The most recent skill I have learned about with my job as a leadership consultant is the art of bouncing back after being flat out rejected. I have spent many hours recently tabling for Sigma Kappa and trying to get people to join our wonderful organization. While I have had an overwhelming amount of success with this, there have been times when I was flat ghosted. Times when my conversation of “Hi! Have you heard about Sigma Kappa?” was greeted with a hand to my face and a scoff and my response has to be “Okay great, have a nice day!”
One day, I felt like I got rejected time and time again and I was feeling a little deflated. I even checked to make sure there wasn’t something in my teeth. When I discovered I looked the same as I do every day, I did the next logical thing: complain to my friend about being rejected (aka, nonchalantly ask him to tell me I’m great and boost up my ego). I was actually really surprised by his response: “It happens. That’s how you know the ones that do say yes are winners.”
This response changed my outlook on my future tabling adventures. My supervisor also gave really great advice- each person I talk to could be the next chapter president. I took these words from my friend and my supervisor to heart for both tabling as well as my interactions with people in general and it led me to another thought: we have no idea what is going on in other people’s lives.
Those people that rejected even talking to me may have just received really bad news from a family member. Maybe they just failed a test. Or maybe they were just having a really bad day. But, no matter what was happening, I shouldn’t have let their actions alter how I was feeling about myself. I am a true believer that kindness matters and we can only control what is happening within ourselves. It is a waste of energy to try to control the actions of others.
So, I’m challenging myself to continue thinking this way – to only let my actions and the things I’m doing affect whether or not I’m feeling successful. I will also challenge myself to be kind at all times to everyone regardless of how I’m feeling internally because kindness matters.
Until next time,