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Overcoming Rejection: How to Turn Failure Into Success
By Richard Fenton
What if, starting today, the word "no" didn't stop you anymore? What if every time you heard the word "no" you became stronger, more powerful, and more resilient? What if the greatest success strategy in the world was not to go for yes, but to go for no?
Well, it is. The word "no" doesn't have to debilitate you. In fact, it can empower you to achieve a whole new level of greatness you never dreamed possible. You might think this is just a sales strategy. It is a sales strategy. But, it's a life philosophy too.
Whether we define ourselves as salespeople or not, we are all engaged in the sales process. We all must overcome fears of failure and rejection to be successful and achieve what we want. Here are my top five secrets to help you turn failure into success immediately:
- Change your mental model of success and failure
Most people operate with the following mental model:
SUCCESS <== YOU ==> FAILURE
They see themselves in the middle, with success on one end and failure on the other. They do everything they can to move toward success and away from failure. But, what if you reconfigured that model?
YOU ==> FAILURE ==> SUCCESS
Instead of viewing failure as something to be avoided, turn it into a stepping-stone on the path to success and gratification. In other words: Success is the destination. Failure is how you get there.
To achieve significant success in today's world, failure is not just a possibility. It's a requirement. We must see success and failure for what they truly are. They re not opposites, but instead opposite sides of the same coin.
- Intentionally increase your failure rate
If it's true that the more we fail, the more we succeed (and it is), then your immediate goal should be to intentionally increase your failure rate! With this thought in mind, you re succeeding even when you fail. Yes, this is a counter-intuitive, reverse thinking philosophy. But trust me, it works!
Intentionally increasing failure is the basis for the "Go for No" concept. "Go for No" means the more people tell you "no," the closer you will get to ultimate success. In other words, the more people telling you no now, the more people will say yes in the long term. If they actually counted the number of times they hear "no" during a typical day or week, most people would be shocked to see how low the number actually is. Go ahead and try it!
- Set "No" goals
Everyone sets success goals. But how about setting goals for the number of times we fail? For example, rather than a salesperson setting the goal of having two prospects say "yes" to them, they set the goal of being rejected (hearing "no") 10 times. Imagine the first two prospects they called on said, "Yes!" Rather than being done (having hit their "yes" goal), they'd actually be behind because they still have 10 no's to go!
The other exciting aspect of this strategy is how it keeps people "in the game" when they're "red hot"! If all you have is yes goals and then you slow down (or quit) when you're successful, the hot streak ends. But if you keep going when the yeses of life are falling at your feet, the sky is the limit!
- Celebrate your failures, not just your successes
It's natural to be excited about our successes. Yes, you want to celebrate them. Yes, you want to give yourself a reward or even throw a party. But, if the key to success is to increase our failures, then it only makes sense to celebrate our setbacks as well. Yes, you heard right: if someone turns you down, celebrate it!
When is the last time you rewarded yourself for failing? Probably never! Instead of mentally punishing yourself for not succeeding, buy yourself an ice cream cone and say, "I'm one step closer to success!" Stop letting failure have the negative hold it has on your thoughts and emotions.
- See courage as a "muscle"
If failure is a vehicle that can take you to success, then courage is the fuel! Courage is a muscle. And, like any muscle, you must develop and strengthen it with lots of exercise.
As the saying goes: Use it, or lose it. It's no different with courage. Use and develop your courage muscle by looking fear in the eye and taking action anyway. Each time you take action, the courage muscle gets stronger.
When you don't, it atrophies. And before you know it your courage is gone. But it doesn't have to be this way. All the courage you could ever want or need to achieve every goal you have is already in you, just waiting for you to take action.