In my last article, I started sharing this amazing conversation I had with my coach and visibility expert, Michelle Vos. I shared the concept of visibility and how that reflects in your life to your business and in fundraising, although it creates fear.
At its core, visibility is the truth of you made known to the public.
It’s something we all want, it can lead to more success, money, promotions, and the outward validations, but because it’s something that permeates your entire being and shines a light on the whole embodiment of yourself, many of us have a deeper fear around showing up.
So let’s get into what Michelle had to say about fear and how you can overcome it to reach your levels of desired visibility.
The beauty and the risk of this kind of visibility that you’re showing the real you, not a fake version you have curated just for the public. You’re out there for the world to see. Which is when you start to feel, “ if they don’t like me, they really don’t like the real me.”
And then you might follow that down the rabbit hole of:
- What does that mean about me?
- Am I resilient enough to overcome the rejection, which is just inherent in life, but in fundraising or in business?
- Can I take it if that core me is rejected?
So, we can stay safe if we live in a sort of mundane, in-between space when we wear a mask. If you’re rejected, you’re ok with it since it’s not rejecting you, but the filter you put up or that persona you’ve presented to the world and you can rationalize it to not be personal.
It’s a strategy for safety and it’s brilliant…until it becomes clear that it’s just not right. It’s so disconnected from yourself and your purpose. This journey of visibility is personal development work and when you tackle it from that aspect, you can make the impact you desire. This is how you begin to do those important things that really, and truly your soul came here to do.
Face it, deep down, your soul did not come here to get stuck in a middle ground. To only have a short range versus the whole expansiveness of life that’s open to you. The core of everything we do comes down to these fundamentals and rejection is hands down by far the number one issue that gets in the way.
It’s a bit deep, but Michelle talked about using shadow work, an idea which she learned from Debbie Ford. It’s being able to have range, to feel all ranges of emotions, to be able to feel like you’re brilliant and amazing and to feel like the opposite too. So the way to deal with being rejected is to lean into it, to not resist it at all and use and expand your range.
Sit into the fact that it’s going to happen from time to time and to allow yourself to feel your nervous system, to settle with the acceptance of possible rejection.
If we don’t, resistance out of fear builds on itself, like a pressure cooker that puts our nervous system in flight, fight or freeze. The answer is to calm your nervous system and let it happen. Prepare for it, come up with ways to be nice to yourself, get your game plan ready in case of any scenario.
Then you can start to be in. So much more present and empowered. Ready to take on almost anything. Lean into the fact that rejection in life is inherent.
Inside my signature course, Power Partners Formula™️, I say all the time that you’re never getting out of this fundraising game without a lot of rejection. It is a numbers game in many ways, there’s no option there.
If a fundraiser came to me and said, “Everyone I’ve asked for donations in the last few months has said yes!”, that’s a problem because it means you’re not even close to your potential of what you can be raising. You haven’t risked enough yet. Hearing a no means you’re pushing yourself, expanding your reach and THAT makes a good fundraiser.
It takes like a certain amount of surviving the rejections in order to create a desensitization to it. You can build your resilience. And it’s so much easier to start with a low stakes list. So try this, but not by going to the top of your major donor list.
Then, actually celebrate it, feel the pride as you program your association with something that you once viewed as something bad. You have just begun to reframe it.
And this defines resiliency, right? It’s creating proof that you can survive this. You can even make a list of all those things that added to make you resilient, that you overcame and survived. Those risks that you took that took a lot of courage that turned out really well.
The way that our brain works, we forget those things. So the more that we can bring ourselves proof, it keeps building that resiliency.
But before I close this, I need to bring it back to our relationship with fundraising. The risk and reward, the fear of rejection, it really does stretch that muscle for us and it’s good to use it and grow.
Michelle reminded me that you have to work the spirit side of you, like going to a spirit gym! And not just the ego side of you, because ego is the one that’s afraid. The spirit side of us is not afraid of rejection. We’ve got to work that muscle of being ok with hearing “No” because otherwise, you know, you just start to fall apart and believe you’re not strong enough.
Then you’ll resist asking those huge donors for larger funds. And that’s the opposite of what we’re working toward, right?
So I invite you to start this slow, just as if you were in a gym. You wouldn’t start with the 200 pound weight from nowhere, you need to start with the 10 pound weight and work your way up. And just like with any building of any other muscle, there will be days where you kill it and they’ll be other days where you don’t hit your goal.
So, just practice asking, over and over until risking rejection and accepting it becomes your habit. And don’t be shy to share your journey of growth with me, how you are getting those bigger gifts from bigger donors because you practiced and got into the habit that broke your fear of rejection.
Cheering you on from the other side of the gym, my friend!