Fear, Persistence and Success

Regardless of our chosen field, we normally have to work hard for a long time to become the sort of person who is able to achieve great results. Two of the most important character traits we need to develop in order to achieve success are persistence and overcoming the fear of rejection.

Everyone experiences fear of rejection. In the case of BNI founder, Dr Ivan Misner, the overwhelming experience came when he was trying to persuade stores to carry his first book. He found himself afraid to get out of the car and walk into the store to ask.

Finally he realized that the worst that could happen if he asked was the same thing as if he did nothing at all: the store would not carry his book. So he picked up a copy of the book and went into the store. They asked for 20 copies.

I remember thinking back. That was sort of a nexus point in terms of rejection. I could do it or I could not do it. Not doing it would give me the same response as what I presently had, which was no books there. So I tell people don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from doing what you are excited about. If you are excited about your business, don’t let rejection stop you. You have to just know that when it comes to asking somebody to do something, including asking people to join BNI.

Some will. Some won’t. So what? It’s not the end of the world. I just had to put myself in the frame of mind that this is just not that big of a deal. If someone doesn’t want to do it, that’s fine. God bless them. I love them. It’s not that big a deal.

I have always thought that I may not be the most successful man in a room. I may not be the smartest man in a room. But I am pretty confident that I am the most persistent man in the room—or certainly one of the most persistent men in the room. That commitment to trying has helped me succeed. I think it is one of the things that consistently helps anyone have long-term success. The whole process has to begin with the old axiom that if you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’ll be right.

So I say to people don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from what you are excited about. It begins with trying versus quitting. Keep trying and you have a chance at winning.

Success doesn’t necessarily go to the smartest person: persistence is critical. If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. So don’t let fear of rejection stop you.

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