Episode Summary

In this inspiring episode, Fletcher Ellison, speaker, coach, and creator of the practice of feeling good, joins Stephen Box to discuss how he used a 100-day rejection experiment to overcome self-doubt and his fear of failure. They delve into specific examples of Fletcher's groundbreaking 100-Day Rejection Experiment, lessons that he learned, and how it helped him rewire his mindset for success.

Fletcher shares his journey of pushing himself to the edge of his comfort zone and how this has opened up a world of opportunities that he would have never received otherwise. They discuss the importance of cultivating courage, re-envisioning what is possible, and practicing courageous living in order to make a lasting impact.

Don't miss this life-changing conversation with Fletcher Ellison, as he shares practical strategies for breaking through limiting beliefs and unlocking your full potential.

Key Topics

  • The Unshakable Habits Framework
  • Fletcher's 100-Day Rejection Challenge
  • Rewiring the way we view fear
  • The power of becoming a master asker
  • Defining success beyond achievement 

Guest Bio & Links

Read Transcript

Stephen Box: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Unshakable Habits Podcast. I'm your host Stephen Box. Have you ever found yourself not taking action out of fear? Have you ever had that inner voice tell you you're not good enough, that your ideas are stupid, that you're going to look ridiculous if you do this? Well, this week's episode is going to be for you.

But this week's episode was also for me. Allow me to explain. You see, I recorded this interview with my guest, Fletcher, about a year and a half ago. Between the changes to the podcast, the change to my focus and my business on really helping men, I had some things slip to the cracks. Now, I don't like to admit that, but it's the truth.

And one of those [00:01:00] things was this episode, it somehow got buried into a folder. And I just realized a couple weeks ago that it never got published. And my first thought was, oh, I should totally go publish this because why not? But as soon as I said that, the thoughts started coming in. Yeah, this is like a year and a half old.

It's gonna be kind of awkward to reach out and say, Hey Fletcher, guess what? I know we recorded our interview a year and a half ago, but I'm finally getting around to publishing it. And it was awkward, but I still did it right? And I started thinking about, well, what if fletcher doesn't still agree with the things that he said.

What if I don't agree with the things that I said? What if my production value has improved so much that people laugh at how bad the video quality is, which by the way, you might, because. I was like, man, did I not have lights back then? I mean, if you guys are watching on YouTube, you know what I'm [00:02:00] talking about when you get ready to see the, the interview portion of this video.

But you know what, none of that mattered because at the end of the day, what I had to convince myself of was it was value in this interview. And the reason I know that is because I decided to go back and listen to the interview myself. And I gotta tell you guys, after listening to Fletcher, listening to our conversation, I knew I had to let go of all my concerns.

I had to let go of my fears. I had to let go of worrying about looking good, and I had to embrace getting this message out there because it is such a powerful message. So if you guys have had those doubts, and I think most of us have, if not all of us, Please take the 50 minutes today to listen to this interview.

I promise it will change your perspective, and if you take action on what we talk about in this interview, it will also [00:03:00] change your entire life. So with that, interview coming your way right after this brief intro.

Podcast Intro: Are you ready to break free from your old habits and create a better life for yourself and those around you? If so, welcome to Unshakable Habits, the podcast dedicated to helping men be better husbands, fathers, and leaders by prioritizing their physical and mental wellbeing. Each week we'll look at health from a 360 degree perspective with inspiring stories and practical strategies for building Unshakable habits that'll transform your life. Join Stephen Box, a board certified health and wellness coach, and let's change the world together. One habit at a time.

Stephen Box: Welcome to the Unshakable Podcast. [00:04:00] I'm your host Stephen Box, and today I'm joined by Fletcher Ellingson. Fletcher, thanks for joining me.

Fletcher Ellingson: Hey, I'm delighted to be

Stephen Box: here. So Fletcher, we're gonna dive into a little bit about your story and a very unique experiment that you did. first I wanted to let people know just a little bit about who you are. sure. So you're a speaker, you're a coach, and you are also the creator of the practice of feeling good.

And yeah, I, I think the way you've really described this to me that sets it up beautifully is you help people to kind of like, Think, think differently to really get out of their own way, so to speak. Because so many of us do struggle with this, and I think this is such a timely topic. you know, who knows, maybe years or decades from now, people will be listening to this interview and.

2020 will be a distant memory, but as of right now, we are going into the winter of [00:05:00] 2021 and we're like in the year 17 of this, two year pandemic. So I, I think people hearing how to feel good is going to be a great

Fletcher Ellingson: topic for everybody. Absolutely. Absolutely. I can't wait to share and dive into the discussion.

Stephen Box: So real quick, before we do dive into that, I want to as always remind people of the Unshakable Habits framework. So if you're new to the show, the way the framework is going to help you is going to let you take Fletcher story and kind of apply it back to your own life. So this isn't a, you know, seven steps that you have to repeat.

Exactly. This is more of a guideline and, and that's why it's so flexible. So the first part of that is having a vision. Now, visions are different than goals. Not saying that you can't have goals, but goals are outcome based. Visions are really about who do you want to become as a person? How do you think, how do you talk, how do you act?

That's [00:06:00] what a vision is about. And then in order to establish that vision, a lot of times we need to develop certain skills cause we may not have the skills we need to become that person just yet. And then of course, in order to develop those skills, you need to take actions or as Fletcher calls them practices.

