Have you ever noticed that a certain amount of fear goes with just about any change?Â Whether itâ€™s asking for a raise, quitting an old job or starting a new one, buying a home, beginning a new relationship, selling a car, or bringing home a new baby. Thereâ€™s that â€œWhat have I done?â€ moment. Something in us doesnâ€™t want to fail, or look foolish or be ridiculedÂ even worse: rejected.
A year ago I was led to take a job in a field I truly knew nothing about. Because I really needed a change of pace, my fear of failing was overshadowed by my intense desire to leave a former job. A few months into the new job, I struggled with theÂ fear of being rejected. Four hours a day I spent making phone calls. Some hot calls, warm leads andÂ whenÂ thoseÂ calls turned intoÂ clients, it felt fantastic. ButÂ theyÂ wereÂ few andÂ far betweenÂ during weeks of cold calls. People who picked up were mostly polite but I couldn’t always help them resulting in a “no”. Occasionally I called a person who was not so nice (or even downright rude) and then, I’d go into a tailspin and didnâ€™t want to call anymore. I had many moments asking myself,Â what have I done?Â In addition, Iâ€™d put myself in a situation where I could not quit or walk out. I had to stick it out. I determined (on my better days) that I would not allow fear of rejection to beat me.
Then a strange thing happened
I could fearlessly pick up the phone and call anyone. Talk to anyone. Hearing â€œnoâ€ stopped bothering me. Thatâ€™s when it clicked in my brain. I had passed the rejection phase and graduated to the â€œI’m not fazed by rejection phase.â€
Itâ€™s a pivotal moment. When I realized I didnâ€™t care about the word “no,” that it didnâ€™t mean I couldnâ€™t do something, it only meant I couldnâ€™t do that something for them. If getting a “yes” is a numbers game, you have to increase your exposure to hearing “no.” Eventually, I became desensitized to it. Instead of shrinking from the word “no,” crank it up! Make it a likelihood.
When I really leaned into the idea of getting published, I had determined to get 100 rejection slips. Getting the slips was the goal. Imagine my shock when after getting six of them, someone finally said yes to publishing a story of mine!
What does this mean for you? Are you fearful about rejection? Are you trying to get new clients? Supporters for a project? Putting together a band? Take 16 minutes and listen to this short Ted Talk from Jia Jang.
Are you struggling with rejection? How you are challenging yourself? Then let me hear from you. I want to cheer you on.