Why You Need A ‘No’ To Get A ‘Yes’

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:

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.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

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.

I made a mistake

A few weeks ago, I made an admin mistake at one of the colleges where I work. I won’t bore you with the mechanics of what I did (or more accurately what I didn’t do), but know I was in charge of something and dropped the ball. As a result, some students and teachers were unhappy.

When my boss sent me an email to bring my mistake to my attention, I:

  1. Read it and felt embarrassed and sorry
  2. Apologized and offered to rectify the situation
  3. Showed myself empathy and forgiveness and moved on quickly from the situation

While #1 and #2 didn’t surprise me (after all, I take great pride in my work), #3 did. As someone who has worked really, really hard to break self-judgment habits, I expected to dive into some form of self-bashing after #2:

“Danielle, how could you? Can’t you get anything right? What’s wrong with you?”

But instead, I marveled at how gentle I was with myself and how naturally #3 came. There wasn’t a single anxious heartbeat or bead of nervous sweat. My inner voice said, “Danielle, you’ve had a lot on your mind and it’s easy to understand how you made a mistake. Don’t even worry about it.” This felt amazing! It was as if I had my best friend there saying all the right things to me – and my best friend was me.

I wanted to share my snafu turned self-love story with you as a reminder that:

  1. You’re going to make mistakes too. Rather than be shocked when they pop up, let’s just agree to expect them moving forward. Even if you are caught off-guard, that’s okay! Honor the fact that you’re doing the best you can and show yourself care and compassion always, through the ups, the downs and the mistakes.
  2. The hard work you put in to break your self-judgment habits will pay off. Self-peace and self-love is possible. Just like I have, you can heal from your self-bullying and retrain your brain to be more open-minded and supportive.
  3. If you need help quieting your inner-critic, here’s my Guide to Combatting Self-Criticism.
  4. And don’t forget, I’m available for intuitive coaching sessions as well.

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this blog to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to use when you’ve made a mistake, “I won’t let a mistake define my day, week – or life.”

PPS – Do you want some hands-on writing activities to help you work through your self-criticism? Don’t forget to check out my Guide to Combatting Self-Criticism.

Only You Get To Decide If It’s Ego

In 2019, I graduated with my Doctor of Business Administration from the University of South Florida. This was huge for me.

Success always seemed like a losing battle. A doctorate degree, let alone finishing high school would have been alien to me when I was younger. At 12 years old I was assigned a truancy officer for skipping school too much, and at 13 I was kicked out of school.

When I hit my late teenage years, I found determination to build a better life for myself, and that started with mustering up the courage to take two busses a night to GED study classes. I failed the math portion of the test, but on the second try a few months later I passed.

At 21 with a 6-month-old baby at home, I enrolled in college courses. Despite my worries that I wasn’t smart enough and that leaving my baby at night made me a bad mother, I earned my bachelor’s degree. Then two master’s. Then my terminal degree. 

To me, my doctorate degree means: overcoming adversity, successfully navigating impostor syndrome, perseverance, sacrifice, self-love… and finally earning the ‘Dr.’ in front of my name.

After graduation, the time came to announce to the world that I was ‘Dr. Clark’. I was thrilled, but a sense of hesitancy creeped in. For several months and even with my business students, I’d introduce myself as ‘Danielle’ or ‘Professor Clark’ and avoid the doctorate title altogether.

What if people think I’m conceited? What if my students think I have an ego? I feared coming across as arrogant, as some kind of pompous professor shining a stage light on my achievements.

A friend I graduated with had the letters ‘Dr.’ beautifully tattooed on his wrist. I loved the idea of having a visible daily reminder of ‘I can do anything I put my mind to’ whenever I needed the confidence boost.

I told a few people I was considering getting the tattoo myself and each one further fed my fears by responding along the lines of, “Conceited much?”

It took many conversations with myself and others to finally realize I’m the only one who knows if I have ego, and I shouldn’t care what others think. If it feels good to me, why not? If I want to honor my journey and who I am today by introducing myself as ‘Dr. Clark’ in certain situations (like the classroom), then go me!

It’s now been a few years of hearing ‘Dr. Clark’ echoed back to me. Each time I hear it, I experience a ping of pride. And I’ve heard from many others that knowing I am a young terminal degree holder with an at-risk youth path inspires them to shoot for the stars.

I still don’t have that ‘Dr.’ tattoo. I’ve chosen not to get it; not for concern of what others think, but because I’m just not ready for a tattoo yet (this would be my first so I’m taking it slow). 

What have you been holding back from because you’re worried others will assume you have ego? Where have you made yourself small to make others comfortable? And the most important question, how can you put others’ thoughts aside and follow your ego-free desires?