And this is because they are something that is repeated over and over and over again. So that is what you wanna be on the lookout for today as you hear Fletcher's story. But Fletcher, we're gonna maybe dive a little bit into your past later in the show. Cause I usually like to start off where people were in their low point, because I find that that's usually where the vision comes from.

But, I want to talk about this very interesting experiment you did first.

Fletcher Ellingson: Yeah. The rejection experiment. Yes. That would be the one. Yes. Yes. Yeah. So this was, you know, it, well, this was a year long experiment. and I'll just give you a brief history of why I did this. for, 15 or 16 [00:07:00] years, I was, I had helped build a multimillion dollar business, in the tech industry, and it put me in front of audiences all over the country.

as a speaker, I was traveling around speaking to entrepreneurs and, and helping them, in a number of things to do with tech, but also mindset. And I had the wonderful opportunity to. Interact with literally thousands of entrepreneurs on a regular basis, and I became very good at identifying patterns.

And was just noticing like the same things happening over and over, hearing the same things happening over and over for these entrepreneurs and I've always been into, self-improvement, self evolution, and, you know, reading lots of stuff. And so it was just all, it was a wonderful environment for me to really connect the dots in a, in a bigger way.

And then, so I found myself doing a lot of coaching, with these clients and, and I really love the, the, the coaching experience. [00:08:00] And so, I decided cuz I've always been involved in coaching in one capacity or another, like having personal coaches and I finally decided it's something that I wanna do full-time.

And so I took the leap and, left that business, a number of years ago, to do this full-time. But the rejection experiment came into play because I really wanna play a big game in my life. The game that I'm going to play it demands a lot of me. It demands me showing up, more powerfully than I ever have shown up in my life.

to do what I want to do. I have to be another version of myself, and I'm, so, I'm constantly evolving. And the one thing that I was noticing that was holding me back was my fear of rejection, asking, you know, I want to become a master asker. And what I mean by that is I want to be able to make any request of anyone at any time.

Without being stopped by fear. [00:09:00] And so I, heard about this other, guy who did something, and it really inspired me. And so I, I'm gonna do something very much like that. So I took on, I call it the rejection experiment, and where a year where I,putting myself into ridiculous situations where I would make audacious,requests of people that would almost.

Surely result in them rejecting me or saying no. And there, and there were very few rules, but the one of the rules was I couldn't tell anybody in my personal life like, Hey, I'm gonna go do this experiment. Watch me. It couldn't be like to impress anybody. And the second thing is I couldn't tell the people that I was, interacting with.

I couldn't tell them this was an experiment either. And the third thing is it really had to make me nervous. It had to make me uncomfortable. The ask preferably would be making me sweat and shake. And, so, so that's what I did. [00:10:00] And those were the rules. And I had no idea what to expect, but I can tell you this Stephen, it was a game changer for me and I'll never forget it.

And I highly recommend it to any entrepreneur who really wants to get beyond, their, their fear and step into courage and practice courageous living.

Stephen Box: So we're gonna dive into some of the specific examples of things that you did for that. But I wanna maybe back up a little bit first. So you, you talked about how you started to realize you had this fear of rejection, and this is something that I think a lot of people can relate to, right?

Because yeah, a lot of us, it starts with that inner voice of, I'm not good enough. You know, why would anybody do anything for me? And I know when we had did our pre-interview, you talked a little bit about that with yourself, where you know, a lot of times it was like, well, I didn't want to ask people for stuff because I didn't think they would [00:11:00] do it, or I didn't think I deserved it, or I felt like I was maybe bothering people or Yes.

Or whatever the case was. So talk to us maybe a little bit about where did that fear of rejection, or at least you may not know exactly, but where do you think that might have came from

Fletcher Ellingson: for you? Yeah. So I mean, I'm assuming it came from my childhood, I'm assuming multiple places. One, it was modeled for me,

We don't ask people for people for help, right. So that was probably modeled for me well, because I've always been taught like, Hey, you gotta do it all yourself. asking for help is a sign of weakness. you know, you gotta pull yourself up by your own bootstraps there and make it happen.

So that was, so, you know, really Stephen. it's a great question because it, as just as I'm processing this now, it comes back to my curriculum, the practice of feeling good. So I was not practiced at it. I'm just like, am I getting this right now? Like I was, I was so practiced at being self-sufficient that.

I was completely un [00:12:00] practiced at making requests, asking for help. and, and I'm not even saying even big help. I'm just saying help in general. Like if if it was somethingthat had to be done, my thinking was I should do it. I should take care of it. and that really, and again, that's exactly what gets in the way of so many entrepreneurs growing their business and doing what they really want to do.

Because they think, oh, I gotta do it all myself. Right.

Stephen Box: Yeah. I love the fact that you, that you gave that reframe there, because I think some people could listen to the initial statement of like, Hey, you know, I wanted to become a master asker. I wanted to go out and, you know, ask audacious things to people.

And people could take that and, and read it as, Oh, you know, you're, you're just trying to get people to do stuff, right? Mm-hmm. And that clearly wasn't what you were after. Your goal here was, this was about you. This was an internal battle that you were fighting to really make yourself have to [00:13:00] rely on other people and not try to do everything on your own.

Yeah. And the only way you can do that is you have to go out and learn to ask people for help.

