Back in February, I challenged myself to rack up 50 rejections. I have to be honest. I stopped counting around 25. I'll explain more in a moment. Before this challenge, I believe I misinterpreted most rejections. In fact, it is almost hard to call them rejections right now. What I discovered is that when people do not agree with me right away, or take my call, or jump on board with an idea I have, I take that as a rejection.
Now that I am more aware, this is what I've learned about putting myself out there and embracing rejection:
- I take things way too personally.
- Thus, I am embracing the Q-TIP philosophy to Quit Taking It Personally.
- Most of the time when I put myself out there during this challenge and was rejected, the person wasn't saying, "No, never!" Instead, they tended to say, "Not right now, but interesting idea." I took that as a rejection originally. Now, I realize - at that moment in time - what I was pitching wasn't aligned with their needs. More Q-TIP needed on my part.
- Other people's finances, time, and business strategy seemed to be why I racked up the most "no"s. And of course, I was taking that personally. It was all about me versus where that person's business or values were at the moment.
- Me! That's probably the biggest lesson. It is not all about me. I became aware that the people or businesses who need me find me. And the one's that don't need me at the moment, weren't saying, "We dislike you. We will never need you." Again, more Q-TIP needed.
- I also realized I felt rejected when friends or family members weren't taking my calls. Yep. I realized I even took those informal "I'll call you back later" throw-away lines as rejection.
So, you can see why I could stop counting at 25. Being so aware and looking for that feeling of rejection was a big light-bulb moment for me. In hindsight, even the "no"s I received during this challenge took on a new air. I felt more curious about the "no"s. I stopped being hard on myself for not garnering support for an idea I had put out there. I also realized that most "no"s don't mean no forever, but "No, not right now."
Rejection, I'm onto you! You aren't so scary anymore.