Did you know there are more than 100 commonly diagnosed phobias? There are hundreds more uncommon ones too! WOW! That’s a lot of fear! What’s worse is that people are commonly more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. Not kidding here! 

Spiders, germs, snakes, dogs, small spaces, heights… we’re all afraid of something – but it doesn’t have to be the fear of hearing the word “no”! 

I have a friend who is a counselor and sees that many of her clients’ stumbling blocks in life are their unfounded fears. When she counsels, she defines fear as False Evidence Appearing Real. We’ve all heard that, and I’ll get into that more in a minute. 

FEAR…I see this all the time in sales. It’s a real thing. I get it, but guess what, you can conquer it! So many of us are simply afraid to ask someone for help, for a reference, for a recommendation, for a raise or for a sale because the person we are asking might say “no.”  

Okay, let’s think about that…have you ever been told “no”? Of course, you have! A million times! And guess what – you survived! I bet you’ve said no to someone before and it wasn’t devastating, right? (Imagine never saying ‘no’ to your kids!) 

Let’s face it, not everyone will say yes to our big idea or our call for assistance or our sales pitch. Some people might act like we’re putting them out, just because we asked. Others might expect something in return that we’re not prepared to deliver. 

Breathe! It’s not the end of the world!  

Here’s the False Evidence Appearing Real: The false evidence is that you are not equipped to deal with rejection. Not true! You’ve heard no before and lived to tell the tale. The other false evidence is that you aren’t able to fulfill if you get the Yes. Well, if you really can’t take action when someone says yes to you then you shouldn’t be asking! 

But here’s the truth: You are ready and you are capable. Remember your worth 

That’s the key: the “appearing real” part of our fear is that we let past experiences take root in our minds and convince us we aren’t ready or capable.  

It’s time to get over that! Here’s my advice:  

  1. Start expecting to hear “yes!” When you expect a yes, it bolsters your confidence and eases your fear of asking. 
  2. Realize you’re not alone. We’ve all been there and had anxiety about selling ourselves, our ideas, our products. So, get some help…ask for advice, ask to sit in on a sales call, or just talk about your fears and concerns with someone. 
  3. Do what you fear! Yep, Nike was right – JUST DO IT! A lot of getting over fear is simply jumping in and trying it out. So, try it on a little life sale, and then try a bigger one! 

 As the fearless (seemingly!) Dale Carnegie once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!