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Scott Allan is the author of Rejection Free: How to Choose Yourself First and Take Charge of Your Life by Confidently Asking for What You Want. His book provides a road map for preparing for rejection and refusing to let it rule your life.
In a previous post, I wrote about how you can re-position rejection in your mind and take it less personally. In fact, Allan asserts that rejection is merely a story you tell yourself. You’re actually rejecting yourself, either by not trying for what you want or personalizing a decision that may not have anything to do with you.
He writes, “When we buy into rejection, it solidifies the lies we formulated ages ago about our personal value and self-worth. …this is the foundation of self-rejection. We are harder on ourselves than anybody else. Staying hidden and out of sight is no way to live your life. It certainly isn’t going to put you on the path to fulfilling your master goal or dream.”
The cure for self-rejection is to choose yourself. Don’t wait for the world to offer you the perfect opportunity; go out and seek it yourself. “This is about choosing the person you want to be, and not molding yourself into what others think you should be. All of us can have what we want if we can only muster the courage to break through the fear that holds us back from doing the things that we love,” Allan writes.
He also writes that this philosophy will not cure rejection. But it will help you take the power away from your fear. You’ll learn to live with fear, but you’ll no longer be living in fear. You can choose your reaction when you don’t get what you want. You can choose to brood or you can choose to move on to the next person or the next idea.
Allan writes that it’s important for you not to assume that being rejected is a sign you’re on the wrong path. Thomas Edison famously said: “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” Stephen King’s manuscript for Carrie was rejected 30 times. JK Rowling was rejected 12 times and told that she should strongly consider getting a day job. When you choose yourself, you take the power away from people without the vision to choose you. (There are a lot of editorial “experts” who never saw how great some authors would be. Here’s a list of famous publishing fails.
“If you believe that your rejection is real, it is,” Allan writes. Choosing yourself means you’ve decided that you’ll never allow another to determine if you are good enough.