Fletcher Ellingson: Exactly, and exactly, and I want, and I wanted to set it up so that they would most likely say no, so that I could confront this fear of rejection. And so I could get like, so desensitized to it and, and, in an effect, right?

Like, yeah, like, so if they said no, it was no problem. that's how I want, that's the point that I wanted to reach. Yeah,

Stephen Box: it something else you said in there that just stood out to me because I actually just did another interview a little bit before sitting down to do this one with you and something that she commented on, cuz we were talking about a similar subject and one of the things she commented on was in school she did really well and everything you do in school is you, everything is on you.

Looking at someone else's paper is considered cheating. Yet when you [00:14:00] get out into business and you get out into the real world, we now call that collaborating. I love that. We take people that just naturally know how to do it, although our entire life we've been told stop cheating by looking at other people's papers.

Fletcher Ellingson: Yes. Oh, that's so, that's such a great, twist on that subject. So,

Stephen Box: so yeah, I just, I had to bring that up cause I was like, Like, I literally just had this conversation. Yeah, yeah. Which, when you have two people that I've never met have the same conversation, I think that just validates the idea even more so.

So yeah. Really. So, so talk to me about some of the examples of some of the things that you did as part of this. Cause I, I want to make sure that people are hearing this. Yes. When you talk about big things. That doesn't necessarily mean that you're going and asking people for some super outrageous thing.

You're not going to people going, Hey, gimme a million dollars.

Fletcher Ellingson: Right, right, right. So it's what's scary to you. Yes, exactly. It's [00:15:00] a big, it's a big deal to me. So, yeah. I'll give you a couple examples. So one, to, to those listening with is going to sound like it's a very small thing. but. It scared the hell outta me.

And, it was, and what I did was I was in a coffee shop and I decided that I was going to ask somebody, a complete stranger to have a staring contest with me. Now, what's interesting about this experiment is soon as I would come up with the next rejection experiment, my mind. The chatter in my mind would just like, it was fierce.

It was just like activated, and it would, and so I remember like thinking about like, okay, I'm gonna ask somebody to have a staring contest with the complete stranger, and my mind immediately would say this, oh, that's kind of a lame rejection experiment. Can't you think of a better one? that one doesn't sound very exciting or it's not very fearful.

so I would have this conversation in my mind and I realized like, wow, that's not even me thinking. It, my mind is on [00:16:00] autopilot. It's just those thoughts are just coming without my approval, without my permission, you know? And, and so it, my mind almost talked me out of not doing this because of the message I was getting.

But then I, then I caught it. I was like, hold on a second. That's just resistance. That is totally the thing that's been running me. That's why, that's why I'm doing this whole thing. So I saw the person, there was only one person, in the,in the coffee shop that was sitting down at that, at that moment.

So I got my coffee and was heading over to do this. I was gonna sit down, I walked over and just before I got to her, I turned my direction just slightly and walked out of the door and out of the restaurant, at the coffee shop. I got into my car cuz I was my heart. My heart was pounding and I got into the car.

I started driving away. I. Got to the stop sign and I just stopped and I was like, oh [00:17:00] my gosh, I just totally chickened out of doing that. And I was like, this is exactly why, because all I'm doing is asking for another person if they're willing to stare into my eyes. And and so I thought I gotta go back and I gotta do it.

So I drove around the block parked and I got outta the car and. Went back in thecoffee shop, saw the person, walked over to her, sat down, and I said, Hey, do you mind if I interrupt you for a second? And she looked up and said, no, what's up? And I said, Hey, I was wondering if you would be willing to have a staring contest with me.

And, she, and she said, what most people do when I ask them these crazy things, they either say what, or they'll repeat what I said. So, you know, she said, what? I said, I was wondering if you'd have a, a staring contest with me. And she thought about it and said, sure, I guess. And so we sat down, we had a staring contest.

I said, 1, 2, 3, first person [00:18:00] to blink,loses. I said, 1, 2, 3, go. And we had the staring contest and, and I, and then it was over. And I felt this sense of massive relief that I didn't die because my, you know, cuz all that fear and adrenaline was telling me like, Hey, whatever you're about to do, it seems scary, you're probably gonna die.

And the good news is, the staring contest didn't kill me and she didn't reject me. She actually said yes.

Stephen Box: I'm sure that she's sitting there thinking like, this has got to be the absolute worst pickup line I've ever heard.

Fletcher Ellingson: Right? Yeah, exactly. So, so I'm curious,

Stephen Box: like, did you actually tell her afterwards that there

Fletcher Ellingson: was so on that one, she, did ask and I, and I explained it.

but so the rule is if they ask, I can tell them. I don't volunteer the information and I don't tell them ahead of time, cuz then it would make it too easy. Right? Yeah. Yeah.

Stephen Box: Cause then they feel almost obligated to do it just

Fletcher Ellingson: because [00:19:00] you told them it's an experiment. Yeah. Yeah. But so, so that, so that was a very, that was a big one to me cuz it scared me so much.

Cuz there was something about that intimacy of just sitting down and staring into a person's eyes. Right. It's like, cuz it breaks all sort of community boundaries that we have. Like, Hey, you don't stare at people in the eye for too long. Right? Yeah. If you lock eyes with somebody, usually for a second, and then you, and then you stop looking at them.

So there was, I was, I was breaking some sort of boundary. and so that, and therefore I was so uncomfortable. And I'll give you just one more example too, because before,

Stephen Box: before you do that, I want to just point out something that, yeah. It was interesting too, is you've mentioned how your initial thought when you thought of this idea was, well, that's stupid.

