In the weeks since Donald Trump stunned the world and won the 2016 presidential election, many people have weighed in with analysis and offered their explanation of the Trump miracle from political, economic and business angles. However, there was one aspect that led to Trump’s victory that almost no one has talked about – his mastery of rejection.
I am not a Trump supporter, to say the least. And I don’t agree with most of his policies and rhetoric. That being said, as an entrepreneur and researcher on the subject of fear and rejection, I see all people through the lens of their relationship with rejection.
As a result, I found Trump’s candidacy fascinating. In my newly published TED talk on rejection, I discussed this phenomenon: that the people who changed the world, against overwhelming odds, were not the people who avoided rejection, but those who embraced it and used it as their power…
In the case of Donald Trump, it’s too early to predict how his presidency will unfold, but one thing was clear — Trump understood and used the power of rejection better than all of his opponents. Here are three major reasons why.
1. Trump actively sought rejection to build his tribe and jumpstart his campaign…
Second, throughout his campaign, Trump kept using rejections as fuels for both his tribe and himself…
Lastly, Trump never gave up no matter how overwhelming the rejection was…
The day before the election on November 7, when all the polls showed Clinton as an overwhelming favorite, I went to both Trump’s and Clinton’s websites looking at their schedules on election night.
On Clinton’s site, it said “Election Night Related Events”. And on Trump’s site, it said “Victory Rally and Party.”
Somehow, I had a sense then which campaign was more cautious and which one was more fearless.
In battles, whether with sports or presidential elections, if you have to bet on one side, always bet on the fearless side.
Scott Adams has been saying the same thing about Trump, and master persuaders. They embrace failure and adversity, as a way of short circuiting the fear of failure and driving themselves to attack constantly. Vox Day says the same thing. Fail fast, and embrace it, so you can move on to success.
I cannot remember all of the details of the story, but I remember some significant character who changed some scientific field forever. When he was younger, he was deathly afraid of talking to girls, so be decided one day that whenever he saw a girl alone, he would talk to her with the goal of being rejected by her. If he started the conversation and she rejected him, he viewed it as a win, and if she did not, well, he was overcoming his fear and had successfully charmed a girl.
Salesmen do the same thing, setting a goal of being rejected a set number of times, to force themselves to chase leads and to avoid being dejected by failures in the process.
Life has failure. It is inherent to ultimate success – because in our r-selected world, it has no cost. Learn to embrace it, learn to accept it unemotionally, and it will clear your mind of the erroneous aversive stimulus that leads to self-deluding perceptions like Hillary’s that are designed purely to assuage amygdala, rather than guide you to a truthful perception of reality. Learn to embrace failures, as a way of driving yourself to take the shots that when they eventually hit, will ultimately lead to success.
The amygdala is great, so long as it is programmed properly. But in K’s it is designed for a world where one failure can produce death. As a result, there are certain hacks you can employ to optimize performance in an r-selected environment where failure is not necessarily fatal, and where it can even be advantageous.
Just don’t play the same game in the Apocalypse. There, one failure could kill you.