She’s an incredibly thin-skinned, people-pleasing, sensitive soul.

All the things I have fought to change within myself my whole life. And like a mirror, my daughter reflects those things in me I battle with everyday as an entrepreneur.

Within the first few weeks of starting preschool, my daughter began finding reasons to stay home. First she complained of her “eyebrows hurting”… I naively thought she might have a headache, so I kept her home. By 9:05 am, the pancakes and ice pack eased her pain and my “sick” child was twirling in her tutu asking to go to the playground. The next day, she cried that her elbow hurt, then her toenails, then her neck. A pattern emerged and every morning was a struggle to get her to go to school. But I forced her and her fear manifested psychosomatically into massive hives all over her body at the same time every morning. I would get a call from the school office as soon as I’d returned home from dropping her off.

I analyzed the school’s daily menu, lathered her skin with various creams, pumped her up with Benadryl, took time off for countless doctor visits and allergy tests… the results were all inconclusive.

Finally, I reached out to her teacher and received an email that broke my heart and I cried. “We are collectively helping her find her voice,” her teacher wrote, after my daughter sadly experienced feeling intimidated by another more dominant classmate. I was shocked that my seemingly self-assured, alpha daughter, was not as confident on her own as she appeared to be at home. As I saw her light begin to dim, I feared that this introductory experience to school would dampen her love for learning. I feared a future of her being bullied, and I was mad!13680339_925525717570117_3595062885372446333_o

I was mad at my daughter for not speaking up for herself. I was mad at the little girl for preying on the good-hearted. I was mad at her teacher for doing more to protect her heart. I was mad at her school for not confronting the other little girl’s mother. I was mad at society for tolerating bullies.

Most of all, I was mad at myself for not better equipping my daughter with higher self-esteem.

This week, as we prepare to attend kindergarten in a new school, we have been in dialogue about lots of “big kid” issues: changing clothes in front of others for gym class, navigating the hallways to the cafeteria and bathrooms alone, stranger danger, and making new friends. My extremely social daughter (a trait she did not get from her mildly introverted Mommy), worries about making friends. “We need to take baths so we can be popular,” I overheard her tell her opposing brother yesterday. Yeesh! I never expected to have to deal with her worrying about her popularity until perhaps middle school… but the heart of the matter is she just wants to be loved and accepted! It’s what all humanity wants!

Rejection is one of the most powerful and damaging forces in our lives. We will do almost anything to avoid it. For years, as a new entrepreneur, I avoided sales. My business was a non-profit, because no sales means no money! But the fear of the word “No” kept me from pursuing my dreams.

The pain of rejection is undeniable. According to Psychology Today, “Studies show that the same areas of the brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. This is why rejection hurts so much (neurologically speaking).”

Fear of rejection stops us from trying. It’s not your thoughts that that stops you from taking action… it’s your feelings about your thoughts! Acknowledge your feelings and then choose to change them.

Being an entrepreneur, you need to have thick skin—but a big step toward overcoming rejection is preparation. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people do all the things unsuccessful people don’t want to do. Learning how to handle rejection are keys to not losing your mind and getting wins in sales.

  1. Exercise your rejection muscle!

Mommy n JTo grow your “I no longer fear rejection” muscle, it must be used often. Getting comfortable with rejection becomes easier with practice. Every time your feelings try to talk you out of a possible encounter, challenge it and do it anyway. Feel the fear, feel the doubt, feel the uncertainty but take action anyway. Take a breath, trust yourself, and ask for what you want. Never accept someone saying “no” as a reason to quit; the only one who can can stop you in your tracks, is you.

Set a daily rejection goal. Collect as many “no’s” as possible. Aim for 3 to 8 rejections a day (depending on how much success you want and how fast you want it).

The yes’s built my business, but the no’s built my character.- Jimmy “The Butcher” Smith

Rejection is a necessary step in the pursuit of success.

2. Practice, drill, and rehearse

Sept 19 2015d-Disney1Everything can be practiced,  but don’t fall into the trap of shooting for perfection. Practice doesn’t make perfect…practice makes better. Know that every master was once a disaster.

Get in front of real prospects often and practice your approach and have fun doing it.  Do it where it the outcome does not matter. Just aim to learn from each rejection so you can refine your skills and your approach the next time.


When 10 doors are slammed in your face, put a smile on and go to door 11- Just A. Mompreneur

Rejection doesn’t hurt, expectation does.

3. Celebrate

20150612_201153Take off your critic’s hat and become your own cheerleader. Even though you get a rejection, celebrate for putting yourself out there. Nothing happens until YOU do something… celebrate “doing something!

Realize that it is not about you. Understand that timing is everything. When someone decides they are not interested in your offer, remember that it’s just not the right time for them. Put on some music, do your happy dance, and continue with the relationship because you never know what the future holds. Perhaps circumstances will change and suddenly your prospect is open to what you have to offer.

If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.- Lacrae

Rejection is merely someone else’s opinion.

Successful entrepreneurs know that rejection is part of the process, therefore they handle it with competence.

This negative mindset I embraced for 40 years of my life. I focused so much on the potential of rejection that I magnified the probability that I’d be rejected. And I paid a huge price for inaction. In underestimating my ability to take on challenges and risks in my life I allowed self-doubt sabotage my ability to rise to potential opportunities. This all-consuming fear controlled my early entrepreneurial years and I missed out on so many relationships and opportunities, sabotaging myself by creating fear and pain in my mind that wasn’t based on facts or reality.

Your dream life comes down to you falling in love with the word “no” and overcoming rejection. It is never about you personally. It is simply a “I don’t know” or “It’s not the time” or “I don’t understand” or “I’ve been hurt before” or thousands of other possible reasons. Bless and release. Move on. Become unstoppable.

What is worse than rejection is regret!

And you miss 100% of the opportunities you don’t take.


Candace Jenkins-Espinet

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