That's lame. That's not even scary. Yes. Yet it was so scary. In fact, yes. If you got in the car

Fletcher Ellingson: and drove off. Yes. That was my mind trying to trick me. Right. I mean, it, it knows me so well. Like it was like, oh, if we just start saying all this chatter, it'll will fool Fletcher and he'll give up. [00:20:00] Right. Yeah.

Stephen Box: That's like, that sounds dangerous. Let's not

Fletcher Ellingson: do that, Fletcher, because Yes.

Stephen Box: Yeah. Who knows? Yeah. I think, I think people may or may not know this, but our brains basically sense any level of discomfort or fear. On the same level as a big event. Yes.

So it doesn't matter if it's something as small as asking somebody to have a staring contest with you, or if it's being chased by a shark in the ocean. Yes. Your brain thinks of it the same way, and your body reacts the same way, and for you, your fight or flight response kicked in. And it was flight.

Fletcher Ellingson: And it was flight, and I, and I fled.

Yeah. fleeing Fletcher. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And, yeah, it's so interesting. so that's what the whole, that's what I'm trying to, to, to rewire my nervous system. I'm trying to rewire. I'm not trying, I am, I'm rewiring my nervous system and my thinking. [00:21:00] In order to produce radical results in my life that I didn't ha have access to producing, previously.

Yeah. and I'll give you another example because that was a, that was like a, a big one, but a small, on a small scale. Right. And, so I'll give you another example. My wife and I, were flying down to Maza Lawn, for vacation, and we were gonna go down there to this nice resort and for a week and just have a lot of fun just chilling out on the, and on the plane.

I real, and I. I knew it well, I'm gonna have to do some rejection experiments, even while I'm down there in Mexico. I'm not taking, I'm not taking time off from that cause I'm really creating momentum. So on the plane I was like, well, what could I do down there at this resort? And so on the plane, I, I, I decided that when we get there, I'm gonna find the manager who is in charge of selling timeshares to, to the tourists at this place.

And so,and I said I'm going to see, I'm gonna make the request and see if they will let me come in [00:22:00] and be a guest speaker to their, to their agents, who sell timeshares. Now why would they do this? They don't know me from Adam. You know, I, I have, I don't speak Spanish. And I don't know how many agents they have.

I don't know when their meeting is, but I was gonna go make a request. So I went and asked who the manager was, found, Mario. And I said, Hey Mario, can I have, 10 minutes of your time? I wanna talk to you about something. if it goes beyond 10 minutes, you know it's on you, but I just take up 10 minutes no more.

And he said, sure. so anyways, I told him what I do. And, and I, I said I would love to come and speak with your agents and, have a fun day of, of kind of doing some mindset work and, 10 minutes stretch into 15, 20, 25, and just before the half hour is up, he said, you know what? I would love to have you come on Wednesday morning and speak to my agents.

And in fact, not only do I want to be here, I'm gonna make it mandatory for all [00:23:00] 50 of them to show up. And I was like, wow, that's cool. So Wednesday morning came. My wife and I went there. We had just a fun time of, of conversation with all these people and I led 'em through some cool exercises.

I performed some magic for them cause I'm a longtime magician. and we just had a wonderful time in the, during the rest of the stay, I'd see those people around the resort. We'd high five and then they found out that my wife is a family physician and we, and we hold these seminars for health, creating health in, your life.

And they said, is there any chance that Amy would want to come, one morning and just talk about the benefits of, of healthy eating? Healthy living? Because he wanted his agents to be in, you know, in really good, condition and he wanted him to have this information. So we ended up going back and she ended up, doing about a half hour presentation to the agents as well.

And this was all because I was willing to get uncomfortable. so this was all, this all happened. This incredible [00:24:00] opportunity happened because I was willing to make an audacious request that I thought was a for sure.

No. Like, they were not gonna say yes to this. But it enriched our trip and we made a lot of great connections.

Stephen Box: So something that kind of comes to mind is, I'm listening to you tell these stories is, well two things that come to mind. So one, where do you come up with these ideas? Like, I don't even, I don't even know if I would've thought of doing

Fletcher Ellingson: that.

Yeah, that's a great question. I actually, I, I just started brainstorming a list. in my journal and, and, criteria was just like, Does it seem ridiculous? Does it make me uncomfortable to think about doing it? And if it met those two things, I was like, okay, I'll, I'll add it.

You know, one, one of the fun ones was I asked a bank, which is a, they, you are, sometimes you're driving through town and you'll see on the,side of old buildings, these, the yellow fallout shelter signs, you know? Yeah. For, for nuclear, war, there's all sorts of them in big cities, [00:25:00] and I always saw them and we had one in our town.

And so one of my rejection experiments actually was the very first one. I said, it's in this bank. And I thought, I wonder if there really is a fallout shelter down there. And yeah, you, you go into a bank and you know, you never, you can't, there's no public bathrooms cuz everything's off limits. You, you can't go back into the, sacred area of the bank.

Right? Yeah. And I went up there, and I said, Hey, can we help you? And I was like, well, I don't have anything business to conduct you today, but I'd just like to know if I could get a tour of the fallout shelter. And, the teller was like, What? And it's like, I just want, yeah, I noticed there's a fallout shelter sign on the, on this building.

