I had the opportunity to interview John Fuhrman, the international best selling author of Reject Me – I Love It!. Here’s a synopsis of our interview.
Julie: How many times can we expect to be rejected in our lifetime?
John: By the time people reach 18, they’ve already been rejected about 150,000 times. And – most 18 year olds survive!
Julie: Why do people fear rejection?
John: When people think over and over in their mind, about a question that they would like to ask someone – they anticipate rejection and build fear. Thoughts about the worst scenarios linger in our minds. We think to ourselves – they don’t like me, they’re not going to accept my proposal, etc. People let fear take over, and then they don’t follow through on their plans because of the fear that has evolved.
Julie: After we’ve been rejected what’s the first thing we should do?
John: First of all, take it for what it is. Realize that most often you’re not personally being rejected. Perhaps it’s your idea or proposal that’s been rejected. It’s important to remove yourself. If your idea or proposal is important to you, figure out what you need to do differently so that it might be accepted. Fine tune it. There aren’t many inventors who got things right the first time. Inventing is a process. Inventors keep going back to the drawing board until they come up with the right idea. If you’re looking for success, the negative responses that you receive along the way won’t stop you from achieving success unless you let them.
Julie: Can rejection contribute to one’s success?
John: Most of the time it does. It allows you see what you need to do differently to make things work.
Julie: Often people get or feel stuck once they’ve been rejected. How can we get unstuck and move on?
John: View rejection as an opportunity to make improvements or changes in your life.
Julie: How do we sabotage our own success?
John: We don’t give ourselves a chance. We sabotage ourselves by thinking negative thoughts and not being optimistic. We talk ourselves out of what we should do in order to become successful.
Julie: How do we find power in being rejected?
John: I think the first thing you have to do is know that you can control rejection. You can’t eliminate it – but you can control it. Review your rejections, and often you will find positive, constructive action you can take to become successful. Often when we’re rejected we receive advice about what we can change so our goal can be achieved. Some people don’t see the possibilities – the need for improvement – they only see the immediate rejection. I got turned down by nearly one hundred publishers until finally one said yes.
Julie: What kept you going when you received rejection after rejection?
John: I wanted to write a book. That was it – that was my goal. I focused on the fact that I only needed one yes to get my book published, so all of the no’s didn’t matter because I was searching for the yes.
Julie: What can we do to stay focused on that one goal day after day so that we don’t give up?
John: Focus on the small steps you need to take to accomplish your goals, and do what it takes to remain passionate.
Julie: Is accepting rejection the same as rejecting failure?
John: Absolutely not. When you accept rejection, you’ll actually begin to look for it because you’ll know the initial idea that you have is not going to be perfect. You’ll know that you need to go out and get some feedback even though it may be in the form of rejection.
When you accept failure, you start to settle. You say to yourself – Well, I guess this is as good as it’s going to get. I don’t want to rock the boat. You can’t fight city hall. It’s a mundane existence at best. There’s a huge difference between the two. Rejection will help you grow. Failure will make you stagnate.
I found out that most people who seek out rejection realize that it is going to help them grow or get to where they’re going. Additionally they know they’re going to get there faster by seeking rejection.