When Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) was a young man, he had a debilitating fear of asking women out on a date. He desperately wanted to get into the dating scene but was being held back by his inability to talk to the opposite sex.
After analyzing his situation, Albert realized that his real problem wasn’t speaking to women. He could do that so long as he wasn’t asking them out on a date. His real problem was his fear of rejection. He was horrified by the prospect of being told no.
By scrutinizing his thoughts, Albert discovered the root of his fear. He was telling himself how horrible it would be if he asked someone out and they rejected his offer. This was irrational, and he knew it. He decided getting a no from someone was better than not trying at all, after all, by not asking, he was already getting a no and not allowing anyone to say yes.
He concluded that a no would not be as terrible as he was telling himself. He also noticed that even though he was now thinking realistically about his situation, he was still feeling apprehensive about approaching women and asking them on a date.
After much thought, Albert decided the only way he was ever going to really conquer his problem was to actually go out and learn to deal with rejection.
Armed with his new belief that it wasn’t such a terrible thing to get a no from a complete stranger, he forced himself to go out and ask 100 women to go out with him. He reasoned that after being rejected 100 times, he will have become comfortable with it.
For the next thirty days, he went to the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx and asked 100 women if they would like to go on a date with him. After one month he had received 100 no’s and only one yes. (His one yes, never showed up for their date.)
All though he didn’t get a date from his efforts, he managed to overcome his fear of rejection and eventually meet the women of his dreams.
To some Albert’s story may sound like a failure. But it is far from it. By overcoming his fear of rejection, he was able to create a life of success. He learned that as long as your fears are in control, you will never get what you want because you will never take action.
Getting into action is necessary if you want success in your life. You must learn to face your fears, be comfortable with rejection, and be okay with not immediately getting the results you are seeking.
Successful people know that rejection is part of the process. In fact, rejection may be the key to all great successes. If you want great success, then you must be willing to put yourself out there and prepared to face the scrutiny of others. You must be ready to take the bad with the good, and even be comfortable doing it.
The great baseball player Babe Ruth hit 714 homeruns but struck out 1,330 times. NBA star Michael Jordan missed 12,345 shots during his career but will go down in history as one of the top players of all time.
If you wish to be successful, you must take Albert’s advice and stop telling yourself how horrible it will be if I don’t get what I want on every attempt.
Instead, realize how horrible it will be if you don’t try. Know the only real rejection comes when you reject yourself by not attempting to go for your dreams. Refuse to quit. Take action, learn from your results, and never never never give up.
Question: How has your fears kept you from living up to your potential? You can leave a comment by clicking here.