Is there a fallout shelter below us? And if so, could I take a tour? And she started laughing. She said, oh my gosh, no one has ever asked that before. And so she went over to the manager's desk and I saw them talking. The manager started laughing and the [00:26:00] manager came over. And said, you want to go see the fallout shelter?

And I said, yeah, if, if there is one. And she said, well come back after lunch, cuz I got a meeting and then I'll be happy to take you down there. So I went, I went back after lunch and I got a tour of the Fallout shelter, which was totally legit. Stephen. They even took, they even had a box and they let me open it.

They were two brand new. yellow, bright yellow Geiger counters from the fifties that were still down there they'd never been used. And I got a, and they, and I said, can I have a picture of myself with these things? So I got, took a picture of 'em and it was just so, such a cool thing to see like, how about was set up?

You know, they've repurposed for some of, for storage, but some of, they still had beds down there. They had boxes of unopened stuff and the Geiger counters. So yeah, it was a really fun experience.

Stephen Box: So one thing I that I I wanted to ask you [00:27:00] is when you're doing these things Yeah. Like I, I think people might hear some of these and might be like, okay, this, you know, cool stories, right.

But what's really the purpose? Yeah. And, and I kind of have an idea because I know. From a health perspective, I know when people start eating better, I know when they start exercising, when they start developing those healthy habits, I know what that turns into. And I also know when people start changing the way they view money, how that can help their finances and the way they, they change, the way they view their relationship, that can help improve their relationship.

Yes. But one thing that, that you've said is by doing this, it's actually kind of helped you in different areas and what you are able to coach other people on helps them improve all these different areas too. So yes, kind of help people to under put that connection together.

Fletcher Ellingson: Let me get you a, a very, tangible example, of one of my clients.

One of my clients, was a real estate agent or is a real estate agent, [00:28:00] and she was stopped by fear. She was stopped by fear of rejection. There was an, there was a potential, client that she wanted to have as a client. he wasn't a client yet. but she knew this person in the community and she wanted to do business with him.

And, but it was stopped by fear. Like, I don't want to cold call him and just ask if he wants to list his house. Yeah. And so we had an hour conversation about this thing called fear. And this other thing called courage and, and re-envisioning what is possible. instead of just focusing on the story of her fear.

And after that hour long conversation, she hung up the phone, she'd made a commitment. She was gonna call that person right after she hung up the phone. She checked back in with me. you know, about an hour later said, I called him. I have a meeting with him. So she got this meeting. Long story short, that meeting.

Ended up being a listing for her. When she sold that listing, after the, [00:29:00] commission was split, her side of it was $35,000. So that ability to re-envision what was possible for her and walk through that fear netted her $35,000. Right. Yeah. So for me, the value is getting past this fear of objection is allowing me to do the, to do the things that I need to do to grow my business and not just make money, but to make an impact.

Because who I am in this world is a clearing for people to feel safe. Heard and empowered and if I want to live into that vision, you know, fully, I have to be able to put myself in uncomfortable positions and ask people hard questions and take chances and risks so that I can make the biggest impact that I can make.

Yeah, yeah.

Stephen Box: It's, it's difficult to have an impact. If you are constantly making yourself smaller than you are, [00:30:00]

Fletcher Ellingson: absolutely. And Stephen, you just nailed it right there. Because I've been a confident person for most of my life. I play some big games, but the vision that I have in my head demands that I evolve to that next stage of who I am.

I can't get the result that I want where I am right now. Now it, I'm, I'm a work in progress. Right. Yeah. but this is part of the work is becoming desensitized to the fear story and instead practicing courage. Yeah. Practicing re-envisioning what's possible and having it so inspiring that it, that it pulls me, draws me into action.

Stephen Box: So, one thing I want to ask you real quick here is I don't wanna give people the impression, just everything is, is perfect with this. Like, you just, like, you go out, you come up with an idea, you go out, and then everybody just says yes to you, right? So can you give me an example of a time where somebody said no?

Fletcher Ellingson: Yeah, [00:31:00] absolutely. I asked a, a person in a coffee shop again, if, if I could change the ringer on his phone. and I said, Hey,and, and you can change the ringer on my phone. he didn't, he was just like, flat out, nope, not interested. and when I asked him why, He said, this is probably, he says, I don't wanna get punked, or whatever he called it.

I don't want to get, I don't like practical jokes being pulled on me. I was like, okay, great. Got it. so it's not like I need to debate or be right or, you know, it's like, oh, got it. Okay. Cool. Or the, one of the ones that really frightened me was when I went into a, a mortuary. And asked if I could test drive the coffins.

Like so if I, I, if I could lay down in them and test drive them, so to speak. And,the, the guy was like, no, absolutely not. So, so I was like, okay, got it. No problem. Yeah. Right. so there, so there's been an, an, actually oh yeah. I had, somebody deliver a piece of furniture and, or come in to take measurements for furniture.

I can't remember exactly now, [00:32:00] but, After she was done, I said, oh, hey, would you mind measuring me on my wall? We have a wall here, in my bedroom on the doorframe where we've me measured all our kids and stuff. I said, Hey, would you mind just measuring me real quick and real? And she was like, no. And I get it.

Like, why I'm, here's a strange man asking her to do something weird in, in, in her bedroom. Like, I totally get it. Yeah, but I'm do, but I'm pushing myself. Yeah, to become, because I also get that they're not rejecting me, they're rejecting my offer. Right. And, and if you're in sales, if we're, if you're an entrepreneur, we've gotta get past this thing.

