Many people will never step outside their box of comfort and complacency because the fear the rejection.
I somehow missed that sequence in my DNA structuring.
The way I figure it, if I’m already not doing something I want to be doing, then I’m getting a big old NO anyways.
If this were a fifth grade logical word problem, the sequence would go something like this:
Elisa wants to do Thing A, but she is not currently doing Thing A. In deciding how to get to the end result of being about to do Thing A, Elisa is faced with two possible courses of action:
Solution #1 – Keeping with her current course of action and hoping that she will get to do Thing A.
Solution #2 – Asking the ominous Gatekeeper whether she can do Thing A
Which solution should Elisa select if she wants to have a greater chance of doing Thing A?
Folks often ask me how I launched my freelance writing career and got some of the gigs I have gotten. I’d like to say that I am a brilliant strategist that oozes such literary talent that people are veritably tripping over themselves to get me to write for them.
Sadly, this is not the case.
The truth is that I am just a super stubborn person who is completely unaware of the correct “protocol” for most situations.
On New Year’s Day of 2010, I was having an exceptionally crazy turn of the year. Staring at the course I had chartered for myself, that included opening my own insurance agency within the next 18 months, I became physically afflicted wondering “Is this what I want? Is this what is going to make me happy?”
Blogging was something that I loved, and people seemed to think I was half-way good at it, so I just needed to find a way to back up that life decision with tangible proof that I could sustain a life writing little articles and columns. Assessing the landscape for syndication, it was obvious that online media was the direction people were heading.
I spent a few hours looking at various outlets that I was familiar with and thought I might have a chance at getting a meeting at.
I knew less than nothing about pitching a column.
Finally, I settled on pitching Maine’s largest newspaper and media site with a column on relationships and dating. 2010 was, afterall, my year of love and it seemed like a good way to focus on my intentions. I researched Greater Portland’s single demographics, nearby media blogs, and wrote a sample piece. Scouring the site I found a tiny link at the bottom to email a content producer.
They absolutely positively could have/probably should have said “No” to me.
In fact, I was fairly certain that they were going to. I had an entire laundry list of reasons that they would be idiots to hire me for this gig. They included, but were not limited to:
Somehow, though, something I wrote caught the attention of that
crazy amazing content producer and she agreed to meet with me on a Thursday. Within 30 minutes I was walking out of the paper’s offices with a contract to write their newest online blog, The Single Slice.
You could say I am a potential rejection junkie.
Wherein some people get their adrenaline kicks from jumping from planes or mountain biking over cliffs, I get my thrills from setting myself up for failure.
How is that thrilling you ask?
I love looking at an impossible situation, and figuring out how to make it possible. Then I gather all the data and information I’ll need to make it happen. Finally, I present all my findings in a way that now makes it impossible to NOT give me my way.
Ask any of my friends, they’ll tell you how ridiculous I am about this. I ask for things often that any normal person wouldn’t even think of asking.
So why not ask and see what happens.
You are already rejecting yourself, how could it be any worse letting someone else do it?
Sure, you’re not in control when you hand the decision over to someone else. But you are only fooling yourself into thinking you are in control when when you avoid the situation all-together.
That isn’t control.
That is running away.
The scariest thing you will hear is that little voice in your head.
With its thoughts and regret churning through your mind in the silence.
Because you never even gave yourself the chance.
Elisa Doucette is a writer and editor who works with professional writers, entrepreneurs, and brands that want to make their own words even better. She is the Founder of Craft Your Content, and oversees Client Strategy and Writing Coaching. Her own writing has been featured in places like Forbes, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Yahoo! Small Business, and The Huffington Post, among others. She also hosts the Writers' Rough Drafts podcast here on CYC. When she isn't writing, editing, or reading words, she can usually be found at a local pub quiz, deep in a sun salutation, or binging TV shows for concept ideas and laughs.