The first time I met one-on-one with editors at a writer’s conference, the fear of rejection hovered over me like a helicopter. I could barely handle the pressure. I felt so inadequate and unsure of how to pitch my ideas. And as with most writers my worst fear happened. I heard the dreaded word no.
But I also heard positive feedback so I left each appointment with a smile and a little more courage. Experiencing “no” wasn’t the end of my dream. Over the years I kept going and eventually found homes for several of my pieces. The truth is I still hate the thought of being rejected and I sometimes find myself shrinking back because of it. Playing it safe feels easier than the pain of rejection, but is it really?
Is the fear of rejection derailing you and your big dream? Are you off track? I know fear can be paralyzing. No one wants to be rejected even if it’s done in the most loving, encouraging way. It’s not easy to be brave, especially when we’re dealing with something as close to our hearts as our dreams.
The only way I can make progress when I’m dealing with fear is to set aside how I feel, think logically and I ask myself some hard questions.
Which is more satisfying: being comfortable and hiding out or showing up regardless of the outcome? Does my dream have the potential to positively affect other people? If so, is that worth my time and effort even if the journey includes pain and rejection? Would I rather die with my dream still inside me or die trying to make it a reality?
For me life all boils down to choices. Choice is a gift from God. We’re blessed to be able to choose what we will do with our thoughts, our bodies, our time and talent. We are free to decide what’s important and act accordingly. How we respond to our fears is a choice. And when it comes to the fear of rejection, I see two options:
1. We can reject ourselves (and our dream) before others get a chance to and do nothing
2. Choose ourselves ( and our dream), take action and risk the possibility of rejection along the way
What will you choose?
If you reject yourself, sure you’ll avoid a lot of pain, but you’ll miss out on heaps of joy.
If you choose yourself, you’re saying yes to an adventurous dream and who knows what will happen. But it ALL will be worth it.
“I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear
to wake me up and get going,
rather than retreat.”
Below is a video I’ve seen several times. And I still enjoy the reminder to take a risk.
PS I’m here writing because I PICK YOU. It’s time you pick yourself too. Get back on the right track.