Is fear of rejection holding you back from putting your work out there? Does it keep you from taking the next step in your business; whether that is submitting your work for a juried show, approaching a retailer for a wholesale contract, or just emailing people on your newsletter list to let them know about new products?
Whether the fear of rejection is holding you back completely, or causing you to do less than one hundred percent of your best at your business, it is time to take a look at ways to overcome this fear and make 2015 one of your best, most productive years yet!
According to PsychologyToday.com fear of rejection is one of the biggest fears that plague us as human beings. This comes from our need for acceptance, and our desire to feel wanted. The thought of being rejected brings up a whole flurry of worries: loss, grief, being unaccepted, unloved etc. While a lot of times these fears are unfounded, they keep us from being able to be our absolute best, and keep us back from pursuing that which would give us the greatest sense of accomplishment.
Rejection is a fact of life. You hear the stories all the time: J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was rejected twelve times, The Beatles were rejected by Decca Records, and Stephen King’s Carrie was rejected thirty times, just to name a few. What this goes to show is that rejection is something every single person will face at some time in life, even those that are very successful. Rejection might be a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be completely devastating, if you learn how to handle it properly. Below are three exercises that are geared towards helping you overcome a fear of rejection and free you up to start working towards your best potential now!
The “What If” Game
Often our fear of rejection comes from the fear of the unknown. What if I put my work out there and no one buys it? What if I submit my art to the juried show and I am denied entry? What if I call that store and ask if they are interested in a wholesale agreement and they say no? The key to overcoming the “what if” game is answering the questions. What would happen if you did put your work out there and no one bought it? What would happen if you did get denied entry to the juried show, or didn’t book the wholesale account? Probably nothing too earth shattering, right?
Being honest with yourself and realizing that one rejection (or fifty!) won’t have lasting effects on you or your business, will help you feel more powerful and help you realize that even if you do face some rejection (remember, everyone does!), you can still move forward from it and find success.
Eliminate the negative self talk
We all have those moments when we tell ourselves that we aren’t good enough at our businesses, or we don’t have what it takes to make it. This negative self-talk can be very damaging and often will cause people to give up or never try, both of which are worse than being rejected! It is so important to get that negative self-talk out of your life for good!
Whenever you feel that devil on your shoulder, whispering in your ear that you aren’t doing a good job, or that you won’t succeed, refuse to allow yourself to listen to it! Instead, try to replace those negative thoughts with positive affirmations about your business, work, and personal life.
For instance, if you are about to upload a new collection of unique handmade jewelry to your IndieMade.com store, and you aren’t sure if it will be a winner or not, don’t allow yourself to dwell on the negative or allow yourself to start thinking that no one will want it, or that you will fail. Instead, congratulate yourself on having some ingenuity and being willing to put yourself and your work out there!
Learn from your mistakes
Every rejection can have two outcomes. It can either derail you, causing you to be unlikely to take steps towards the same goal in the future, or it can become a learning experience and motivate you to try harder. Think about what would have happened if J.K Rowling would have given up after the first of her twelve rejections? When you look at each rejection as a learning opportunity, it helps to put things in perspective and will help you make positive improvements for your future.
Just because you don’t succeed at something on your first, third, or thirtieth try doesn’t mean it isn’t worth pursuing. Enjoy the journey and the process, and remember that the fear of rejection is not worth the loss of the experience of trying. As Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Now, go out and make 2015 your best year yet!