Honestly, the fear of rejection holds so many of us back from so much... it's horrible! I get it, I fear rejection too. It's the scariest thing imaginable! But over the years, I've had to come to terms with rejection, and I've learnt a thing or two about coping with it.
So todays letter to you is hopefully going to help you feel a little more confident, and a bit less terrified of being rejected.
Here we go
1. They Won't Say Anything To You:
The reality is that the majority of the time, we fear someone actually saying the words "you're not good enough" to our face. But here's the thing: that rarely happens. Most of the time, if someone isn't so keen on your work, they won't say anything! They just won't reply! Looking at this from the perspective of pitching, whenever I send a pitch email out, if I don't hear back, that sometimes means they didn't like my work (it could also mean a million other things but I won't get into that today).
Please don't let the fear of someone saying something mean to you stop you from putting yourself out there. It is SO rare. It doesn't happen often.
2. Examine Where the Fear is Coming From
Often, the fear of rejection is rooted in some kind of strange, limiting belief that we've made up in our head. Seriously, say some of your fears out loud to friends, and they'll tell you that you are mad for thinking those things!
For example, one of my big fears has always been that people I grew up with will think that I'm weird for building an online business, and showing up so much online.
This fear is rooted in my insecurity from my teen years. I hated being a teenager, and didn't deal well with the school environment.
Well guess what, one day I realised that the reality is: most of them probably don't care. They're more worried about their own lives to even care about what I'm doing. And even if some of them DO care, what does it matter to me? Will I ever see them again? Probably not!
Take a look at some of your limiting beliefs, and your fears, and analyse them. Are they realistic? Or are you giving your fear too much power?
3. People are Concerned about Themselves:
Like I said in the previous point, most people are more worried with their own "stuff" than they are with yours. Seriously, think about your own habits! How often do you walk down the street, looking around, analysing everyone else and thinking about all of their problems?
We're selfish animals. Humans are always going to be more preoccupied with "their stuff" than they are with yours.
That might be a bit depressing to hear, but I find it mega liberating. I can literally get on with my own life, focus on my goals, and accomplish whatever I need to... because no one cares what I do! They're all more concerned with themselves :)
How does this all relate to photography?
In every way. If you can overcome the fear of rejection (or at least quieten it a bit... it never fully goes away!), you will feel far more motivated, and able to push forward with your dreams.
Overcoming the fear of rejection allowed me to start pitching to brands, to reach out to make up artists I admired, to network with people I wanted to speak to, and so much more. Your career will soar if you can push that fear aside. I promise!