We want things to go in our favor, especially when we put ourselves out there and take risks. Any time we do something that could be great, we face the risk of rejection. It doesn't matter what it is, from a romantic interest to a job promotion, it's not fun when anyone tells you no.
There's a persistent illusion that tells us we want to be accepted for who we are, how we are at this moment.
I'm so glad that illusion isn't real. I want a lot of people to tell me no. I want to know what I'm not good at.
If no one ever told me no, I'd still be doing a crappy show thinking it was awesome.
I decided to create my own juggling variety show and make a living touring the world. If you can imagine how much rejection I've faced multiply that by a big number and it might be a bit closer to the real number.
TONS of people have told me NO.
No, we don't have a good fit for a show like yours on our agency's roster.
No, your show isn't a good fit for our venue.
(Silence) and unreturned emails is the worst kind of NO. Not even a reason, just nothing.
No, you're not good enough.
Sometimes the no comes from yourself.
Time to send more emails. NO, it's time to send BETTER emails. Make better phone calls. Create a better show.
EVERYDAY. BE A BETTER ________.
Pick something to fill in the blank and be better at it today than you were yesterday. Maybe that's just being a better person. Yeah, that's what everyone should put in that space.
Be a better person. If you haven't started yet, now's the time.
Get ready for rejection. Lots of it. Use it to be better. Use it to be the best. Maybe you'll start hearing a new three letter word.
A version of this essay appears in the book, JUST GO available on Amazon here.