The Most Common Fear …

This week, we’ve been talking about the most common fears that freelancers experience.

Today, we’re going to talk about the fear of rejection.

Even experienced professional writers say they still fear rejection.

Although it might not ever go away completely, we can take steps to dramatically reduce the fear.

Overcoming the fear of rejection has to do with your mindset. Here are three things to think about to change it:

1. What’s the worst that can happen?

Usually, we’re afraid because we build situations up to bigger than they are. When you start feeling afraid, take a deep breath and ask, “What’s the worst that can happen?”

If you call a potential client, what’s the worst that can happen? They might say they’re not hiring freelancers right now. You thank them and ask when you can follow up. Not that bad.

If you send a proposal, what’s the worst that could happen? You might not hear back, or they might say no. Either way, keep working your other leads and something will pan out.

2. They aren’t rejecting you.

We can also be afraid of rejection because we feel like they are rejecting us personally.

Just because a client doesn’t need a freelancer right now doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s just business. And remember, there are plenty of clients who do need freelancers right now, so keep going.

3. More rejection = more projects.

It might sound a bit odd to say, “The more times you get rejected, the more projects you’ll get.” But think about this: if you’re afraid to reach out to a client, you’ll never get a project in the first place.

We all have to hear a certain amount of “no” before we get a “yes.” Your number might be five, 10, or 20. But the next five, 10, or 20 people might say, “Yes!”

Be sure to read my final message tomorrow as we’ll be examining deep, underlying fears that are the root of many of the fears we’ve discussed this week.

So what about you? Why are you afraid of rejection? Or do you have any tips for overcoming the fear of rejection? Share in the comments here.

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Published: January 10, 2013

6 Responses to “The Most Common Fear...”

  1. Celebrate each no you receive. Learn from them. Are you calling the wrong client for what you have to give? Can you get a reference from the person who said no? Were you talking to the person who could actually give you a yes? Take the time to ask the client what kind of copy he needs now or in the future. Make sure you leave a great impression and add them to your future yes list. Get kNOwledge from the NO. There is no NO that can keep you back if you lay them as stepping-stones to the next yes.

    Guest (Eileen)

  2. Awesome advice, Eileen! Thank you!

    Christina Gillick

  3. My biggest FEAR is getting a project,and being completely overwhelmed because I don't know what I'm doing. Please give advice.

    Guest (Melvin)

  4. I burnt out. Last year I stopped prospecting for a while because after the bootcamp I sent out a mailing an made over 700 phone calls in a month. Zero projects.

    Clearly something was off, but mentally you can only hear no so many times before it gets to you.

    I've since worked a sales job where I've gotten 15 yeses and around 7100 no's, so my tolerance has gone up since then. Pretty soon I'll use that tolerance towards getting freelance gigs again.


  5. Hi Melvin,

    I think we all feel that before we get our first project. I would recommend starting with something you're comfortable with. You don't have to jump right in to sales letters or full websites. You could start with articles, blog posts, etc.

    Of course, when you get a project - no matter how big, you can find help for completing it in the AWAI forum and blog posts.

    You can do it!

    Best, Christina

    Christina Gillick

  6. Hi David,

    It is a bummer to hear "no," that's for sure! Especially over and over!

    Was your list targeted?

    Also, did they tell you "no" or did they not answer? Because there's a difference. Some potential clients need to be followed up with repeatedly because they're so busy.

    I recommend starting smaller - with a very targeted group that hires freelancers - and following up often and consistently.

    Let me know if this helps or if you have any more questions.

    Best, Christina

    Christina Gillick

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