Join me in spreading my messages of breaking judgement habits and strengthening intuition even further: forward this newsletter to a few family members and friendsThe greater the shares, the greater the impact – They can subscribe here.  

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to remind you that your desires matter regardless of what others think, ‘I know my intent and truth. I am a magnet for my dreams and desires.

PPS – Do you want to work on your self-confidence when it comes to owning your growth and achievements? If so, grab your journal and a pen. Jot down areas of your life you’ve grown in the last year (health, finances, career, spirituality etc.) Have you told your family and friends about your progress and wins? And not just the short generic version because you didn’t want to look like you had an ego? If yes, good for you! Give yourself a pat on the back and write yourself a kudos note. If you answered no, write out how you think a conversation with a family member or friend would play out if you humbly boasted about the things you’re proud of. If this person hints at arrogance or ego within you, how will you respond in a courageous way?

How I navigate impostor syndrome

Last week, I sent my memoir off for copywriting. I have to say that again because damn, does that feel good! My memoir (somebody pinch me, is this real?!) is in the copywrite stage. After almost three years, my book is complete and is now getting polished, which means it’s another step closer to being in your hands as you sip your morning latte on a sunny Sunday morning.

This milestone has had me thinking about everything it took to get my book to this stage. What comes to mind immediately is navigating impostor syndrome.

The first time I ever considered writing a book was when my mentor said she envisioned me writing one about my spiritual journey after I lost my job (I refer to this period of my life as my Dark Night of the Soul. If you want to hear more about this experience, check out my podcast guest appearance with The Psychic Wives). While I was excited about the idea of writing a book, I didn’t exactly know what that story was and if I could actually write about it.

Over the next few months, any time I’d sit down to write about my past – many of those experiences traumatic – I was overcome with emotion. I’d cry as I relived intense memories. I’d cuss at myself and the computer for not knowing what to say (hello, writer’s block).

During that time, you’d see me frozen at my desk letting unhealthy thoughts spin in loops, “Do people even care about you and your story? You’re not even a real writer. You don’t have any training and experience, so what makes you think you can write a book?”

Regardless of these uncomfortable thoughts, I pushed forward as another voice inside me kept saying, “You need to tell your story. You can do this. You are a writer.” I had to keep this voice alive, so I bought myself a typewriter necklace I wear almost every day to remind me of my goals. I also joined writers’ groups, writers’ workshops and filled my bookshelves with writing guides and memoirs from authors I admire. I wrote positive affirmations on my office chalkboard and often spoke them aloud to replace my doubts.

While these things helped me move forward, impostor syndrome never quite left me alone. It appeared in slightly different ways, making me second-guess my memoir pursuit, “Can I call myself a writer yet? I don’t actually have anything published… Should I tell people about it? They won’t take it seriously… And what if I never finish? Even if I do, will it be successful?”

The way I worked through these new doubts was the same when I first started writing: I moved forward regardless. I changed all my bios on every social platform, like LinkedIn and my professional website, to claim that I am a writer. I started telling people I was writing a memoir. I started crafting newsletters and blogs about my experiences as a writer.

My debut memoir is where it is today because I didn’t let my worries and doubts win. I still have my days when impostor syndrome brings out the skeptic in me, but I’ve gotten better at recognizing it and letting my true voice (the one focused on my goals) soften the negative noise.

Yes, writing my memoir was hard (so f’ing hard at times) AND that payoff was worth it. I healed. I learned a new craft. I made sense of my life. I listened to my true self. I enhanced my empathy, self-discipline, and time management. I created art to help others heal, grow and break free from their own judgement habits.

What has your true voice been telling you to do? Have you been listening to it?

If you want to learn more about impostor syndrome, check out my podcast guest appearance on The On-Call Empath.

Did you enjoy this post? You can subscribe here

Sincerely,

Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation if you’re struggling with impostor syndrome, “I was born to try new things and to create. Only I decide what success looks and feels like.

PPS – Do you want to remove some of the fear you have towards a project you’re working on (or should be working on)? If so, get out your journal. Here’s a writing prompt: What’s the absolute worst thing that could happen if you moved forward with your project and didn’t succeed? What’s the absolute best thing that could happen if you moved forward with your project and you did succeed (get dreamy here). Is the potential payoff worth the risk?

I nominated myself and you should too

Towards the end of last year, Hillsborough Community College where I’m a business instructor, recognized me as a finalist for their Champion of Diversity Award. I was and am still honored. I promote diversity and inclusion in a variety of ways: sharing my unique life stories as an at-risk youth with my students, conducting research on diverse populations, writing on topics that promote a deeper understanding of the human experience, inviting a range of talented and diverse speakers into my classroom, creating programs and opportunities for those in need, volunteering at nonprofits that support underprivileged groups. The list proudly goes on and on.

