Friday, November 21, 2008

How outcome dependency effects the concepts of Rejection and Approach Anxiety

One concept that I have been asked about many times is how to deal with rejection and how to overcome approach anxiety. The experiences I have had in my life have given me a different perspective from many of the people who say that they have struggled with it. I have years of work and volunteer experience doing things like canvassing door to door for political candidates, selling door to door and telemarketing. To survive psychologically in sales where your prospects for success are 10% at best and where you face the prospect of being told to “go to hell” on a regular basis you have to develop a different perspective on what rejection is. By the way compared to sales or asking for donations meeting and talking to women is a piece of cake.
1) One thing to realize is that “rejection” and approach anxiety are psychological constructs. They may seem very real and valid to you, but realize that they are not real in a physical sense they are a way of perceiving a situation.

2) Set reasonable expectations based on factors that you can control: You can’t control the mood the other person is in, who they are as a person or how receptive they will be to buying your product, point of view or approach at that moment in time. But you can control your own attitude and how you chose to respond to people places and situations. It is very possible that a lack of your intended outcome from your initial approach had nothing to do with your value as a person, especially since they never got to know you. Know that if you are doing the right types of things you will win some of the time, but not most of the time.

3) Accept that is ok if you feel nervous at first, it is normal, and it is not something to beat yourself up over or force yourself to overcome. You may even discover that even after 100s of conversations you still get nervous sometimes. Just know that if you act in spite of fear you will discover that it gets easier and becomes something you look forward to because it is fun.

4) Be internally validated and interact with people in a way in which you are genuinely enjoying yourself and having fun. People can tell if you feel that your interaction with them is a chore or something that you feel like you are forced to do. As someone once said “I never get rejected, I only discover if a woman has good taste.” You can’t be rejected if you are not seeking acceptance or validation from the other person.

5) Some will some won’t, so what: An old saying I have heard repeated again and again at my sales jobs and in life in general. This involves not giving too much meaning to any one event. If you expect that most of the time you won’t get your optimal outcome, but know that some of the time you will it will take a lot of pressure off of you.

6) Think about how you can give value to others by being engaging, interesting and interested in them. When you are building this skill it may be useful to have games, gambits and stories prepared that you can use to start a conversation. Later you can become more and more spontaneous as you get more and more comfortable talking to people.

7) You manifest what you think about: learn to visualize and expect a positive outcome, it may not lead to a date or sex, but maybe you will have fun enjoying a conversation. Few women will be horribly rude if you approach. In fact more often than not, the main thing that will happen is nothing. Even if someone is terribly rude you will find that it is funny because it is an unreasonable response to what you are doing. Know that even the worse case scenario is not going to kill you and life will go on.

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