Here’s the not so funny funny thing about rejection:
It almost always feels the same way, and we never get used to it.
For me, rejection wraps itself up around my rib cage. It’s a heart hurt. It makes deep breaths seem impossible. The duration of the heart hurt varies – the degree of rejection influenced by a number of factors, including but certainly not limited to our level of emotional investment, the method of rejection and the expectations we had of different outcomes.
But in the end, it’s the same: it stings.
This past week I caught myself sucking in the pain of a sting. Rejection in the form of a double whammy – a text message that said one thing, and a later interaction that said another – both confirming dishonesty in someone I had trusted, in spite of a few red flags and my own hesitation.
And I was bewildered. Was being rejected never going to feel any less awful? Could I not adjust to the sting of rejection in the same way I’ve learned to shrug off haters? Could I fake it til I made it through this discomfort? Laugh a little louder and prove I wasn’t hurt? (But oh, how I was hurt)
This is how rejection is like a bee sting – though temporary, and likely not lethal, it always hurts. A lot. And though we might get stung in places that hurt more than others, that sting is always the same.
And if we get stung enough, we start to really fear bees.
And we get stuck trying to forward plan for where there might be bees.
And then we avoid those bastards like the plague.
This is exactly the moment we stop letting our guard down for long enough to get stung. We’re on constant, vigilant watch. We layer up to protect ourselves.
In business, this looks like bloggers who don’t blog , and sellers who don’t sell . It looks like new sites that don’t launch, and products that never go to market. We hide out. We stop showing up.
If I never try to sell you anything, you can never say no. (And I know you can all do the math here: If i never try to sell you anything, I will never sell anything, and then I’m not really in business, am I?)
If I never show you who I am, you can never tell me I’m too much of anything (quirky, noisy, bossy, brash, insertadjectiveofyourchoicehere).
Armoured people never get hurt, but they also never make real, genuine connections with the people around them – their friends, their family or their clients. They don’t experience that deeply fulfilling experience of being present.
What have you been avoiding out of fear of rejection?