"Don’t call us. We’ll call you."
The most painful of cliches, this phrase encapsulates what might be one of the most debilitating fears humanity has to overcome, the fear of rejection.
In developed countries, (for the most part) we don’t have to stress about our safety, shelter, or where our next meal is coming from. We are able to move up the hierarchy of fears a bit and start running against things that keep us from reaching our potential rather than the things that might keep us from breathing our next breath.
When we start to look to our future and the goals we have, the fear of rejection really starts to perk its ears and give us some trouble. You’ve likely experienced it at one time or another, and I guarantee that you aren’t alone. I’ve experienced this more times than I can number and still have to stare it down on a daily basis.
The fear of rejection is diabolical in its approach and doesn’t hesitate to fight dirty. You can be working toward something creative and that fear will bring up the way you look, your history, your hair, or something completely unrelated to what you are working on. By doing so, it is attempting to prevent you from sharing your craft with the world. It doesn’t matter how your hair looks! Your writing can still change the world. It doesn’t matter how out of shape you are or what kind of car you drive, your words/art/music/whatever can still help people grow and overcome struggles they are facing in their own lives. Your story, your creativity, your abilities are vitally important, but the fear of rejection is going to keep you from sharing them at any cost.
So, how do you overcome the fear of rejection? That’s the question! Unfortunately, the answer, while simple to say, is difficult to submit to.
To overcome the fear of rejection, you have to risk being rejected.
You Have a Choice
You have to take a step or two back from what you are creating and realize that you only have two choices.
You can either share your work with the world and risk being rejected.
You can cave under the pressure and continue living with creative aspirations or business or world-changing projects bouncing around inside your heart that will never see the light of day.
When you think about it that way, is it truly less of a risk to not take that leap of faith? Isn’t it possible you are actually risking much, much more by “playing it safe” and guarding your emotions against the specter of potential rejection? I think you are DEFINITELY risking more by playing it safe than you are by putting yourself and your work out there.
I Get It!
Before you read these words and feel like I don’t know what I’m talking about, let me explain something to you. I’m large. Like, bigger by far than even the average fat person. Since I was a youngster, I’ve been bigger than everyone else. I’ve grown up with the fear of rejection and the low self-esteem that comes from all the jokes, all the embarrassing situations, all of the sideways glances, all of the missed opportunities, and all the little kids in every store I go into pointing out “the fat guy” to their horrified parents.
It’s not that I’ve “been there,” it’s that I AM THERE RIGHT NOW. Rejection is something that I face every single day. Despite this, the biggest enemy and the truest “face of rejection” is the one that stares back in the mirror.
I reject myself before others have the chance. I discount myself before others even have the opportunity. I turn myself down for opportunities and limit my own potential with no help from anyone else, and YOU DO TOO.
You ARE valuable. You ARE powerful. You HAVE a story, skills, and abilities that absolutely MUST be shared with the world. Ignore the face in the mirror and the voices that whisper lies in your mind and share yourself with the world.
If I can do it, you can do it.
Let’s walk this creative journey together and change the world as we go, shall we?
I’d love to connect with you! Don’t hesitate to comment, connect via the social platform of your choice, and subscribe below to download my free eBook on The Creative Journey - How to start and succeed at this whole creativity thing.