How To See Yourself As Powerful And Strong No Matter What
When something doesn’t go the way that you want it to in your life, how do you handle it? If you have a setback or a failure, or if you get a rejection or receive a criticism, do you crumble into a ball and give up? Do you crumble at first and then recover bit by bit? Or does it make you even stronger than you were before?
Today, we’re going to discuss how to grow stronger from every setback you face so that you can move toward greater confidence and get what you want out of life. The idea comes from a book called Anti-fragile, by Nassim Taleb, and it’s all about (you guessed it!) becoming anti-fragile.
This concept is incredibly valuable for all areas of life, especially sales, dating and relationships. When most of us encounter failure or rejection, we tend to become fragile, like a thin piece of glass—the rejection breaks us: I’m a failure. I’m never going to get this. I’m can’t do anything right. I hate myself.
That’s one way of handling things. Another way of dealing with failure or rejection is to be resilient—to falter then bounce back. You feel the negativity for a moment, then talk yourself out of it: I’m a failure. I can’t believe I messed up again. Wait a minute; maybe it wasn’t that bad. Okay, I’ve gotten over this before; I can do it again.
Now, there are varying levels of resilience, and the amount of time you stay broken determines your level. The faster you can bounce back, the more resilient you are, and eventually, you can increase your resilience so that you make your recover time faster and faster over time.
Before reading Mr. Taleb’s book, I thought that increasing your resilience was the best—nay, the only—way to successfully navigate rejection successfully. While this is one way to overcome the negative thoughts that come with failure, there is another way that not only helps us bounce back from heartache, but that also helps us to grow from it.
The third way we can choose to deal with failure is by becoming anti-fragile. In this concept, hardships are seen as shocks to the system that can make us stronger, similarly to running sprints and hills before a race. Runners can cut seconds (and even minutes) off their times by shocking the system with speed drills and other forms of interval training. This idea sounded so interesting to me that I thought I’d test it out in a social confidence context.
Almost immediately after making the decision to test this out, I received an online review on my book, The Solution to Social Anxiety (which you can find on Amazon.com or Audible.com). The reviewer gave my book one star and wrote, “Terrible! This book was so bad I wish I bought the hard copy version so I can wipe my ass with its contents.”
Almost immediately, I could feel a part of me become defensive and scream, Fuck you! Then I realized this could be seen as fuel. How could I use that rejection to make me stronger? I started using mantras, like, I feed on rejection. I started imagining that the rejection was a flammable substance like oil that could be ignited to create a fire in my gut. After just a few minutes, I wanted to get my stuff out there even more! I got the idea to start making podcasts and videos of my work, and I was feeling more confident about my ability than I had before.
Let’s say you approach a woman who is not interested in talking to you. Instead of going home and quitting, tell yourself that you’re going to talk to three more women before you even go home. Use that rejection as fuel—start to embrace the idea of anti-fragility that states that rejection is actually strengthening you.
When you begin to approach your setbacks in a positive way, you will get stronger, your confidence will grow, and good things will happen.
I highly recommend that you check out Nassim’s book. Another option for those of you who want to put these theories into practice and develop a strong inner coach, thereby building your confidence from the inside out, check out my program, Confidence Unleashed. In it, we talk about how to eliminate your fear of rejection, how to turn fear into fuel and how to use these tools to take your confidence to the next level.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with anti-fragility, so please “like,” subscribe, and leave your comments below. What has been your experience with the three reactions to rejection? By sharing your experiences with this online community, we can all learn from each other to maximize our confidence in the areas that matter to us most.
Until we meet again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know that you’re awesome. I’ll talk to you soon.
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- But I Keep Getting Rejected! – Q&A with Dr. Aziz - November 29, 2018