Time Heals

Time and Rejection

Time heals all wounds… But, all the time in the world will not preemptively heal wounds that have yet to happen.

I’d been putting off writing a particular business related email for a long time. An email where I needed to ask for something, and I was terrified of being rejected.

I wrote about this fear during my Morning Pages and stumbled upon a big realization.

Behold. My morning pages.

mp1
Handwriting transcription: “Ugh. I need to get over the fear of inconveniencing people. If people don’t want to do something, especially at that level, they simply won’t do it and they won’t bat an eye. Holy s…unflower. I’m spending weeks agonizing over something that others won’t really be troubled by.”

In this particular case, the company’s answer is not going to change from one week to the next. If it’s going to be a no, it will be a no this week or next month. For them, it’s one more email. For me, it’d been weeks of worrying about how I was going to be perceived.

Something started shifting in my mind. The following morning, I continued exploring.

mp2

My fear of rejection diminished when I thought of it as part of a process of elimination, and not an end. The amount of peace I felt in this moment is the reason why I love morning pages. 

Someone could have told me this… In fact, I’m sure somebody has… but, it wasn’t until I “dug” and unearthed this gem for myself that I fully understood it.

Later that morning, I went to a coffee shop and asked the barista for a cappuccino and a piece of paper. 

I sat down to write a list of the points I wanted to be sure to communicate. Referencing that list, I wrote down the first draft of the email.

Doing this on paper and away from the computer was extra helpful. It made me focus on the human side of things, reminding me that we are all, after all, just people. I was able to express all my thoughts honestly and then distill them into a brief, professional email.

I sent it later that day.

I felt good about myself and certain that I’d done the right thing. I no longer felt afraid that rejection would hurt me.

I hereby promise to remind myself the following things:


About Time: Prolonging something out of fear only prolongs my own misery without changing the outcome. It’s better to take action.

About Rejection: Rejection is just part of a process of elimination. YOUR process. And it’s hardly ever personal when it comes to business.

DO NOT make it personal, Malukah. I promise you that high level executives are not writing about you in their morning pages, worrying about how to respond to you.

On the other side of emails sit humans, just like you. They are not scary. Just be concise and respectful.

As I hit send, I hoped I never had to write another email like that again.

And then I had to, about a week later. And it was a hell of a lot easier.

Thanks for reading!
Malu

13 comments

  • I’m the same type of person, and it takes time to learn to take the rational approach instead of the emotional one. But anyway, I’m so proud of you! And thank you for sharing <3.

  • Writing a journal like this can be very therapeutic. I do it sometimes in difficult moments. Just pouring out thoughts onto paper always helped me to calm them down, organize them, and sometimes find some new perspective.

    In life it’s very important to learn to ask, and don’t treat the answer personally and emotionally. If it’s sending a business enquiry, asking someone out for a coffee or doing a happy Labrador dance with a stranger. The worst thing that can happen is a ‘no’. It’s not a personal, hurtful rejection, it’s not a word that will hurt you. When you hear no it’s just another human interaction, it’s something you can shrug off after and just continue with the life.
    Took me till my twenties to learn that. But once I realized it, it made the life much easier, especially when it comes to all kinds of human interactions, professional or personal. When you ask you might SOMETIMES hear a no. But if you don’t ask, and just hide stressing and biting your nails, you will NEVER hear a yes.
    Keep at it Malu, and remember. We are often stronger and more badass than we realize <3

    • Hi Greeeg! I’m glad you were able to learn to look at things from this perspective earlier on! And I agree that journaling during difficult moments is therapeutic. 🙂 Thank you for reading and for sharing your experience.

  • Wonderful article Malukah! It’s funny to see how many of us go through similar things in life. I almost feel like I could have written this article (minus the sunflower thingy ;-)). Sadly, I’m really great at postponing things, in fear of the reactions and of how it will make me feels. I’m especially bad when it is time for me to make a phone call. I’ve been postponing some for months… sometimes even up to a year! Can you imagine? When I get to the moment where I need to take the phone to make the call, I will just say to myself “naahhh, I don’t have the time right now, other stuff to do, it will be too long, blah blah”. And then I decide I will do it on a day I will be off at home, all alone… and when that day come, I just forget or find other things to do that day. And the call goes undone…
    Reading you tho makes me realize this. I love how you take the time to process all this. It is quite enlightening and helpful. Now, I wish I could tell you that after reading this, I will make the phone call today, but I’m not sure I will “find” the time… I guess we also all have our inner wars to fight. At least, today, your text brought me more soldiers on my war field and a lil push from behind. Thank you for that Malukah!!

    Daniel aka Letodan

    • Letodan, yes!!! I know that train of thought of, “well, it’s too late today… better tomorrow…” when it was my own fault I got distracted with other things in the first place to make it late. hahahaha! Procrastination tries to be sneaky on us. Hopefully we can get better at managing it.

      One thing that has helped me in moments when my excuse is I don’t have enough time right now is I say, “Ok, I may not finish this today, but I will work on it for the next thirty minutes.” I set a timer and get to work without any expectations of real progress… and I’m usually surprised that things take a lot less than I thought they would.

      This particularly in songwriting was a big change for me… when I’d have a free hour, or half hour, and I would think, “Nah… I can’t write a song in just half an hour”… Now, I’ve tried the timer thing a few times for those thirty minutes, and I’ve gotten some cool ideas! Good luck with your pending phone call!!! I feel your pain. haha! 😀

      • Thank you for the answer Malukah. You are always so thoughtful, it’s crazy! I had never thought about setting a timer but it’s such a great idea! Thank you for the tip! It pisses me off when someone who is younger than me seems way more intelligent than I am with these things!! (😉) Da*n…
        Anyway, again, thank you for taking the time to answer but also, taking the time to think about a solution for me. It just shows how much you care for the people, and not just the ones around you but, also to the ones in your “virtual” community. You deserve all the success that can happen to you. May all your craziest dreams be fulfilled someday dear Malukah!

        Daniel aka Letodan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *