My 7th grade daughter Kate tried out for an elite volleyball team last weekend. She had been prepping for this tryout for a long time - but when we arrived her mental chatter went on overdrive.
She was not only one of the very youngest to tryout but also one of the less experienced girls.
I could see cowering a little as she measured herself up with these more experienced players.
My heart went out to her - I wanted to shout, "You've GOT this! You are such an amazing girl with such drive and such dedication and potential. DON'T let these other girls (or the coaches) let you think otherwise."
She didn't make the team.
Remember those days from your childhood?
That time you didn't make it...
That time you failed that new thing you tried...
That outside confirmation from the world that you're not good enough.
Kate and I returned home after the tryout and I let her have her space. My heart was bursting, but
I was reminded just how similar these childhood rejections are to "flops" in our business...
When we worked so hard to for that new client and she doesn't say yes.
When we finally got the gumption to do that talk and it flops.
When we launch something new and it doesn't go the way we expected.
Business sucks sometimes - you know? Starting and running your own business isn't always easy.
In fact, it take some of the most powerful personal growth experiences you'll ever have.
Kate and I talked about how she could process this experience, and it made me want to share it with you.
Here's 3 steps to pivot those rejections in your business:
1. Feel the feeling.
When I was growing up I was encouraged to put on a happy face and pretend things were OK even when they weren't.
A MUCH healthier way to deal with rejection is to feel it. Sit with that "suck-i-ness' and let it run through you. Yes, it hurts, but it will pass. (Much better than stuffing it down, you know?)
I encouraged Kate to cry all she wanted - that she SHOULD be crying and letting it out. She felt better after she did.
2. Know that there's no failure - only feedback
I tell my clients this all the time.
When something doesn't go as planned in your business - what have you learned from it?
How can you take an autopsy on the experience as you objectively look at what you know now that you didn't know before?
Did that potential client help you realize that she's NOT your ideal client (and it could have been an unpleasant relationship to work with her?)
Did you get so caught up in the teaching portion of your talk that you forgot to invite them into talking with you individually afterwards?
Did launching something new help you follow a project from start to finish in a way you never have before?
When Kate and I saw how competitive and experienced these older girls were compared to Kate, we began to wonder if maybe this isn't the right environment for her.
We talked about how we could find a better volleyball experience (yes even a competitive one) that better fits HER level and needs.
We also talked about how she could work on calming her nerves in tryout situations.
As we talked, I could feel her become empowered around choosing what feels good to her AND from her being able to make her next volleyball decision from an educated place.
3. CELEBRATE how far you've come
Us women don't do this nearly enough, and yet it's so important!
I regularly encourage my clients to write down 10 things that they've accomplished or 10 positive ways they have grown in their business through our work together.
By reflecting on the positive outcomes, your brain releases endorphins and helps you reframe the whole experience. (Kind of like a gratitude exercise)
Kate and I talked about how hard she's worked to improve her serve and hone in her skills these past 3 years through teamwork, clinics and more.
We celebrated how far she's come as a player. (And she's a really GOOD one)
She's not done with volleyball - in fact she's trying out today for her school team. In this situation she's NOT one of the youngest or least experienced.
Whether she makes the team or not, she's grown and evolved in a HUGE WAY this week - and that's worth celebrating.
Are you feeling a little sucky about something in your business right now? Contact me and let's talk it through!
To pivoting and learning from these sucky experiences,
P.S. Are you ready for September? I'm working on a brand new complimentary training that I am DYING to share with you. Stay tuned!