The reading level for this article is All Levels
Have you ever been stopped in your marketing tracks because of procrastination, and didn’t know where it was coming from? This happened a few times with some of my private clients this week, and we noticed that every time it wasn’t really procrastination, it was a fear of some sort that was holding them back.
Perhaps you’ve experienced it too? The fear of reaching out to people, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not doing something right, and the kicker, fear of REJECTION? I don’t think I know anyone who’s not experienced some form of fear of rejection when marketing themselves. I think it’s inherent in many of us. Problem is, it holds us back from doing what it takes to get clients. And it’s got to stop.
Fear of rejection keeps people from marketing, from networking, from asking for the sale, reaching out, from public speaking, from asking for referrals, and from collaborating with strategic alliances. You’ve heard me say this a thousand times: if you don’t market today, you won’t have clients in six months.
So, understanding that there’s some sort of fear stopping you, what do you do about it? I’ve done a lot of research on this, for my clients, and for myself over the years. I’ve read books, special reports and anything that was available on the subject. Problem is that most people just GLOSS OVER what you should do.
The “experts” talk about changing your mindset, thinking positively, and all that good stuff. OK, but that’s not practical enough for me. I wanted to know EXACTLY what to do to eliminate the fears and limiting beliefs that have held me back in the past and that I continually see my clients struggling with.
I’ve discovered there’s more to getting clients than just the OUTER game of Client Attraction (marketing). There’s also an INNER game of Client Attraction (your mindset and beliefs) and if you don’t deal with the inner part, then you’ll keep doing the same things (and making the same money) you’ve been making for years to come. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to continue to grow and make more.
So, I went on an internal search for what the answer was, and I found it. I’ve worked (and continue to work) on my personal growth and development, and I’ve broken it down into a series of steps that, when done in sequence, help eliminate the limiting beliefs and fears that hold us back from marketing (and shining, personally) in a big way.
Here’s what you do:
- Establish the root fear or limiting belief that’s holding you back from marketing. (Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of doing it wrong, fear of asking for what you want, fear of saying no to someone, etc.) Let’s pick fear of rejection, just for argument’s sake, since it’s such a biggie with my clients.
- Think back to your childhood. What is the earliest memory you have of being rejected? Write it down. (I’m serious, don’t just read this assignment, write it down. That’s how you get results.) If you get stuck, then go back to what the original thought that popped up when you read the assignment. That’s usually the big one that needs to be addressed first, even if you don’t think it is.
- Write down ALL the events in life in which you can remember feeling rejected (your parents, kids in grade school, high school, the dating years, cheerleading or sports tryouts, the working world, and of course, since being self-employed).
- Now, think about what MEANING you created about yourself as a result of each of those incidents. (“I’m not good enough,” “I’m dumb,” “I’ll never be good at marketing,” “When I reach out, I get rejected,” “I’m not cut out to make a lot of money,” etc. Really spend some time on this, because that’s where the healing begins. Be a hard grader.
- Then, make a separate list of how these MEANINGS you created have stopped you in life. Did you stop reaching out? Did you stop taking chances? Did you retreat into a hole? Did you hold back from taking advantage of opportunities that could have advanced you? Write them all down.
- Now, go back to the list of meanings you created and ask yourself, “What if what I THINK happened wasn’t actually the case?” Here’s what I mean: If you were rejected by your “crush” in high school after telling this person you liked them, imagine other scenarios other than “I’m unattractive” or “I’m not lovable.” Could they have secretly been dating someone else? Could they have been shy and not known what to say? Could they even have been interested in the opposite sex? Write it ALL down.
- This is a list of ALTERNATIVE reasons why they wouldn’t have done the ‘right’ thing by you, rather than thinking you were unattractive or unlovable. Now, look at this list and pick one, because I’ll guarantee you, what you THINK happened is probably not what happened. Each person has their own writing on the wall and even if they said or did something unacceptable, we don’t REALLY know what that reason was (we might never know what was going on for them at that time).
- Reevaluate the limiting belief or your fear. Is it REALLY true that you were rejected? Could there have been another reason for what happened? Is it really WORTH your still being affected by this and having lost out on opportunities your whole life because of what one (dumb) person said or did?
- Decide to select the ALTERNATIVE reason for what happened and move past the fear. You deserve to not be stuck in your tracks any more. You deserve to be free from what others said or did to you in the past. You deserve to be successful and that’s what I want for you.
- If you can’t seem to let the fear go, then just FEEL the fear, and do what it takes anyway. You’ve heard the saying: “Successful people feel the fear too, and they do what it takes anyway.” That’s been my experience. When I feel myself getting stopped, I just push through and get things done. It’s never as bad as what I feared. Best of all, every time you push through a fear that stops you, you exercise that muscle. After a while, limiting fears or beliefs don’t have a chance against you.
Your Client Attraction Assignment:
Make a point to do the exercise above. Take an afternoon or an hour each day, and really work through what’s stopping you. It can seem scary at first, but I assure you, when you actually do it, it becomes easy. And it feels so FREEING at the end.
You’ll notice that you will start DOING more than before, taking advantage of opportunities, and getting better results in marketing. That immediately equals more paying clients, more results, and in my experience, financial freedom and being able to live the life you really want. I once read that the view from the other side of fear is success. Are you game?