Some people seem to have a penchant for putting themselves out there. They can go from phone call to phone call, meeting to meeting, without ever seeming to tire. They can receive a constant stream of rejections without being the least bit phased. They just churn and churn, go and go, nothing seems to derail their determination to make a sale.
I am not one of those people.
I feel like I’ve had a relatively low threshold for putting myself out there…
Maybe it’s because I thrive on affirmation. Perhaps it’s because I’m an empath. Or possibly, it is tied to some painful childhood experiences, like being the last one picked for the soccer team in gym class. Likely it is some combination of these things. But whatever the reasons, I feel like I’ve had a relatively low threshold for putting myself out there…and this has been a real challenge for me as a Misfit Entrepreneur.
If I don’t receive some form of validation after putting myself out there, I’m likely to get triggered. My pattern, from there, has been to start to despair. I don’t say this with pride. I’ve wished I had a thicker skin. I’ve wished things didn’t bother me so much. I’ve bemoaned, “I’m just sensitive” when I might have over-reacted about a situation.
If I let it, my inner critic has a field day with these situations. Turning a fairly normal experience for the Misfit Entrepreneur, rejection, into proof of my imminent failure. The mean nasties come out and I just want to crawl into a hole and hide from the world. I don’t want to make phone calls, I don’t want to send emails, I don’t want to suffer from rejection anymore!
Ironically, my prototypical reaction has only made me suffer more. Frozen from fear, I am now battling a new layer of resistance. Non-action creates cob-webs, making it easier to retreat for my idea instead of forging ahead…and thus the status-quo is maintained.
As my story demonstrates, I tend to blame myself when I experience rejection. Other entrepreneur’s I know look externally, crafting stories that blame everyone else.
As an entrepreneur you’re going to get rejected. It’s going to happen a lot. Especially in the beginning when you’re still fine tuning your business model. How you handle that can make the difference between success and getting a job!
1. Step away – Who needs to give you permission to step away from the situation so you may recover with grace?
2. Do something that relaxes and rejuvenates you – What relaxes and rejuvenates you?
3. Don’t take anything personally – What if you look at this situation from another point of view?
4. Apply lessons Learned – How will you apply lessons learned from this situation moving forward?
What’s Rosabella Consulting Up To?
It’s Fort Collins Startup Week! And I had the pleasure of presenting Tuesday morning at the Lyric Cinema Cafe on The Neuroscience of Conversation: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know.
I love opportunities like this because I get to hear other people’s stories. I can’t just talk about conversation without engaging people in a conversation. And a conversation with 40 people – give or take – can be tricky to navigate…but there’s always gold nuggets in there and it’s a perfect opportunity to practice my Conversational Essentials, especially Conversational Agility = “and that’s a good segway for…”
Anyway, I chose this weeks blog post because of the conversation we had at my talk…Sometimes understanding and changing your inner dialog is the first thing you need to do to elevate your conversations so you can build a successful business. You might be wondering, how do I get started doing that?
I recommend understanding and changing your dialog when you get rejected. Here are 5 reflection questions I’ve pondered in my journal to help me understand then change my inner dialog around rejection, the results have been….totally worth the effort!
1. What’s the story you tell yourself when you’ve been rejected?
2. How do you make rejection personal?
3. How can you reframe rejection from a negative to a positive?
4. What have you learned from this experience?
5. What about this experience has been affirming?
Enjoy and please share your reflections about what helps you navigate rejection so the experience elevates you rather than bringing you down!?!