I’ve been rejected many, many times in my life. It sucks. Early on in my current venture, there were dozens and dozens of investors who rejected our business. They didn’t believe.”The founders weren’t proven.” “The market size was too small.” “Not enough traction.” It really beat me up emotionally and made me question everything we were doing. Was my decision to drop out of Princeton the biggest mistake of my life?
We kept putting one foot in front of other (thank heavens for naiveté).
Today I can only look at it one way: It was their loss. They missed out on a winning opportunity and getting to know winning entrepreneurs. I can’t wait to prove these naysayers wrong (and in many ways we already have). Success will be the most effective silencer.
As for those who believed, I will make sure they get their reward — in the current venture and those to come. They bet on the right jockey. I will do whatever I can to make it worth their while.
There will be times in life when people don’t believe in you. It’s deflating. Perhaps it’s a startup and you’re trying to get investors. It might be a simple idea you pitch within an established organization. Maybe it’s a girl you really wanna date or a job you’re dying for. The list goes on.
You will be doubted, denied and rejected. It’s a part of life.
Sometimes it comes sugar-coated… “It’s not you, it’s me.” “It’s not the right fit.” “It’s not good timing.” Blah blah blah.
You read it one way: they don’t believe in you.
You have two simple choices. You can join in their disbelief, draining all self-confidence. Or you can use it as motivation and fuel.
Letting rejection effect your self-confidence can be catastrophic. You become gun-shy for new opportunities. Mediocrity becomes your best friend. Worst of all, you become afraid to fail — afraid to step out on a limb and do something amazing.
This is tragic.
You are both the creator and destroyer of your confidence. It’ll be on you to relentlessly move forward, believing in yourself, no matter how ridiculously challenging the path may seem.
There will be times when belief in yourself is all you’ll have left. It’ll be that last drop of fuel that keeps you moving forward. It’s your power source — like Iron Man’s Arc Reactor. Protect it. Guard it. Fight off any demons that get near it. Most importantly, nurture it. Get whatever small victories you can to strengthen it.
Sometimes you have to fake it to make it. You might have no idea what you’re doing. That’s okay. But be confident that you can figure it out. You’ll find solutions.
If you believe in yourself enough, others will believe in your belief, and eventually in you.
It all starts with you. Believe.