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What’s All the Fuss About Rejection

by Bill Cates

No one likes to have their ideas, recommendations, or proposals rejected.

We work in an industry where rejection goes with the territory. From where I sit, it appears to be human nature to have an aversion to rejection.

The problem comes when any fear or discomfort of rejection stops us from getting what we want in business and life in general.

Tell me if you can relate to this observation. When people enter this business, they often push through their fears to generate the momentum necessary to achieve some level of success in this business. Then, as they begin to become more comfortable, they let some of their old fears back in or let new fears enter the picture. So, they reach a plateau and can’t seem to grow any further.

Can you relate?

I’m currently coaching a successful advisor who used to ask for introductions from his clients all the time. He used the old line, “It worked so well I stopped doing it.” The longer he has gone without asking, the more inertia has set in that he can’t seem to overcome.

Now… if you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t really have any fears that hold me back.”, can I come over and bop you on the head to wake you up from your dream?

Are They Rejecting You or Your Offer?

A lot has been written on this topic of rejection. Some people say, “They aren’t rejecting you; they’re rejecting your ideas or value proposition.”  Well, this is certainly true at times. And sometimes, they ARE rejecting you. Sometimes you don’t click with someone and, regardless of your ideas and value, they don’t want to move forward. 

That kind of thinking – “they’re not rejecting you” – is counterproductive, because it can keep someone from dealing with the real issue around rejection. I think the most important thing one can do to reduce the fear of “no” is to stop making it mean so much.  Most people fear “no” because they’ve attached too much negative meaning to the word.

The most important thing I’ve learned to do in my business career is to just not let “no” mean too much. Sometimes people reject my ideas. Sometimes they reject me. Sometimes they’re not ready for my value. As my teenage daughter used to say to me, “Whatever.”

When I’m being “rejected,” I do what I can to explore it and reframe it. If all else fails I walk away. Do I like it?  Of course not. How long does it last?  Minutes at the most.

Let go of making rejection mean too much to you. When you have an abundance state of mind and someone says “no”, you think “next.”


  1. What important things are you not doing in your business because you fear being rejected? Be honest with yourself. Is it checking in with your clients to make sure all expectations are being met? Is it asking for possible introductions? Is it delivering bad news to a client or a team member? Make your list.

  2. Every week, for as many weeks as it takes, take action that moves you into that place of fear. Suck it up and do it. Have a friend, colleague or team member support you by practicing with you and asking you how you did after each appointment.

It’s trite, but it’s true. You cannot think your way through a fear. The only way to eliminate a fear is to do that thing.  Let me know how you do!

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