This one behaviour separates the successful from the struggling masses.
I’m turning 38 this year and am fortunate to have been through a lot.
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Life has a cyclical pace that can often feel ruthless and unforgiving.
I may have been knocked down many times, but my obsessive need to figure shit out has helped me a ton too.
I’m here to over-analyse stuff, so you don’t need to.
Listen in: this single piece of advice could change everything for you, as it has for me…
There is power in a single idea.
Are you open to receiving that power?
I want you to think back for a second about all the mistakes and perceived problems you’ve had over your life so far.
I’m sorry to get heavy here but run with me for a moment…
Every time you were avoidant.
Every time you beat yourself up for a mistake you made.
Every time you went to sleep, grimacing over what happened.
Every time you took the safe route and regretted not accepting a challenge.
Every twinge you felt in your chest.
Why did you see it as a ‘mistake?’
Why did that moment influence you so much?
Why did you take things so personally?
Why did you die inside?
While studying human behaviour, I came across a fascinating and underrated Austrian psychologist named Alfred Adler.
He had a take on human behaviour and suffering that was refreshing to me.
One of his stand out quotes was this:
“All problems are interpersonal relationship problems.”
ALL of them?
And how is slow wifi not included here?
Well, perhaps when we reflect on this a little longer, we may see the truth to his words.
It hit me when I dug deeper…
Everything that brings us ongoing stress, anxiety, sadness, and anger is all because of how we view ourselves in the context of other people.
We are indeed social beings.
We care deeply about maintaining harmony in our connections.
I don’t know about you, but damn can it sting when someone we like doesn’t appear to return the favour.
We all fear losing a connection with another human being.
We fear being disliked.
We fear abandonment.
We fear disconnection.
It’s innate to the human condition.
It’s what makes us human, and it is the age-old fear that has plagued us for millennia.
It’s this fear, my friend, that lies at the root of all your suffering.
So, what does knowing this mean for your ‘success?’
And yes, I know, I know, success is subjective.
But what is ‘success’ for you?
And how does understanding this innate fear help us become successful in the way we want to be successful?
If we can find a way to be OK with perceived rejection from another human, we have a significant, dare I say it, monumental advantage over the struggling masses.
That’s it. That one thing.
To be OK with someone saying ‘no’ to you, in all its manifestations:
A rejected job application.
Not having a smile returned by the girl you like.
Not seeing the numbers you wanted when launching your product.
Getting an angry comment on your post.
Every time they ignored you when you just wanted to be seen.
Why is this so important?
Because if we can sit with the pain of rejection, breathe, and move on quickly — we’re doing what few do:
We stay in the game.
Being stoic in the face of a NO — even if it hurts — takes measured, calm daily practice.
It feels counterintuitive, but there is magic here.
It really is the missing piece.
If you can remain calm when someone pushes back, you win.
If you can take criticism on the chin and continue writing regardless, you win.
If you can move on from a break-up quickly and not take it so personally, you win.
This is the one thing that separates the unfathomably successful from the struggling.
They are ok with no, and they actively get out there and seek out more nos.
Again, and again, again.
Even when they want to quit.
They don’t stop in the face of it. They double down.
They allow the darkest, most wild aspect of their nature to rise to the surface, providing them with a hidden strength that others will envy.
Potential rejection guides them to the things worth doing.
They know there is power here because everyone else is paralysed in avoidance.
If you’ve made it this far, you have it within you to join the elite few.
If greatness is a possibility for you,
It can no longer be simply an ‘option.’
It’s a must.
CONTRIBUTED BY Alex Mathers.