The Subtle Yet Insidious Power of Procrastination
Part 4: The Ten Thousand Cuts of Rejection
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
— Thomas Edison
We all fear rejection. Putting yourself out there is rife with consequences. It can affirm our worst fears about ourselves. With every rejection we begin to believe all of the worse things that the worst sides of our Ego has been telling us. “If I fail it will prove I am inadequate.”, “Whenever I do try it is never good enough.”
Letting rejections reinforce the negative things we feel about ourselves they start to become absolutes. We begin to believe them as core components of our being and they seep into every aspects of our lives. With enough rejection it can be hard to see the need or want to even continue.
That is where things can begin to spiral. You face rejection on something you care deeply about. A relationship, a project, a goal. A feedback loop is created buttressed by your past failures. You begin to believe that only rejection lies ahead for you. .
There is a way to end this. To turn the fear of rejection on its head into something that actually drives you forward. How to take that rejection and using it as a positive fuel that will make you even stronger the next time you try. Because you are going to try again. The odds of you going into a dark hole and never coming out again are fairly slim.
Now, that is not to say that when rejection comes you are not supposed to become frustrated, your not allowed to go curl into a ball and cry it out. Believe it or not, I encourage it. Let it all out. It’s just then when you are done you have to pick yourself up and straighten yourself out and get up to bat again.
I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.
— Billy Joel
Now you can be more objective after you have gotten that initial emotional ball of self-doubt and loathing out of the way. Take a look at what you have learned from the past but don’t overthink it. Rejection is not who you are.
Pick up that pen. Pull up to that keyboard. Pickup that paintbrush and try again.
But have you seen that video of the dancing cats? I should Google it. What’s this? A link to coats for cats? Hmmm…