If you don't read this, I actually win
"You mustn't mess me about. I know I may look like a rhinoceros, but I've got quite a thin skin really." Benny, Circle of Friends
Hands up who enjoys rejection? Oh, that would be none of us then.
It's a funny thing, isn't it? If we don't seek rejection, we end up with our status unchanged. Nothing happening. Rejection is an element of taking a risk, of taking the plunge, of taking a step overboard and seeing what's out there. Can I actually ride a bike after 20 years? Can I lose that weight? Should I go for that job? Could I actually write that thing that's been banging around in my head all year?
I can't remember where I first saw this,and I apologise to the aspiring author, who said that she changed her mindset one day, when she saw that she was counting up the rejections from her unsigned manuscript. She was getting upset about it, and explained that she'd realised she was looking at it as another negative moment, rather than framing it as a challenge. She decided there and then she would aim to get 25 rejections - creating a target and turning it into a positive. She was actually more willing to put herself out there, as well as her manuscript.
Those of you who know me well, know that I don't do anything by halves, or even quarters. So I decided in 2022 to aim for 100 rejections. This would be in all facets of my life; personal, work, health, goals, relationships. I would throw everything at this and see if I could score 100 rejections, not knowing where that would take me.
First Quarter Results (Jan-March 2022)
I'm three months in so far, have disappointingly only logged 13 things that I have been bold enough to write down as potentially risking a rejection. What's interesting about this is that only FIVE of them have actually been rejections. A few are still pending, with conversations still going on. Three were positive, and one was a rejection-with-opportunity. Not bad for 13 attempts - a 38% hit rate for rejections. This list is making me circle back often and chase up things and extend conversations with people.
And it's fascinating to see where this might go.
Lessons learned three month in
In order to have only logged 13 experiences in three months is disappointing. To get anywhere near my target of 100, it appears that I need to seek rejection for two things every DAY based on my current batting average.
Second point of note is that it is fascinating to see the things that I have already done, where I haven't sought some sort of affirmation that I might get a rejection - things that I've gone for through blind faith alone; that it wouldn't be a disaster that I would achieve. Thinking back on the past three months,the number of things that I have done, that others might have put as rejections has boosted me and made me reconsider what actually I classify as a rejection for me. It's interesting to reflect that comfortable acceptance for some people is potential rejection for someone else.
Point three, it's making me bolder. It's making me braver. But it's making me think, actually, do I want to be a little fish in a little pond or do I want to dive over into that big pond and test the water out?
I might drown. But if I do, I can add it to my list.
PS I know, you are itching to read what's on the list. Maybe I will publish it at the end of the year (with some features redacted). Should I?
Photo by Francesco Ungaro: https://www.pexels.com/photo/rhinoceros-1236050/