On my bad days, a benign "hi" can get me wondering what the person really means. On good days, even an emphatic rejection can strike me as an opportunity. Unique as I would to believe myself, I know for a fact that my feelings are fairly universal. We all have good and bad days. Where we differ is how we react--what we do with those feelings Yes, my friend (you know who you are!), this is about you. But it is also about me and every other person I know. We can, when things feel overwhelming, go into a corner and hide. We can whine or cry. Or, we can do what my key ring exhorts --no kvetching! (What? You expected something more uplifting?)
I, for one, decided a long time ago that my reaction to every setback (real or imagined) would be to continue moving forward. It's not that I like rejection, or feel good if someone has less than a glowingly positive response to something I've done. I hate when that happens. The absence of absolute adoration too often feels like loathing. Every rejection feels a little like death. I call my trusted friends and mainly my sister. And then I move on.
Moving on has a lot to recommend it, as long as you head in the right direction. For starters, it really does move you closer to wherever it is that you want to go. Besides, it does take the sting out of that rejection; the queasiness from that somewhat negative comment or review.
When your job requires that you get out there and ask a lot of people to say yes when they are more inclined to say no, being able to move on is critical. But note that moving on doesn’t necessarily mean that you move completely away from the situation.
It often means moving a bit to the side, so you can see more clearly. Or getting closer, for the same reason. Typically it means seeing if there is a better way to get where you want to go.
As a fundraiser, when I couldn’t get in to see a major prospect, my best bet was to look for someone whose name would open the door.
I can chose to let those bad days dominate my actions, or I can chose to acknowledge it feels horrible and all I really want to do is eat some worms, and then—take a deep breath—and move onward, toward the thing I need to do.
Janet Levine works with nonprofits, helping them to increase their fundraising capacity and to stop kvetching! Learn more at http://janetlevineconsulting.com. While at the site, sign up for the free newsletter.