiring. All around boring.

After less than ten minutes the ojections started their way towards John like grenades on a battlefield.

He was clearly flustered. The more frustrated he got, the louder he got. So, naturally, we attacked even harder.

Finally, John had listened to enough. He grabbed his notes and stormed off the stage. Our objections quickly turned to boos and hisses as he approached the back door. Before he could reach it, one of the senior partners in attendance, Karl, stood in front of the door at six foot plus and 250 pounds and said, “You’ll have to get through me if you think you can leave without facing the music and taking the correction.”

Silence.

John reacted the only way he could, “I was only kidding.” Everyone cheered him on as he continued his presentation.

The next day, John not only survived his live presentation but blew them away. He has gone on to be a best-selling author and an amazing speaker.

It’s important to note what happened to John during his presentation to us in that small room. As his emotions grewer higher due to our assault, his intelligence went down. He lost focus. He fell directly into the trap we were setting.

Think about that the next time you’re in a heated debate. It doesn’t matter if you’re being heckled by friends, arguing with a spouse or having objections thrown at you by peers, as soon as you lose control of your emotions, you’ve already lost.

How you practice is how you play

We’ve all dedicated ourselves to something at some point or another. Whether it was sports and music as children or our careers as adults. In order to get proficient at anything, we had to practice.

There’s a saying we’ve all heard before, “How you practice is how you play.” Getting over rejection and objections requires the same thing way of thinking.

Studies have shown that when we perceive a threat, our brains “downshift” into a simpler, more primal gear. We move from a high-thinking mode into one driven by emotions, memory and even survival.

How are you supposed to overcome an objection if you’re letting “fight or flight” run your actions?

Practice. Don’t go through the motions. Intentionally put yourself in situations where you are almost guaranteed to fail. Practice it, again, and again, and again.

If you’re looking for more on how to overcome objections, grab a copy of my book Sales Dogs.

Original publish date: August 29, 2018

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