Like, oh, they're not rejecting you. They're simply rejecting the offer that you're extending and it has nothing to do with you.

Stephen Box: I'm glad that you actually brought that up because my follow up question was gonna be, Do you have something that was like big enough that you got the initial No, but that you then maybe [00:33:00] tweaked and went back and redid it

Fletcher Ellingson: later on?

Yeah, I had a couple of those. none were really, impressive that I wanna take the time to share. But I would say that I also have a television show. My wife and I have a television show. We film once a week. It's a regional show. And goes out to, like, I think it goes into, they have a reach of like 50,000 people or something.

so it's a small show, which puts, we, we live in a small area, so, but I wanted to have a television show, so I did this was, I treated it just like the,rejection experiment. I said, okay, this is my rejection experiment today. I'm gonna go, I, I'm gonna call up the people. at, at first I couldn't get ahold of them, and finally I got ahold of them and they said, sure, come on in.

And we had to sit down and their, their immediate answer was not yes or no. It was, let's think about this and now. So that put me in the position of following up. Right. And I really didn't think they were gonna say yes. but turns [00:34:00] out after, it took them,about six weeks. And finally they said, Hey, we wanna give this a shot.

So come down, we'll, we'll film a few episodes, and we'll see how it goes. And, my wife and I, we just finished our,past our hundredth episode a couple months ago. so that would've never happened had I not, and I, and frankly, Stephen, I don't know that I would've made that ask if I hadn't have done all these other rejection experiments.

I may not have been ready to do that. Yeah.

Stephen Box: So first of all, congratulations on the, hundredth episode. It's a Thanks. Big accomplishment. Yeah, but you're, you're right. It's, and, and I think that's kind of get to the core of, of the idea here, right? Is that. It's not about the size of the rejection, it's not about the rejection itself.

What you choose to do is kind of irrelevant. Yeah. What it is, is a matter of building that repetition because yes, over time your confidence grows, yes, you, you [00:35:00] start to feel better. And now not only are you going to be willing to make a bigger ask that might get turned down. But you start to take more chances.

Yes. You start to open yourself up to more possibilities. You start living with less


Fletcher Ellingson: Yes, absolutely. And I'm, I'm gonna give you this one more that was really recent. when my wife and I were, renting a, a car down in California and they didn't have a, the small version that we wanted, we just wanted something small.

they didn't have it. They were out. they were gonna upgrade us to, inner,intermediate or full size. And, we just said, well, how about a, how about a, convertible, would you, would you consider upgrading us to a convertible for the same price? And the guy stopped and he is like, I don't think we can do that.

And then he stopped again and he said, well, let me check. And then he typed something on his computer. He said, actually, we've got a convertible out in the back lot. What the heck? We'll do it. Same price. Now, I wasn't [00:36:00] trying to take advantage of, of, of this situation, but what I'm realizing is if you ask, if, if you don't ask, you'll never get the yes.

Right? And, and, and that's the, and that's the cool takeaway. And, and it's not about taking advantage of people, it's just like, like what else is possible if we, if we ask? Yeah. Right.

Stephen Box: Yeah, after we talked, when we did our pre-interview stuff, I actually started making a list of people that I would like to interview.

I love it. And not just like normal everyday people. Because here's the funny thing, this is what I always tell people. To me, interviewing strangers is the easiest thing in the world. Because I'm just having a conversation with somebody that I'm just meeting. Yes, and it's fun and it's exciting for me.

This is the easiest thing in the world. Yes. For other people, this would be the absolute scariest thing in the entire world, but for me to sit down and [00:37:00] interview people that I already know, or for me to sit down and interview people that I look up to in one way or another. Mm-hmm. That's scary because now all of a sudden I feel like this pressure of like, oh, what if this person actually came on and I gotta actually, you know, Do a good job.

Not, not that I'm like gonna do a bad job with strangers, but it just, I feel now more pressure to do so. Yes. And so I was like, you know what? I'm gonna start making a list of like, friends, mentors, celebrities, different people that I want to actually bring on. They haven't volunteered already to do this and just ask them to do this.

I love it. So I haven't got, I haven't got any yeses outta my list yet. I, I've started working through it. I've done about three or four. I haven't got any yeses yet. But what I'm doing is every time that I'm getting either no response or I'm getting a no. I'm like, okay, what can I do a little bit differently?

Mm-hmm. I'm using that outcome based decision making and I'm like, okay, how could I [00:38:00] tweak this a little bit? Yeah. How can I maybe follow back up with this person or how could I apply this to the next person and, and maybe see if I can actually make this work and way to go. Yeah. So see, so yeah, I just, I wanted to share that with you cuz you know, that's what I did after our last conversation, so that's

Fletcher Ellingson: so cool.

That's really inspiring. And I didn't tell

Stephen Box: you about this beforehand, so, right. Catching you off guard with

Fletcher Ellingson: it. Yeah. I love it. I love it. Very inspiring.

Stephen Box: So, so one thing that, that I love about this idea that, that you've kind of put out here of this rejection experiment is that you could apply this in other ways.

So for you, your fear was about rejection. Yes. Other people may have other fears. But you've also been able to take some of those other fears and wrap them into this rejection experiment because it's not just about the possibility of someone saying yes or no, it's about fear that somebody thinks that you're a weirdo.

