Monday, November 11, 2013

Stop Rejecting Yourself

I haven't posted in a while.  Deal with it ... I've been busy.  For the past 5 months I have been traveling for work.  Not non-stop but enough travel to throw me off my writing game.  I'm not done with the trips yet, either.  Next month I head to Australia for a long overdue vacation and an even longer overdue adventure.

This post is not about that.  I'm pretty sure I'll have plenty of material from that trip to fill the blogosphere for a long time.

This post is about the answer "no".  Throughout my career I have come across people who fear the answer "no".  I used to be one of them.  Rejection is tough.  And for someone to tell you "no" on something that you really want is hard to get past.
So many people go without asking because they assume the answer is "no" and, therefore, they cut out the middle man and live with the rejection.  They have rejected themselves from something they want.

This thought process is silly.

First, don't assume things.  If you don't ask the question in the first place then the answer will always be "no".  Whoever you have to ask (boss, significant other, friend, co-worker, etc.) might want to give you the answer "yes" but they haven't even thought of the question you want to say.

This is my plea: stop rejecting yourself.  Ask the questions.  Back up your desired "yes" answer with solid reasons why the person you are asking should say anything other than "no".

Second, if you do get a "no"answer then rephrase the question.  I say this to a lot of people I mentor and we laugh.  But I'm serious.  My co-workers wonder how I "get away" with what I do.  I stopped fearing rejection and ask for what I want.  I phrase it in a way that it benefits the most people.  And in those rare occurrence where I get a "no" answer I take a moment, collect my thoughts, and rephrase the question.

I asked about working remotely.  I asked to take long vacations (see the comment about Australia above).  I asked about projects to take on and other ones where I can coordinate/delegate/manage.  I asked to live overseas and do research.  I ask questions that have led to the type of lifestyle I only dreamed of a few years ago.

Therefore, stop rejecting yourself.  Be prepared for "no" and be prepared to rephrase the question.  When you do get a "yes" be prepared to make the most of it.  Live the life you dream of and help others achieve their dreams.