Do you ever feel that you have a great idea? Be it an article, blog post or even a business idea. You get all excited about this great idea when suddenly the fear of rejection rears its ugly head. You feel like you can’t move. You have self-doubts and end up wondering whether it was even a good idea to begin with, let alone great. You start to believe and convince yourself that no one will read this or accept it. You convince yourself that this must have been done before. Someone surely has had the same great idea and you ask yourself: how can I be unique?
And then you abandon your once-upon-a-time great idea!
The fear of rejection is normal. In fact, I think it is healthy to a certain extent. Fear can help us question whether an idea is worth pursuing and often prevent us from making a mistake. But, letting your fear paralyze you to the extent that you don’t proceed is not in your best interests. I came across this quote a few months ago by Africa’s first woman president and have fallen in love with it:
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
The key to achieving your dreams then is to learn to manage your fears and channel it towards productivity. I’ve come to realize that you will never stop being afraid. There’s always something to worry about. So, I won’t say you need to overcome your fears completely because in reality that will never happen. The way forward is to keep your fears and worries in check and not let it get the better of you.
So how do you do that? The lessons I’ve learned over time are:
1. Set goals:
You may not always know what you want to do, today, at work or even in your life. But, wandering aimlessly is no solution. Think of what you want to achieve. These are your goals. Write them down. It’s very important that you write them down because now it’s out there in the universe. But don’t think that they are set in stone, just because you’ve written them down. Your list of goals needs to be dynamic. Your goals will and should be updated as you move ahead and as you progress.
2. Remind yourself why:
When you write down your goals, be sure to write down why you want to achieve it. It doesn’t have to be the most altruistic or important reason. It has to be a personal reason. A reason that you can understand. When you reach the point that you’re scared of making the next move, remind yourself why you want to undertake the task. Reminding yourself the reason for your goals will give you the boost to move forward.
3. Keep a positive mindset:
I can’t stress this enough. I’ve had days where I’m completely depressed wondering what next and how I will pay my bills. I try to never let the sun set on negative thoughts. It’s a struggle and I fight it. I know going down that path will lead me to spiral into a place I don’t want to be. So, I make a conscious effort to have a positive mindset. I’m not saying you can’t complain or stress out. All I’m saying is, don’t let the fear and the negativity get the better of you. Fight it!
4. Move ahead anyway:
Occasionally we all have to do things that we don’t like. The most common cause of procrastination or putting things off, is fear of rejection. Well, sometimes the only way to deal with this to move ahead anyway. Give it your best shot and move forward, even if you think it’s not perfect. I believe what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
I hope that this post has given you some words of encouragement. I leave you with another one of my favorite quotes: