Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

What if this fear of rejection never goes away? What if I’ll always be afraid that I don’t add value, that I have nothing interesting to say? What if I’ll always have the thought that whatever if do, it’s never good enough, that I am not good enough?

I had decided to call my former clients and ask if they wanted to work with me again. To increase my income. I dreaded the whole thing. I hated the idea of selling myself. No matter how hard I tried to perceive the interaction as mutually beneficial, I didn’t. I saw it as begging, and I was sure they wouldn’t need me. I postponed. For two weeks. Completely and joyfully unconscious. I was very busy with other things. Important things. Cleaning the bathroom. Folding the sheets. Watching videos about enrolling conversations with clients. I knew I had to get started. I didn’t. First this email. Now I am hungry. Thank God, my husband wants to play music with me. Anything was a perfect reason not to call.

Then I caught myself in the act. I saw what I was doing and how I was rationalizing my behavior. I realized I would never generate any income, if I would not get up on stage and take action. Just start somewhere, anywhere. Now.

So I picked up the phone. Called one client. Left message. Then took a break. Then another client. Left message. A break. And another. And another. After six clients I started to enjoy it. Reaching out had nothing to do with fear of rejection. It had everything to do with connection. It had everything to do with getting started. Marshall Rosenberg writes something like “anything that’s worth doing, is worth doing poorly“.

You don’t have to overcome your fear of rejection. You don’t have to try to integrate it and heal it. It’s there. And it might always be there. Like a big hump on your back. Do you want to spend the rest of your life trying to get rid of your hump? Do you want to spend all your efforts and energy trying to make it less visible, more integrated? Or do you want to spend your time and resources on creating the life you want?

What if it’s war, and no one goes?

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