When I first got into meeting new people – deliberately going out and initiating conversations with strangers – I immediately got a sense that it wasn’t going very well.
I was practicing this new honesty approach I’d discovered, so I was trying to have integrity, be vulnerable and bold with people, and just let them judge me for who I really am.
And like I said, at first it felt like constant “failure”.
Then one day I sat down and “did the numbers” like, how many people have I gone up to?
The number was only 23!
I was surprised, because it felt like so many more than that.
I figured out that I’d been subject to my cognitive biases. Because it was such an emotional experience to approach a stranger, it felt like lots more was happening than in reality.
It reminded me of how I’d been put off asking girls out for 10 years because of a single humiliating rejection in high school. Lots of my clients do this as well – they talk about their history as if it’s been filled with rejections, and yet when we count them up the number is usually less than 10… for their entire lifetime.
I realized that if I have integrity and I’m unapologetically me, then I’m going to be polarizing. Only a small percentage of people are going to really love me, and everyone else is going to somewhat dislike me or feel neutral.
On top of that, I’m new to this honesty stuff, so my delivery will be shaky and maybe even a bit off-putting at first. So those first 20 don’t even count!
I hadn’t nearly met enough people yet to get a good sample size. I needed to meet hundreds of people before I could accurately measure what was happening.
And so often you’ll do this. You’re not doing the numbers. You’re just going by the feeling of the last interaction, when really you’ve done nowhere near the amount you need to see what’s really happening.
Whether it’s reaching out to new clients to start a business, or go on dates, or approach strangers, or initiate confrontations, do your numbers.
Have you made hundreds of attempts yet? No? Then you’ve barely even started.
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