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Monday, March 28, 2011

John Maxwell

"The fear of rejection or failure creates inaction."

American Author, Speaker
1947 - 

Fear is a very powerful force that affects the lives of most creative leaders.  Some people are afraid to leave their houses.  Some people like me are afraid of heights.  Others are afraid of elevators.  This list could go on and on.  A person who claims that he is not afraid of anything is either delusional or a liar.  We are all afraid of something. 

It takes courage to look fear in the face and still do something when you are afraid.  If you give into fear, you will freeze on the spot and not move.  Creative leaders face a lot of rejection of their ideas and work.  But we must keep going.  What is the worst thing that can happen?  People don't like us.  So what?  Every famous writer, artist, singer or actor has people who don't like them.  No one is liked by everyone.  So why should you and me expect to be liked by everyone?  In fact, think about the famous people whom you don't like.  You, in a sense are rejecting them.

I learned a powerful lesson from a professional speaker.  He told me that 10% of your audience will not like you.  They may not like the color of your hair.  Or the sound of your voice.  Or the tie you are wearing.  And it has held true for me.  Ten percent of my audience don't like my loud voice.  So I focus on the other 90%.  I don't let my fear of rejection prevent me from speaking.

Rejection is a good thing.  It keeps us humble.  We are not perfect so we shouldn't let success go to our heads.  It lets us know that we are ahead of our time.  We have found people who don't like our work and that is okay.  So don't let fear stop you from creating and producing new work.

(For those who read my blog regularly, I apologize for not leaving an entry yesterday.  I have spent the last two days in the hospital because of dehydration.  I checked out about three hours ago and am healthy again.)