“Life is 10% what you make it, and 90% how you take it.” – Irving Berlin
You have just put the finishing touches on your fourth insurance application for the week and it’s only Thursday. You’re feeling good about yourself, your career, and your future. Everything is going as planned. Then the phone rings. It’s from a client you sold an above-average plan to last year. Circumstances have changed, however, and he needs to drop the policy. You do your best to salvage it, but his mind is made up. You’re sorry to see him drop the coverage, but you say to yourself, “It’s all part of the sales business.” You then begin to prepare for tomorrow’s appointment, not giving the lost client another thought.
Let’s replay this situation and change the circumstances. Let’s assume the client calls to cancel his policy after you have had a three-week dry spell in your practice. How would you react now? Will your attitude remain as positive as the one you described above? Or, will you react differently? Will you say to yourself, “Why is this happening to me?” Or worse, “When will I ever make a sale?” The client call in both scenarios is the same; how you react to it can be different.
You are not alone in facing disappointment, rejection, and setbacks. Everyone deals with rejection, especially in the sales field. Life insurance selling has always been one of the most difficult, challenging professions, and it is more complex today than ever. Learning to bounce back and respond constructively to stress is the best antidote to disappointment. You must learn to keep mistakes and setbacks in perspective as single events to be dealt with and not as proof of your ineffectiveness or inadequacy. Negative thoughts and feelings don’t determine who you are; your actions do.
Staying positive, no matter how difficult it may be, is essential in dealing with rejection. No one likes rejection, but some people are much better at dealing with it than others. Dealing with rejection requires positive thought and action. If your mind is trained to react to things negatively, you will need to work at retraining your mind so that it reacts positively when you are faced with adversity or disappointing news.
Once you learn how to be positive when you’re faced with negative news, you’ll have a much easier time dealing with and accepting rejection.
Here are some suggestions you can use to stay positive, overcome adversity, and get back on top of your game.
1. Take positive action. Analyze your situation and write out specific goals you would like to achieve. Then, create mini action steps to achieve those goals. Monitor your progress daily. Refine or revise your plan as needed.
2. Keep a success journal. Write down everything you feel proud about in your life and career. Write in your success journal daily. When you’re having a bad day, open your success journal and read previous entries to help get you back into a positive mindset.
3. Create a personal mission statement. Keep the big picture in mind. An example of a mission statement is, “My mission is to find challenge, enjoyment, and profit by exceeding my clients’ expectations in helping them to identify their financial goals, then implement ways to accomplish their plans.” Consider printing your personal mission and placing it where you’ll easily see it every day, as a reminder of the goal toward which you are working.
4. Write out positive affirmations. Make sure you also repeat them out loud – often. What you think about gets internalized, and those thoughts will act as a magnet to manifest what you told yourself about the situation. Examples of affirmations include: “I build my own self-respect by serving and respecting others,” and “The more value I create for people, the more personal rewards I’ll enjoy.” Again, consider printing your positive affirmations and placing them where you’ll see them everyday. Then, each time you see an affirmation, repeat it. Eventually, you’ll automatically recite your positive affirmations when dealing with a difficult situation.
5. Take good care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, and get adequate rest. No matter how busy you are during a day, find the time to eat a balanced diet, exercise (even if it’s just a walk around the block), and get enough sleep each night to allow yourself to feel rested and refreshed. The better you feel about yourself, the more positive you will be. As a result, you’ll have a much easier time dealing with any obstacles that may come your way. Participate in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. The best way to do this is to schedule those activities just as you would an appointment with a client.