I get rejected – a lot. I’d be lying if I told you it doesn’t hurt. Even though I know my worth. Even though I’ve experienced rejection thousands of times: it still stings. When I get a ‘no’ all over again I feel like I’m the last kid left in fifth grade gym class while the jock groans because he has to pick me for his kickball team.
But even though the rejection hurts, I continue to put myself in a position to get rejected again, and again, and again. And here’s why. Without a ‘no’ I’ll never get a ‘yes’. If I don’t play the game, there’s a 0% shot I’ll win – and I want to win. And because I don’t let the discomfort of rejection win, I get to enjoy success.
Here’s a quick look at some of my professional rejections over the last few months:
- Dozens of journals and magazines rejected my personal essay(s) that I hoped to have published in their respective outlets.
- I reached out to an author I admire who is a friend of a friend. I was excited for a phone call to ask her some publishing questions (I’m finishing up my memoir on my Dark Night of the Soul experience) and to discuss collaboration opportunities. I never heard back from her.
- I received several no’s and zero responses to collaboration ideas and podcast pitches; some no’s were even from people I know and have a strong relationship with.
And here’s a quick look at some of my professional successes I’ve had over the last few months:
- Published Everything You Need to Know About a Dark Night of the Soul with Jenna Volpe
- Had a business case published and distributed by Harvard Business Publishing
- Gained 15+ new amazing clients
- Was invited to collaborate with several nonprofit organizations
- Guest appeared on three podcasts
Without me putting myself out there and risking a bruised ego, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities to celebrate these many successes.
Remember, nothing worth having comes easy. Go after your dreams and when needed, dust yourself off and try again.
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PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when you’re feeling nervous about getting rejected, “What’s meant to be is already mine.”
PPS – Are you still uncomfortable with the possibility of getting rejected? If so, grab your pen and journal. Oftentimes, we look at rejection as a bad thing, but sometimes it can be a gift in disguise. Think back to a time you were rejected. Maybe you didn’t get the job you wanted or the cute guy you asked out said no. Although in the moment the rejection hurt, did it redirect you? Did you find an even better job or partner? Jot down as many ‘rejection is redirection’ moments as you can to remind yourself that rejections isn’t all bad.