For many women, the fear of rejection can keep them stuck in their careers or businesses, not achieving the success that they want and for which they know they are capable of.
They may not even realise that it is a fear of rejection that is holding them back. They know what they need to do to get clients for their business, or to get promoted at work, but rather than get on and do it, they procrastinate, keeping themselves busy doing things which aren’t really necessary. Or they chase after shiny objects, distractions that they think will offer a short cut to what it is that they want, but in reality, don’t move them any further forward at all.
They may even engage in course after course, making themselves more knowledgeable about their subject matter. But what use is all this knowledge if you’re not putting things into practice. They dread being told no. No, you’ve not been selected for promotion this time. No, I don’t want to buy your services. For them, being told no equates to ‘you’re not good enough’.
They take it very personal, even though there may be no evidence to support their thinking. As a result, they don’t do what they need to do and so they don’t get the success that they want.
It’s different strokes for different folks
No doesn’t mean you’re no good. Because you don’t get the role or someone doesn’t buy your services, it doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough. It means that they don’t want what you have to offer. It may even be the case that they don’t think that what you have to offer is good enough for them. But you know what, that is ok. Different strokes for different folks and all that.
Yes, this can be very disheartening and discouraging, particularly if you have set your heart on it and particularly if it’s happened many times before. But it’s not the end of the world and you can always try again elsewhere.
A fear of rejection can stem from having a low level of self belief. There are many factors that can contribute to this, often arising from early negative childhood experiences, causing you to believe that you’re not good enough.
But you have many, many things that you’re good at, just like you have many things that you’re not good at, or things that you are indifferent to. We all do. And sometimes you just need to look at yourself in perspective and remind yourself of this.
Separate the emotion from the situation
If you were to take the emotion out of it, what would you say then? If your best friend was holding herself back and not doing what she needed to do to get that promotion, or to get more clients, because deep down, she didn’t believe that she was good enough, what would you tell her?
I’m sure you wouldn’t tell her to carry on doing nothing and to wallow in self pity. If you are as good a friend as a best friend should be, I’m sure you would tell her about all the good qualities that she has. I’m sure you would tell her about what makes her good at what she does. I’m even sure that you would encourage her to get on and do it, to do whatever it is that she needs to do to get the results that she wants.
Well, imagine that you are your best friend and take your own advice.
Sometimes you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs…
If you know you have the necessary skills, strengths and knowledge to do what it is that you want to do, and you know that you are good at it, sometimes it’s a numbers game. Just like the saying goes, ‘you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince’, the same applies to you.
You may have to apply several times for promotion, or even go elsewhere. You may have to speak to many people who say no, before you get a client.
But with each no, rather than viewing it as a rejection and a setback, accept that for whatever reason, it wasn’t meant to be. Get feedback if possible, look for any lessons to be learned and move on.
You’ve done it before and you will do it again
I’m sure there have been many instances in your life where you been told no and felt rejected but have gone on to either try again, or purse something else. Yes, it may have been hard to pick yourself back up and carry on. It may even have taken you a long while. But move on you did.
What was it that enabled you to move on? What can you use from that experience and apply now, or the next time you feel like you have been rejected? And if previously it took you a long time to move on, what can you do to quicken the process this time?
The next time you find you are holding yourself back because you fear rejection, challenge your thoughts and beliefs about what it is that you need to. If you’re telling yourself that you’re not really good enough, ask yourself how accurate is that?
Rejection is a fact of life. How you respond to it will determine how confident you feel going forward. You can choose to take it personally, telling yourself you’re not good enough, wallow in it and hold yourself back from the success that you want. Or, you can choose to accept that it was a ‘no’ this time, dust yourself off, move on and try again. What do you choose?
In what ways does a fear of rejection keep you from moving forward in your career or business and achieving the kind of success that you want? I would love to hear, so please comment below.
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