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5 ways to get over "no"

If you are like most of my romance clients, worries about rejection top your "What keeps me from finding the love of my life?" list.

If you step out into the dating world at all, you are almost certainly going to hear some "no's." And you'll be saying a few "no's" yourself. So what is so hard about "no?" Why does "no" have such potentially devastating impact?

Our self-centered babyhood

Infants all come into the world the same way, with no awareness of themselves as separate creatures from the people and the universe around them. We all start out incredibly self-centered. We are hungry and cry and get fed.Â

But babies learn that crying doesn't always work. From their little self-centered place, babies start doubting their power. Babies start thinking that there is something wrong with themselves, something flawed, when they can't make their environment provide what they want.

So where does the fear of "no" come in? "No!" was usually the very first disciplining any of us had. "No!" becomes associated with restriction, punishment and inhibition of our behavior. And that insults our sense of being perfect, as well as activates our fear of being flawed. Not at all pleasant, for babies or adults.

We all retain those early feelings of vulnerability, of basic perfection and basic flaw. Deep down, we know we are flawed (as is everyone, but that is hard to keep in perspective) and therefore suspect that we are unlovable. Each potential "No!" brings out that terror and shame full-tilt.

Keeping the panic at bay

The adult you have become co-exists inside you with the child you were and the parent you had. The adult part of you is logical and rational and able to put the world into perspective.

1. When your child part is terrified, engage your adult the best that you can. When you hear yourself saying, "I'll never find a sweetheart, no one will ever love me," get your adult working. Adults know that "always and never" statements are usually untrue. Make a list of the people who do care about you and read it over when you are in the depths of despond. Remind yourself that you are indeed lovable.

2. Have you heard the expression "Garbage in, garbage out"? Surround yourself with people and messages that encourage and support your love-ability. Single people tend to band together and reinforce each other's worst fears with statements like "There are no good men out there" or "All the good ones are taken." Get on a good dating site and look around. Pay attention to the positive stories of people who met online and married.

3. Use the techniques that successful salespeople use: Decide how many people you'd be willing to meet before you give up the search. Ten? Probably not enough. One hundred? Now you're getting there -- I can't imagine that you won't meet someone very attractive who also thinks you are pretty neat before you hit 100 first dates. And every time you hear or say "No!" you will be one date closer to your goal of love.

4. Here's another sales tip: Not everyone will want to buy what you are selling, but if you have a good product, you'll be able to find customers if you look in the right places. Make sure you believe in your product (you!) and that your product is ready for market. My book "Find a Sweetheart Soon! Your Love Trip Planner" deals with just that: getting as ready as you can be. Then be sure you are knocking on the right doors!

5. Now for some reverse psychology: Develop some "No!" tolerance. I often tell rejection-phobic clients to go out and collect some "no's." It doesn't take too many "no's" to find out that you are going to live through the experience.

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