I recently sent a great article about raising funding as a first-time founder to my friend and colleague at the startup I work for. After the link I added, “Do you want me to keep sending you stuff like this? I'm not offended by No.”
Those last five words sprung from my fingertips naturally and unconsciously, but I stared at them for a while before pressing send. These words signaled an important development in my personal growth.
No can hurt. Really bad.
When I got cut from the soccer team as a sophomore, I laid on the floor of my room and cried.
When I threw the last turnover and lost the last game of my college ultimate career the message “You’re not good enough” came in loud and clear. I cried then, too.
As an insurance salesman, I had more people hang up on me in one year than I thought I’d experience in my entire life.
But, every time I got back up, dusted myself off, and kept on plugging away.
And that is what will come to ultimately define me.
When you’ve gotten back up enough times after being spurned, you’ll come to realize your own invincibility. That you have the courage, fortitude and experience to make the rejections bounce right off of you.
After that, things will really start to change. That self-belief makes you more attractive to employers, potential lovers, and teammates. They will feed off of the charisma that is borne from authentic, balanced confidence and reasonable expectations.
That’s why those five words meant so much to me. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not a monster that I’ve slain. It would be ridiculous to equate sharing an article with some of the other “No”s I’ve faced.
But it’s a step in the right direction, down a path that I’m excited to travel.
If you need some inspiration, go watch Jia Jiang’s 100 Days of Rejection TED Talk, but, honestly, the best way to learn is through experience. So go out there and hear some Nos.
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