The desire to be liked, whether right or wrong, will not get you ahead in business.

Having self-confidence, being assertive and asking directly for what you want are the qualities that will make you successful.

The bitter truth is that no matter how hard you try, there will always be people out there who do not like you.

You may as well get comfortable with ruffling feathers and rattling cages because rejection is predictable.

And please don’t take rejection personally because it’s not personal, it’s business.


Patterns of self-talk


I’ve learned that the way I react to things, whether appropriate or inappropriate, is directly linked to the things I tell myself.

While rejection is often highly inconvenient and annoying, it’s my self-talk that creates either a positive, a neutral or a negative reaction.

When I first started out in business I was young and naive.

I was still trying to figure out who I was and how I fitted into the grand scheme of things.

Even so I was persistent and determined to succeed.

Unfortunately disapproval was all around me and it was a difficult pill to swallow.

In private I’d well up with tears, anger and hostility if my carefully thought out ideas and proposals got rejected.

It would eat away at me and sometimes ruin the rest of my day.

I knew I had to figure out a better way of coping.

So I read a lot of self-improvement books and I learned to change my self-talk.

Instead of telling myself I was worthless and it was the end of the world if others disapproved of me, I thanked the universe for giving me a sign that my prospect was not a good fit.

That we were not meant to do business together.

That there were plenty more fish in the sea.

The effect was liberating.

I found myself taking on a devil may care attitude towards my prospecting.

I enjoyed the process more and stopped worrying about the outcome.

I treated meetings as an opportunity to get to know each other rather than “You have to buy from me NOW or else!”

Above all I appreciated the importance of making a lasting impression, of leaving the door wide open long after I’d closed it behind me.


How did I change my thinking?


Well, it was a process.

Not something I was able to achieve overnight.

But, with practice, I was able to think negative irrational beliefs with less intensity and to experience them as a fleeting thought, rather than a continuous one.

By disputing my negative thoughts vigorously and repeatedly I began to see how foolish and self-defeating they were and, as a result, I became less affected by them.

When I stopped creating unnecessary emotional turmoil with “over-awfulisations” I noticed a more neutral viewpoint beginning to develop.

Every now and then I am guilty of slipping back into my old ways of thinking, but at least I have the tools to help me quickly change my emotional response.

Are you able to instantly put your life and problems into perspective?

If so, well done!

If not, stop judging yourself, and learn to become more present and mindful as you go about your daily business.

Practice makes perfect.