“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
– Robert F. Kennedy
“Fear is the thing that’s going to hold us back,” Aaron Orendorff says in this Twitter video.
As a budding freelance writer, Aaron was my mentor. And he’s still someone I look up to today.
The main lesson I remember him teaching me — arguably one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my entire life — is to actively seek failure.
In previous emails I’ve shared his “Let’s Get Rejected” motto with you.
But where did that originate?
And what’s the logic behind it?
Here’s how Aaron explains it in the video I linked to above — it was the process he used when he was trying to break into the online writing scene.
“I started reverse engineering by examining articles from Entrepreneur, from Fast Company, from Forbes, from Business Insider, and with zero effing credibility I started cold pitching editors full articles… what I would tell myself before hitting send on all of these things — and then when I started actually pitching clients and getting clients and raising rates, anytime I had a scary thing to do — I would tell myself ‘let’s get rejected’. So whatever you can do to rig the game in your favor… for me, it was let’s just make rejection the goal. And if I pretend for a moment that rejection is the goal that gets me over the hump to just publish, send, post, get out there, make the call, send the email… all of these things.”
It might sound crazy.
But what’s even crazier is that, eventually, and with (in his own words) “zero effing credibility” someone accepted his article… and then another… and then another. I used the same process and experienced the same results.
This doesn’t just happen in the writing world.
It’s a rule of the universe.
Important things are hard. Doing hard things includes rejection and failure. Seeking rejection and failure — or pretending as though you’re doing so — can help you get over the fear and do things that are meaningful to you.
Where can you apply this in your own life?