Yes. It's [00:39:00] about, you know, that fear of like, you use the, the designer as a. It's an example that might be a situation where it might make someone else uncomfortable. Yes. And now you've gotta kind of deal with the internal discomfort of knowing you might make someone

Fletcher Ellingson: uncomfortable. Yes, yes, yes. So you're, you're, you're getting to the different layers of this experiment.

Yeah. Right. and that, and that was part of the chatter in my head, like, oh, Fletcher, don't make that request because that, that might make the other person feel uncomfortable. Right. Yeah. And again, that was. That was the, very clever automatic thinking of my mind to prevent me, to, to get me to stay the same, to keep me the status quo.

Right? So, yeah. you don't need to grow that much, Fletcher, just calm down a little bit. You're, yeah. Everything's fine, right? Yeah. Really good.

Stephen Box: Yeah. And you know, it's interesting, I have a friend of mine who is also, a speaker. He was doing a, a speech one day in our [00:40:00] Toastmasters club that we were a part of together, and he said, you know, it's funny because the human species is the only species on the planet Earth that limits our growth.

It's like trees don't stop growing. They don't go, I'm tall enough. Right. You know, cheetahs don't say I'm fast enough. I, you know, I, I don't need to go hunt today. You know, I, there'll be food tomorrow. It'll be fine. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Right. We're, we're the, we're the only species that limits our ability to grow and to maximize

Fletcher Ellingson: our potential.

It's such a, that's such a great point. and again, it's. And so there's, and so what I always tell my clients too, it's like it's not good, bad, right or wrong if you stay and stay where you're at, if you don't grow, it's not good, bad, right or wrong. The question is always, does it serve my life? Yeah. Right?

And for me, I have an idea of what I want to do and the game that I wanna play, and at what level. And [00:41:00] I simply have to become somebody, different than I am today. In order to hit that and make that impact.

Stephen Box: So I wanna kind of back up really quick Yeah. And talk about the moment before all this started, because I know you said you kind of had that moment of reflection where you realized, Hey, I have this fear of rejection that I need to overcome.

Mm-hmm. What was that event that really helped you have that

Fletcher Ellingson: realization? it, it really was all around leaving. A very comfortable and very well known career. You know, the, the game I was playing back then, I could do it in my sleep, and I was bored with it. It wasn't serving my life, in the way that it had originally.

and I, and it, I didn't feel like I was, it, it was not in alignment with the vision that I had for my life. Let's say it that way. The, the money was good. But it [00:42:00] wasn't an alignment, it wasn't going to allow me to make the impact that I really wanted to make and, and really Stephen, I just, I want to uplift others.

And I don't mean that from like, oh, look at me. I just, I mean, I really do want to help people live, into the vision that they have or, or discover a vision for themselves because so many people don't have a vision. You know, and when they do, life gets really exciting. And, and, and the only reason I'm at this point in my life is because I've been blessed with so many mentors in my life, right?

I mean, I got into personal development early, but you know, I mean, all the, all these people that I studied with over the years, I mean, I wouldn't be who I was. I wouldn't have that knowledge if it weren't for people being willing to share and make a difference for others. And I, and I just wanna pass that on and continue that.

Stephen Box: Yeah. I tell people all the time, you know, you have to seek out other people if you want to do anything because [00:43:00] it, it can be so tempting when to do it on our own. And in our heads, we think we can do it on our own, right? Yes. But a lot of times it's, as you've pointed out today, it's not necessarily that we think we can do it on our own.

That's our brains trying to keep us from going out and asking for

Fletcher Ellingson: help. Yes, it is. Yes, it is. You know, unfortunately my wife is, she's just like such an amazing supporter. I mean, the, you know, I've always, I've had coaches and stuff, like I said, for a lot in my life, but, a number of years ago, She, she wanted me to sign up for this particular program.

I was like, babe, that's $25,000. I've never ever spent that much money on a coaching program, and, and I don't feel comfortable with it. And she's like, babe, I want you to do this. I want you to invest in yourself at this level, because when you invest yourself at this, at this level, you're gonna show up.

[00:44:00] Differently. And I'm telling you, I, I was so resistant. I was so fearful about that. I was so fearful about writing that big check. But man, did it serve me the next year. It was still hard to write that check the third year. It was no problem. I was the first one to sign up because the value that I was getting and the revenue that I was generating and the people that I was connecting with was so worth it.

And so that was just like me. I'd begun evolving at that next level. Right. Not that the next level's better than the other one, just different. And it's in alignment with what I wanna create. Yeah.

Stephen Box: And, and you know, the, the idea of better, I think is an interesting one because, Again, it goes back to just like we were talking about with these experiments you were doing, it's not necessarily what's scary to everybody, right?

It's what was scary to Fletcher. Yes, yes. And better. Yes. You know what? Your next level should be better, but it only needs to be better [00:45:00] by your standards. Exactly. Yeah. It doesn't need to meet anyone else's standards. It doesn't have to, you know, get anyone else's stamp of approval as long as it works for you.

Fletcher Ellingson: Yeah. I really appreciate you articulating that. Yeah. Again, it's, it's, we're not competing with anyone. we're just, how can I become the best version of myself? Right? Yeah.

Stephen Box: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and, and I think when we take outcomes out of the equation sometimes that's when amazing things start to happen.

Because when we get caught up on, oh, I got, I got rejected, you know, and we start to focus on, hey, my job was to go make the ask. I was successful. I made the ask success, the outcome doesn't define my success.

Fletcher Ellingson: Absolutely. Because that's where judgment comes in. Yep. Yep. Exactly. Yep. Oh gosh. Ooh, boy. We're getting into some good stuff.

Right, right at the end of the show here, it's, this is such a good [00:46:00] concept. Let me, I just wanna address Yeah, absolutely. One thing, and that's this idea of success. a lot of, a lot of people confuse success with achievement. Mm-hmm. And, I, I simply wanna, assert that, or, or I'll, I'll share how I define success.

I define success. I'm successful when I, number one, know who I am, know the outcome that I want, and, and take action. That's in alignment with the outcome. That's success. If I'm doing that, I'm successful. Now. It doesn't have, you'll notice my definition has nothing to do with the achievement. Right, right. achievement is completely different.

But if I know who I am, if I know the outcome that I want, and I'm taking consistent action to get there, man, that's successful.

Stephen Box: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's, it really is all about the. Steps. Yeah. The, the success, the achievement part of it is did you [00:47:00] take action? Yes. No, that's the achievement. If you did not, if you didn't take the action, that's failure.

If you took the action of success. Yeah. The outcome of the action is not what's important.

Fletcher Ellingson: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Exactly.

Stephen Box: And, and, and I think that's such a, a powerful thing for people to hear because so many people, They beat themselves up when all the woods and the coulds and the shoulds Yep. Don't come true.

Fletcher Ellingson: Yeah. Yeah. You know, one of the, one of the things that my clients say to me, You know, without fail is, I know what, I already know what I should be doing. I just don't know why I won't do what I know i I should be doing. Right. Yeah. So that's, that's the, that critical piece in there. and that's what we and that's why I did the rejection experiment, right?

Yeah. Because that was allowing me to get past that thing that had been stopping me, so much. Now do I still get stopped at times? Absolutely. But I get stopped [00:48:00] way less. Than I did. or if I get stopped, if not for as long. right. So, yeah.

Stephen Box: yeah. Yeah. And, and I think that's a good point there cuz I, I'm sure that you're at a point now where you've done this enough that when you get stopped, you now have that self-reflection ability to go, why is this thing scaring me so much?

Why is this thing in my way? And then it's a realization of, you know what, I need to overcome this. And now we go right back to the framework, right? Yeah. What's my vision for, why do I need to get past this? Why is it important for me to actually do this thing? Where's the vision at in it? Okay. What skills do I need to now develop to actually get past this thing?

Yes. What are those practices?

Fletcher Ellingson: Those are such good, critical questions and and that's exactly what it, that those empower people, those kinds of questions empower people and I, what I love about it, there's no judgment in there, right? There's no self criticism. there's just helpful [00:49:00] questions that lead to empowering answers.

Stephen Box: Yeah. Yeah, I, you know, the one thing that I hope, and I'm gonna ask you to kind of give people your parting thoughts here in a few minutes too, but one thing that I really hope the people take out of today is you don't need a huge why. You don't need this, like, you know, just ground shaking , earth shattering reason for doing stuff.

You don't have to go out and build Rome in a day. It's okay. Start where you are. Yeah. Find the first block. Find a reason why it's important to you to get over that hurdle and start taking small steps towards

Fletcher Ellingson: it. Yep. I like it. We are, we are aligned in our thinking There. So

Stephen Box: real quickly, if you would tell people how to get ahold of you if they want to, learn a little bit more about you or work with you.

Fletcher Ellingson: Yeah, you bet. you can go to fletcherellingson.com and, [00:50:00] while you're there at fletcherellingson.com, you can take the happiness. Quiz or, or sign up for my,free online video course. It's totally free. it's good stuff. This is not fluff. This is, this is actual stuff that I use in my, my year long curriculum.

sign up and get the, the free video course. Or if you, or if you have any questions or wanna hop on a discovery call again, go to fletcherellingson.com, contact me. would love to have a discovery call and see if we're a good fit. and yeah, so there you go.

Stephen Box: Yeah. And, and may and maybe they can, set up a call and ask you to do something crazy.


Fletcher Ellingson: That's right. That's right.

Yeah, that's right. That's right.

Stephen Box: So, so tell everyone your closing thing here. Like what is it? If, if you just were like pushed to give this like one minute Yeah. Of like what we need to go home with today. What is

Fletcher Ellingson: it? Yeah. So thank you for asking that. The thing that I would love for people to take away [00:51:00] is this, most of, most of us human beings are extremely practiced.

At noticing what isn't working well, what doesn't feel good. We're practiced at seeing other people not being their best. We're practiced at criticizing, we're practiced at fear. We're practiced at at not trusting that life is working out. And what I want to encourage you to do is begin practicing. Seeing where life actually is working out.

Begin practicing seeing kindness. Begin practicing noticing compassion. begin practicing being compassion. Begin practicing being resourceful, capable, flexible. Begin practicing kindness. Bring an intention to these ways of being, and your life will change dramatically.

Stephen Box: Love it [00:52:00] man. Love it. Appreciate you being here today.

And I have to say, man, you absolutely brought the value today, so I appreciate you, sharing your story and, and bringing that value to, to my

Fletcher Ellingson: audience today. Thanks, Stephen.

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