The biggest bully in your life is you. You are the first to criticize yourself and last to applaud yourself. When you win a prize or get praise, you play it down instead of celebrating your ass off. When life-changing opportunities come begging at your door, you write yourself off because of rampant imposter syndrome. If only you could overcome self rejection.
What I Learned From Getting Rejected by a Beautiful Woman
It was a chilly Saturday night in late 2013. I was with friends at the Kung Fu bar in Dallas. The bar was packed. Glancing around the bar, I saw it all - beautiful women, college jocks, and alcohol. What was a guy like me who doesn't drink doing there? Well, that's what a 23-year bachelor does on a Saturday night.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jessica (let's call her that), probably the most beautiful woman in the bar that night. My buddy Danish caught me staring. He dared me to go and talk to her. Suddenly paralyzing fear took control of my body. It felt unreal. My throat became dry. I started second-guessing who I was as a person. I told myself, "You have skydived from a moving plane 10,000 feet in the air. Talking to a woman should be a piece of cake for you". And I was about to find out the hard way why it wasn't.
Nervously, I walked in her direction. Shaking. My Shoulders were slouched. And then the dreaded inner monologue started! "Dude she is way out of your league", "Be prepared to get humiliated", "She is gonna say no"... I had no luck trying to shut down the inner monologue. I think the game was already over the moment I began to doubt myself. I stood next to Jessica at the bar. She was there with her girlfriends. After what felt like an eternity inside my head, I opened my mouth.
"Hi", I said awkwardly.
Everyone stopped and looked at me as if I was an alien creature.
"No", she said and laughed.
"But, you don't even know what I am going to say..."
"Nope, not interested."
"Alright. I'll leave. But if you tell me why you said no, I'll buy you and your girlfriends a round of drinks."
That somehow did the trick! She started laughing and agreed. After buying them a round of drinks, Jessica looked at me. She was tipsy. For the rest of my life, I'll never forget the words she uttered:
If you don't fucking believe in yourself, why should I give you a chance?
Her reply shook my foundation to the core. I made a promise to myself that night. Never to self reject me. No matter how dire the circumstances are. Ever!
How to Overcome Self Rejection?
Matt D Smith (MDS) preaches taking action no matter how small to overcome self rejection:
How many times have you come across a job opening only to doubt yourself? Maybe I am not qualified enough as I lack design experience or don't know how to use a particular tool? The other applicant is from Uber, and I can't compete with that. With that inner monologue, you talk yourself out of applying for the job.
And even if you somehow force yourself to apply, you are half-assing it! Because you already gave up in your head. So then why should the hiring manager give you a chance? Would you hire a person who doesn't believe in themselves?
Next time you apply to a job let the process, hiring managers or company reject you. It's their job, not yours.
How do you deal with self rejection? Email me and tell me. I read every email :)