Let me tell you a story about Teflon Tony.

In the late nineties, my friends and I would frequent a club in downtown Chicago called 'The Drink.'



It was a big, loud, chaotic playground where you'd have to shout at the top of your lungs just to talk to the person standing right next to you.

But Tony didn't give a f*ck about any of that.

Amidst all the chaos, Tony was focused.

While the rest of us danced, cracked jokes and drank watered-down cocktails, Tony would be rampaging through the venue, looking for women to chat up.

Women who were alone, women who were congregated in a group, even women who were on the move that he'd have to physically stop in order to talk to, he had a singular focus.

Between his hyper-aggressive approach and the fact that he didn't exactly fit the mold of the ideal looking male, Tony experienced his fair share of rejection.

And by "fair share" I mean 99 out of 100 approaches would end with him being ignored, avoided or being told to drop dead.

That's a whole lot of rejection.

But here's the thing: it never seemed to bother the guy.

No kidding.

The dreadful experience that the rest of us would do everything in our power to avoid didn't even phase the guy.       

Openly, my friends and I would laugh at him. But secretly, we all were envious.

Envious of how impervious he was to what anyone around him was thinking. Envious of how undeterred he was by the chaotic, unpredictable environment.

Envious of the fact that he didn't allow fear to control or dictate his behavior.

Most of all, we were envious of the fact that he was free.

In this article, you'll learn:

- The truth about rejection, why we fear it and what it costs us
- How to stop allowing the fear of rejection & social judgement control you
- The state of mind to adopt in order to end your enslavement
- Three steps to freeing yourself from the shackles of fear once and for all

TONY'S BIG SECRET

Back then, I would have paid handsomely to know Teflon Tony's big secret.

Why? Because it would have given me so much more in terms of options.

I'd be having, rather than wishing. Winning rather than settling. Choosing, rather than being chosen.

Fast forward 15 years to when I finally grew the hell up and figured it out.

Tony was an insurance salesman.

When he called a lead or a prospect and gave them a quote, he understood that the probability of the person dropping their existing policy and buying the one he was selling was directly proportional to the amount of money he'd be saving them.

And that's it. Their choice was solely based on what was in it for them.

If a prospect wasn't interested, Tony knew it was because they weren't saving enough money to justify the hassle.

And he didn't make it mean anything more than that. Because it didn't mean anything more than that.

This thing called rejection - whether from a lead or from a woman - had no power him because it didn't mean anything.


HEY SMART GUY, STOP ANALYZING SHIT THAT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING


When a woman told Tony to drop dead, he'd just move on to the next one.

Because it didn't mean anything.

If a woman suggested that he fuck off, he didn't tell a story about what it meant about him. Or how it meant that he was somehow insufficient.

Not. He just moved on to the girl standing right behind her.

Because it didn't mean anything.

So here's the big revelation: This thing called rejection only gets its power from the story you tell about what it means.

And guess what? It doesn't have to mean anything.


WELCOME TO THE VICIOUS CIRCLE

One concept that's central to the teachings of Werner Erhard (and subsequently The Landmark Forum) is the idea that human beings are continually conflating what actually happened in any given situation with their story about what happened. This explains why 10 people can witness the same incident and then give 10 different accounts about what happened.

Example:

What actually happened: Cindy left a voicemail saying she needed to cancel our plans for dinner.
My story about what happened: Cindy would obviously rather spend time with someone else because I'm a fucking loser that's not good enough.
Result: My self-esteem flatlines as I'm overwhelmed by the tidal wave of painful emotions being generated by the meaning I've assigned the situation.

Sound familiar?

What's truly insidious about this process is that it's so seamless that it effectively covers its own tracks. In other words, the fact that we can't separate what actually happened from the story we're telling ourselves is completely invisible to us. In the book 'Radical Honesty',  Author Brad Blanton writes that 'Human beings have an infinite capacity for self-deception'.

It's a useful thing to notice.


THE THREE KEYS TO FREEDOM


Now let's talk about freedom. Here are the three specific keys to freedom - Wisdom I only wish I had I had access to in my twenties:

1. Stop giving it meaning. What gives rejection its power over you is 1. the meaning or story yu attach to it and 2. the instinct that all humans have to desire or chase that which they do not have.

Say to yourself, 'This situation doesn't mean anything. Move on to the next.' 

Repeat this as many times as you have to in order to finally grow the hell up. 

2. Stop personalizing it. In reality, rejection is about nothing more than the person or people you're relating to making the choice that they believe is best for them. Keep in mind that they're making that choice based on on the limited information that they have available.

Tell yourself, "Sorry, snowflake - you're not that important." Do this as many times as you have to in order to grow the hell up.

3. Let go of needing to control the outcome. The best way to do this is to adopt a fun, light-hearted learning frame. This is crucial because it's almost impossible for people to learn and improve when they're under pressure.

Tell yourself, "I give other people radical permission to have whatever response they have to me. I'm either going to get what I want or I'm going to learn and improve."

Do this as many times as you have to in order to grow the hell up.


KEY TAKEAWAYS


Once you understand that rejection is 1. not personal, and 2. means nothing, it's easy to 3. free yourself from the anxiety of needing a certain outcome.




Ask yourself: What would your life look like if you gave yourself the freedom to make the world your social playground?

If you've found this knowledge to be valuable, please help me spread the word by sharing it with others.