Is your fear of rejection keeping you from the dollars and impact you want from your business?
By Sana N Choudary, founder of Own Your Sensitive Genius.
Meet Rosemary—a highly sensitive (HS) counseling psychologist.
Rosemary felt called to help professional adults who outwardly had it all, but inside were unhappy.
While working with these patients at a mainstream healthcare institution, she sensed that many were suffering from intergenerational trauma.
She was convinced that the most effective solution for them was to provide massage coupled with counseling.
But when she proposed this at her workplace, they immediately shot her down. It just didn’t fit their business model.
Desperate to give her patients the tools that they critically needed, Rosemary did the only thing she could–she became an entrepreneur
Within a year Rosemary’s private practice had 25 regular paying clients.
Rosemary loved her practice. It allowed her to focus on the only thing that really mattered—her patients’ best interests. And the powerful life-changing results her work had on her patients, was incredibly rewarding.
But then she hit a wall…
Even though she was working longer and harder than she had ever worked before, she wasn’t making anywhere close to the amount of money she wanted.
She was always having to scrimp and save, and still never having enough left over.
And worst of all, she knew she wasn’t making as much impact as possible.
Sure her patients were making massive shifts, but there were others out there, who needed her and she just wasn’t reaching them.
She knew the solution was marketing, but she couldn’t get herself to do it
And when she did, it was so haphazard and half hearted that it never moved the needle for her business.
Because Rosemary was terrified
She was afraid of being criticized. She was afraid of being ignored. And most of all she was afraid of failing. Rosemary saw all of these as the ultimate rejection—a rejection of everything she was and everything she stood for.
Does this sound familiar?
Are you like Rosemary?
Are you doing everything but actually marketing because you are afraid being rejected?
Maybe, like Rosemary, you are angry at yourself for not being able to get over your fear of rejection?
Well you are in luck, because in this post I will:
- Help you understand the real source of your fear of rejection (hint: it isn’t what you think) AND
- Give you the only antidote to your fear of rejection that works at the source
Let’s get started.
Where does your fear of rejection come from?
A fear of rejection comes from what Dr. Carol Dweck calls the fixed mindset (in her book Mindset).
A fixed mindset is the belief that your talents and abilities, are fixed and unchangeable. Whether it is the feeling that you are not exciting, charismatic, or assertive enough to market well.
Or it is the sense that you are too far outside of the box or too woo-woo to market well. In either case, you believe that your marketing abilities cannot be improved.
In this mindset, rejection is failure. And failure is proof positive that you lack what it takes to make it in marketing, and by extension business.
What the fixed mindset makes you do
Because of the fixed mindset you do everything possible to avoid your fear of rejection. Namely:
- you self sabotage by working on everything else but marketing
- you distract yourself by looking at how competitors market rather than actually marketing yourself
- you focus on what you can’t control by blaming yourself or others for your high sensitivity, rather than finding ways to market that work with your high sensitivity
But mostly you just don’t try, not really. There isn’t much point in trying when you believe the abilities you have now are what you will always have.
And if you sense any obstacles or challenges on the horizon, which with marketing you invariably will, you lose interest completely.
Even though part of you wants to grow your marketing skills and your business, another part of you, the part that believes in the fixed mindset keeps you stuck right where you are.
And so you act like what Josh Waitzkin, calls “an anorexic hermit crab [one that is growing out of it’s shell but instead of finding another larger shell is] starving itself so it doesn’t have to grow to find a new shell” (from his book Art of Learning).
What is the antidote?
The growth mindset.
The growth mindset is the belief that your current abilities are simply your starting point. With hard work and experience they can be grown and improved overtime.
What is more, when you have the growth mindset no matter how horrible rejection or failure feels, you still make an effort.
Think a growth mindset isn’t possible for you? Think again. All of us had a growth mindset as a child.
To illustrate let me to introduce you to a 10 month old baby girl—baby A.
Can you imagine if baby A believed in the fixed mindset?
She would stop trying at the first sign of darkness and never venture behind doors.
But instead baby A has a growth mindset. Just like baby A’s growth mindset allows her to get past her fear of darkness, developing a growth mindset around marketing will allow you to get past your fear of rejection.
When you have a growth mindset around marketing your main focus becomes learning and improvement.
As a result when you fail or face an obstacle you confront it directly.
You try different ideas. And if those don’t work you try something new and you keep trying new ideas until you succeed. This process of trial and error, coupled with your skills and talents may even allow you to come up with unique creative ways to market that no one in your industry has seen before.
But isn’t the growth mindset scary?
It definitely is. But if you have a growth mindset, inaction in the face of fear is not acceptable, because you know growth is a prerequisite to achieving your goals.
As a result you are living exactly as Josh Waitzkin implores in this quote:
“We need to put ourselves out there, give it our all, and reap the lesson win or lose. The fact of the matter is there will be nothing learned from any challenge in which we don’t try our hardest.
“Growth comes at the point of resistance. We learn by pushing ourselves and finding what really lies in the outer reaches of our abilities.”
[From his book The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance.]
Wrap up & Next step
Let’s summarize, here is what you learned:
- you know that to create the money and impact you really want from your business you have to market
- you know that a fear of rejection is what keeps you from marketing in a way that really moves the needle for your business
- you know that this of fear of rejection comes from having a fixed mindset around your marketing abilities and its antidote is a growth mindset
If you are still struggling with a fear of rejection – Download my free 10 min video on how to deal with rejection with a growth mindset.
Thanks to Sana Choudary for the above article. (Douglas Eby, author of this site.)
Here are additional resources for you, especially if you are a highly sensitive person:
Heather Dominick provides teaching and programs for Highly Sensitive Entrepreneurs through her site A Course In Business Miracles.
Heather Dominick says:
“A Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur™ is a person with highly sensitive abilities who has chosen to utilize these special traits within the world of self-employment. Most likely, if you are highly sensitive, you have been given the message over time that your traits are not assets but hindrances. Perhaps you heard things growing up like:
~ Stop being so sensitive.
~ Cry baby!
~ What’s wrong with you?
“But in truth you are coded to be extremely successful within the world of self-employment in what according to Dr. Elaine N. Aron, one of the primary researchers of the high sensitivity personality trait and author of the book Highly Sensitive Persons, refers to as “advisor role” within society.
‘Highly sensitive persons tend to fill that advisor role. We are the writers, historians, philosophers, judges, artists, researchers, theologians, therapist, [coaches], teachers, parents, and plain conscientious citizens.
‘What we bring to any of these roles is a tendency to think about all the possible effects of an idea.’
Dominick continues: “It’s no accident that the coaching industry has exploded over the past five years, offering a litany of business building opportunities aimed at a more ‘spiritual’ practice of integrated business and marketing. Literally, as Highly Sensitive Entrepreneurs™, our time has come.
“However, as Dr. Aron states, ‘to perform our role well, we have to feel very good about ourselves. We have to ignore all the messages from the ‘Warriors’ that we are not as good as they are.
‘The Warriors have their bold style, which has its value. But we, too, have our style and our own important contribution to make.’
Dominick notes, “The key is, how do we do that? How do you use your highly sensitive abilities to support you in being purposeful, profitable and empowered rather than scattered, poor and undervalued?
“It’s why Business Miracles™ was created.
“Use your gift of being an excellent coach, healing practitioner or creative entrepreneur and learn how to be powerful, empowered and profitable with it.
“You may be asking yourself, how do I know if I’m a Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur? — Simply take the Free Quiz at the Business Miracles site.”