The Fear of Rejection

The fear of rejection is the central fear that limits our ability to sell, whether we are selling ourselves or our ideas, selling a product or service, or selling of a business opportunity.

It is interesting to look more deeply into the underpinnings of this fear, and my hope is that these insights regarding the nature of the fear of rejection will shed new light on causes and effects. With these insights, I will show you how to use the knowledge of the origins of this fear, along with new and powerful experiential techniques, to vaporize your fear of rejection permanently.

As a starting point I want to mention W. Timothy Gallwey, author of The Inner Game Of Tennis, The Inner Game Of Golf and several other inner game books. Gallwey utilizes the following formula:

Performance = Potential – Interference

In addition to studying rejection-based fear, I have been pioneering a new field called Human Software Engineering for many years. I love Gallwey’s formula because Human Software Engineering is about removing the interference. Gallwey’s formula is elegant, straightforward, and absolutely correct.

Every person wields enormous potential, but most are kept from fully expressing this potential due to some form of internal interference. In the field of sales, the biggest potential interference is the fear of rejection. In simple terms, fear is the central and sometimes the only interference to successful selling.

The manifestation of this interference, the fear of rejection, comes from a part of us that is afraid of someone telling us ‘NO’. Intellectually, it might seem like a minor thing to be told ‘NO’, but think about how many times you were told ‘NO’ as a kid. During our youth, the experience of hearing ‘NO’ was often startling, embarrassing, or frustrating. Being told ‘NO’ when we really, really wanted something, and recognizing that we were powerless against it, could be painful.

And that old painful ‘NO’ is still inside of you, just waiting for a chance to rekindle your fears.


The Core Dynamics of Human Conditioning

Below, you’ll find an outline of what I call The Core Dynamics of Human Conditioning.

core dynamics of human conditioning

These dynamics explain how our minds are conditioned during the first few years of our life, prior to our acquisition of language. There are 12 Core Dynamics, and you can read about them in some of Tom Stone’ other books and eBooks like Vaporize Your Anxiety without Drugs or Therapy.

 One of these Core Dynamics is Resisting Feeling Things Fully. When we are very young, we are easily emotionally overwhelmed. I’ve yet to meet anyone who enjoys having this kind of experience. In fact, we hate it so much that in order to avoid the feeling of being emotionally overwhelmed, we begin to learn how to control our emotions. By self-limiting our natural ability to feel, we protect ourselves from the agony of uncontrollable emotion, and this process of self-protection begins when we are pre-verbal.

As we grow and begin to acquire language skills, we become fascinated with the ability to speak our minds rather than shout our feelings. We concentrate on building these skills, and largely forget that we made a pre-verbal decision to shut down our feelings, particularly when the feelings are overwhelming. This sets us up for a lifelong inability to properly resolve emotions like fear, anxiety, anger, or frustration.

When this Core Dynamic of Resisting Feeling Things Fully is in place, and we have a painful experience of being told ‘NO’, we tend not to complete the painful emotional experience. The pain of that old ‘NO’ is still inside of us, even though we may have become skilled at suppressing it.

As a result of that lingering pain, we fear any situation that might re-activate the power of ‘NO’, and we do our best to avoid getting into any situation where we will have to deal with the old, unresolved pain of hearing ‘NO’.

This is why the vast majority of people simply hate selling. There are secondary reasons, of course. Most people have dealt with a ‘salesman’ trying to push them into an unnecessary purchase, and no one likes to be badgered into buying anything. But this negative association with the act of selling is nowhere near as powerful as our fear of the word ‘NO’. Not wanting to hear ‘NO’ is what drives us away from potential confrontation and fuels our fear of rejection. We tend to take the ‘NO’ personally.

We take the ‘NO’ personally because, ultimately, it is personal. When someone tells us ‘NO’ for whatever reason, it reveals a conflict of wills. This conflict is centered on a difference of desires or goals, and when someone stands in the way of what we want, those old feelings of frustration, embarrassment, and resentment bubble to the surface. This is the source of our fear of the ‘NO’. It’s not just the verbal intonation of the word ‘NO’ that we fear, it is the underlying and intentional deflection of our will. This fear is magnified in any situation that we find important, like sales.

Obviously, we prefer it when others agree with us or behave in a non-conflicting way. In a sales situation, we want a person to like or buy our product, enroll in our business opportunity, or accept our idea, whatever it might be. But when we find ourselves in a situation where we anticipate the possibility of a ‘NO’, we have a tendency to shy away from that situation. This is the primary interference faced by people in the network marketing business, and it is equally true for any type of sales.

Everyone knows that the vast majority of people loathe sales. They might not necessarily be able to articulate why, but the reason they hate selling is a direct result of a personal fear of rejection. And the reason they fear rejection is tied to the fear of reactivating the traumatic, unresolved, and painful energy of the ‘NO’ that festers inside all of us.

So every time there’s a possibility that someone will tell us ‘NO!’, that old fear rears its head, especially when the situation has to do with a goal or desire that is important to us. This is why we tend to avoid sales – and this also means there is a traumatic element to our fear.

In a sales situation, we understand that there is a possibility we’re going to have to face that pain and FEEL the pain of ‘NO’. This possibility is what causes people to avoid anything resembling selling. This insight about the nature of the fear of rejection allows us to understand that when you talk to someone about a network marketing opportunity, the vast majority of people reject that opportunity. They intuitively understand that it’s going to be hard to build a successful sales organization, because they will have to deal with their old unresolved fear of the ‘NO’, plus they know that the vast majority of people don’t want anything to do with selling.

Most network marketing companies create everything for you: the products, the marketing materials, the replicating website, the infrastructure, the accounting, the training, and everything else you need to be successful.

The one thing they can’t provide, and the one thing you must do yourself, is the selling. You are the person that has to go out and sell the idea. However, if you’re afraid that somebody is going to tell you ‘NO’, you may choose not to talk to very many people, or, at best, the scope of people you do talk to will be very limited.

Until now, most people have accepted their fear of ‘NO’ without questioning it because, until now, there hasn’t been an effective way of resolving our universal fear of being told ‘NO’.

But what if it was possible to completely eliminate your fear of being told ‘NO’? What if you could hear ‘NO’ again and again and not have it bother you at all?

This post is the first in a series of 8 posts.

The next post is Emotional Energy. Emotional Energy

Originally posted 2017-01-04 22:00:09.