Given everything I do to further diversity and inclusion, I wasn’t shocked to receive the recognition but there’s also another reason I wasn’t shocked: I asked my boss to nominate me.  

That’s right. This amazing award didn’t just fall into my lap like many people like to believe (or tell you). Not only did I do the hard work to have the credentials to be considered, I also advocated for myself to be nominated. I knew I deserved to be considered for the award; I knew the value I brought to the college and the community, and I also knew that my peers and my boss may not know about all my efforts.  

I drafted out the reasons why I should be nominated and sent my boss a note asking him to consider nominating me if he felt I was deserving. Within minutes, he wrote back excitedly that he’d be delighted to nominate me. Over the next few days, I worked on my nomination form with a friend, and sent it to my boss for feedback.

The point here is simple: If you want something, go get it. Yes, I absolutely believe in the magic of luck and good things happening to good people (thank you Law of Attraction), but I also believe we need to own our journeys and not wait for others or the universe to hand us what we want. I believe we need to be active co-creators in accomplishing our goals. To do that, we need to stand up tall and forge our paths, unafraid to shine our lights and show others what we are truly capable of achieving.

I want you to leave with this: There’s no reason to be shy or embarrassed for wanting to promote yourself and share your accomplishments with the world. Yes, there are times you will get rejected. Yes, there are times people will judge you for putting yourself out there, but you know what? These things don’t matter. What matters is that you show up for yourself. What matters is that the world needs more role models like YOU and every time you get yourself noticed, you inspire others.

Did you enjoy this post? You can subscribe here

Sincerely,
Danielle

PS – Here’s an affirmation to help give you confidence to advocate for yourself: “The world is a better place when my light shines brightly. I courageously promote myself when it benefits me and others.

PPS – To get comfortable advocating for yourself, grab your journal. Here’s a writing prompt: What could you do this week to get your hard work recognized? Brainstorm a list of at least 10 ideas and then choose one and make it happen.

Why two heads are always better than one

We’re all familiar with the wise proverb, “Two heads are better than one”—but how often do you follow this advice? If you’re anything like me, or should I say the old me, the answer is (I mean was): not enough.

When you’re rushing to get something done—or let’s admit it, maybe you’re just too stubborn to ask for help—and refuse to get the guidance or support you really need, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. The result: wasted time, feelings of frustration and confusion—and some pretty embarrassing and irreversible mistakes. That’s why today, I work with an army of trusted mentors, advisors and coaches to help me achieve my goals—and if you need more convincing, here’s why you should do the same.

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4 proven ways to impress recruiters with your resume

Ensuring a recruiter has a stress-free time reviewing your resume will increase the chances of you being called in for an interview. As a hiring manager who’s looked at thousands of resumes, this is what I and the industry look for from potential new hires.

Write a powerful summary statement

HR professionals and recruiters only spend 30 seconds or less reviewing an individual resume. That’s why developing an impactful and memorable summary statement is critical. Your statement should:

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Is there a dark side to emotional intelligence?

I consider my emotional intelligence to be one of my greatest strengths, and because of it, I’ve had thousands of positive and successful professional relationships. This trait allows me to easily work with a variety of people, handle conflicts effectively, comfortably navigate change and build even stronger relationships.

Seeing such a positive use and outcome, it was quite the shocker to find out some people use their emotional intelligence to actually manipulate others. According to research in The Atlantic’s articleThe Dark Side of Emotional Intelligencea research team led by University College London Professor Martin Kilduff found:

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My 4 favorite career advice articles I wrote in 2015

It’s hard to believe we’ll be celebrating the New Year in a few weeks. As I reflect on 2015, I can proudly say I accomplished a lot; both personally and professionally. I transitioned to a new career in human resources, started teaching as an adjunct professor and got more involved working with a nonprofit in my community.

Reflecting on my achievements helped me realize I measure success by how helpful I am to others.

Continue reading “My 4 favorite career advice articles I wrote in 2015”

The perfect trick to help you cope with making tough decisions at work

In all of my management roles, I have been “the bad guy” more often than not. I’ve said “no” more times than I can count and I have made hundreds of unpopular choices. I’ve also been responsible for initiating and supporting dozens of corrective action conversations and terminations. In short, I’m not people’s favorite person at work. But you know what? That’s okay. I take pride in taking a difficult stance as long as it’s for the greater good of the company.

When I started out in my career, being “the bad guy” didn’t come as easy to me. I would get nauseous before I had to have a difficult conversation and the idea of someone not liking me would make me cringe.

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