It sucks but it’s true, building a coaching practice will be uncomfortable at times. Yes, it will also be fun, exciting and a big opportunity for freedom and a direct path for you to create a fulfilling life.
But so often our fear about the word “no” stops us in our tracks.
We allow it to:
- Hold us back from asking people if they want a sample session (even though we know coaching will help them)
- Stop us from hitting publish on a blog post (we worry people will judge us poorly)
- Stop us from increasing our prices (because we think people will say we’re too expensive which translates to “who do you think you are anyway”)
- Stop us from looking for clients period.
- Control us so we never pick up the phone and make that call or send that email to follow up.
We’re conditioned to hear the word “no” and assume it means rejection. I sometimes know when you hear “no,” you think it a red-light and it means stop don’t go any further.
How can we learn how to depersonalize the “no’s” and reduce their impact?
Here are 3 Steps that will allow you to feel your disappointment and put you squarely back in control.
Step #1 Brainstorm a list of what the “no” might mean
When you hear the word “no” don’t let your inner critic run wild in your imagination and cause you to doubt your ability to be a successful coach.
Many times, you may ask someone if they would like to begin coaching and they might say “no”. Since we never really know exactly what’s happening in someone’s mind let’s unravel this a bit and look at some possible other meanings. I would encourage you to re-frame this assumption.
There are many reasons someone may say “no”. We might assume that it’s because they don’t like us, and are rejecting us as people.
But what if it’s something completely different?
Ask yourself what the “no” might really mean?
Brainstorm a big list. Make the list huge, let some or the explanation be serious and some a lighter tone. Write it all down and keep it available for the next time someone declines your offer.
Here are some ideas to get you started on your list:
When they say “no” they might mean:
- Not yet
- I don’t like you
- I don’t trust you
- I don’t know you well enough yet to trust you
- I’m not ready to work on this problem. I’m nervous.
- I’m scared I’ll find out I’m the only person in the world who is permanently and utterly screwed up
- I don’t completely understand how coaching will help me
- I’m not sure it will work for me
- I don’t think I can afford it
Now it’s your turn. Make the list long, even a little weird is good. Use your imagination. I challenge you to make a list of 20-30 ideas of what “no” might mean. Realize that “no” could mean any of the things on your list or something else entirely.
Good, now that you’ve got your list keep it for the next time you get rejected. You might want to write it in the back of your Worry Journal that I talk about in Step #3.
The next time you hear “no”, pull out the list and read all the possible reasons they may have said no.
This step will help you depersonalize the response. Because truthfully, it really could be any of these reasons.
Step #2: Give yourself a time limit to worry
Accept that your inner critic will run wild for a while and know that this is a completely normal reaction. If you have experience in cold calling and high-pressure sales you may already have figured this out and learned how to accept and manage these feelings.
Decide now how long is reasonable for you to worry and ruminate on this “no”. If you create your own rules you will feel more in control of your reaction. It’s completely reasonable to be disappointed when something doesn’t work out and equally important to allow yourself to feel deflated.
Over to you, what’s a reasonable time limit for you? Is it 4 hours, 8 hours, three days?
You get to decide, and the next time you get turned down look at your watch and tell yourself. “Ok, you’ve got exactly 4 hours to worry about this, to feel disappointed and then it will be time to move on.”
I know this might seem odd but creating a new more constructive habit that serves you and your happiness will feel a little odd at first.
But give it time, and you will have created a helpful new way of handling rejection.
Step #3 Keep a worry journal
Buy yourself a journal and label it “My Worry Journal”.
You’re going to use this journal exclusively for the times that you are worried, or feel rejected and disappointed.
Don’t use the same journal that you use to capture your hopes, dreams and inspired thoughts. I’ve found that I like to keep the worry separate. Otherwise, it muddies and tramples on my inspiration.
Here’s what to do:
1. The next time you get a “no”, and feel disappointed, allow yourself your “worry time” from Step #2.
2. Review your big list of “what that no might mean”.
3. Next, when you’re close to the end of this “worry time” pull out your worry journal and set a timer for 10 minutes to download and write everything you feel into the journal.
Much of what you write will be the dialogue from your Inner Critic, but that’s ok. You don’t need to pretend you’re not disappointed. In fact, you don’t want to pretend you feel any way other than the way you feel at this moment. Allow the feelings to pour out of you and onto the paper.
When you get to the end of the 10 minutes if you feel like you need more time, set your timer for an additional 10 minutes and write until you feel like you’ve got it all off your chest.
4. Complete the journaling by writing this phrase (or another that feels good to you).
"I now choose to release the hold that this worry has on me. I know that at the heart of it, I will be ok and that I am meant to do great things in my life. This one “no” does not in any way reflect on me or my worth. I am a worthy being, and I choose to focus on what I can learn and improve from this experience. I am ok, and I will be ok."
5. The final step is to close the worry journal and put it away.
This action signifies the closing of your worry time and taking these steps will help you to create a way of dealing with rejection in a healthy way and not allowing it to control your life or ultimately how you view the world.
Rituals are a powerful way for you to consciously create new habits that you want to embed in your life.
Making a new habit takes time and practice, use these 3 Steps to create a new ritual and habit for how you manage rejection. You’re going to find you feel so much more freedom and fulfilment when you no longer allow disappointment and the fear of rejection to run your life.
My goal is to help you, have your dream coaching practice. How’s it going? Is it everything you hoped it would be? If you’re looking for my clarity, confidence and focus and you've been thinking of working with a coach, schedule a complimentary Clarity Session HERE