Sara Krisher: Dealing With Rejection

sara krisherProfessional Sales Association Presentation on November 4, 2016 with Sara Krisher


  • Act positively. When we hear the word no, challenge it and succeed.
  • Handle rejection like a ball. Examine it, then throw it away.
  • Confidence brings options. Examine what to do to move on.
  • “Thoughts become things.” Be careful what we think about. Engage in basic self awareness. Ask ourselves, “Are our thoughts serving us? Are our thoughts helping us to go forward or are they holding us back?”
  • “Rejection is not truth.” We tend to, unjustly, blame rejection on ourselves.
  • Ask why. We have learned to keep going; to go forward by making the best of a situation. Sara encouraged us to ask what we could have done so that we have a more positive outcome next time.

Intention + Action = Confidence

Recommended reading
The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris

Think back to the bounty of presentations you’ve absorbed during your life. Talented presenters use their voice, props, and engaging interactive methods to catch your attention. But when have you seen someone give away $20 bills—unless you were in Las Vegas? I’ll bet a $20 bill that you’re thinking “Never.”

Well, Sara Krisher handed out three $20 bills—and gave away loads of valuable information—as she talked about “Dealing With Rejection” at the November 4, 2016, PSA meeting.

Sara looked us in the eyes while telling us in her compelling voice that “Rejection is the number-one confidence killer.” She then asked us how we feel when we’re rejected. These are some of the responses she wrote on a large sheet of paper: like a loser, failure, isolated, inadequate, poor performance, it’s personal, it feels as though I’m starting over.

Rewards for rejection
After we’d identified some of the qualities of feeling rejected, Sara asked us to give examples of circumstances in which we felt rejected. Wendy volunteered that when she applies to have her fine-art photos included in a juried exhibition and her work is not accepted, she feels rejected. What was the outcome of Wendy’s disclosure? A $20 bill! When Sara asked someone else for their example of feeling rejected, Don recounted that he felt rejected when he wasn’t re-elected after holding office in his community for 18 years. We wondered: would Don be awarded a $20 bill? He was! We were on a roll! Eric was the third person to provide a situation in which he felt rejected. After working with a family-owned business for almost 20 years, they decided they didn’t need his financial advice anymore. Within a short time, the family made some poor decisions that Eric had advised against, resulting in the bankruptcy of that business. Sara presented Eric with a third $20 bill.

Coping with rejection
When Sara asked us how we cope with rejection, she introduced an acronym to create critical awareness about what we are thinking. That acronym is REDA, pronounced like the woman’s name Rita. And to make sure we remembered the acronym, Sara introduced local leadership coach and trainer, Rita Webster, Ph.D., founder of Wise Leader.

Act positively

When we’re rejected, we feel rejection and bitterness. It hits us “in our gut or in our heart.” We feel shame, hurt, and “pissed off.” We hide. Sara recommended that we need to recognize rejection; to ask why we feel worthless, angry, and hurt. We need to recognize the problem.

Sara distributed different questions to each of the eight-seat tables in the room. After we discussed the question, Sara solicited feedback from several of the tables.

Table 1: What would make you feel supported?
Honest feedback, an apology, the support of a friend or spouse. We agreed that a sales person often cannot confide in peers or a boss.

Table 5: How can calm assurance support you?
You believe in yourself; it’s a numbers game. Not everyone will like you. Sit still and reflect.

Table 7: How can rejection be a gift?
Ask why and learn from it.
Say to yourself, “I didn’t get this deal, but I will get others down the road.”

Sara summed up this discussion by stating that “…half the time, the current pain is related to unresolved pain from earlier in our life.” One example of that is the discomfort we felt when asking someone out on a date and they said “no.”

Sara ended the exercise by thanking people for being willing to be vulnerable. That experience itself builds confidence, she said.

We need to decide that we have options. We can use the experience of being rejected and build on it for the future.

Ball analogy
Sara threw a ball to John. John regarded the ball as a message. He takes from the ball what’s useful and tosses away the rest.

Sara urged us to “use rejection as fuel.” We will grow by recognizing where we are and compare that condition to where we want to be. We must step into the place where we do not have confidence.

Once we have done our REDA assessment and we recognize that we don’t have enough confidence, we must to go where we don’t want to go. We must take the risk—“to confirm that we are awesome.” When we take that step, “it is the biggest step to taking power of the situation.”

Sara recommended this book: The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris.

An example from Sara’s life
When Sara was in seventh grade, she attended a new school. Because she was new and didn’t know anyone, she ate lunch by herself. After a few weeks, Sara gathered her courage and asked a kid, “Why don’t I have friends?” The kid responded that they all thought she was a student teacher because she was six-feet one-inch tall. Sara learned that all she needed to do to understand the situation was ask; to take action – to be willing to be vulnerable.

Sara Krisher, Stand Tall, LLC
Confidence Coach I Presentation Consultant I Professional Speaker I ICF MN President Elect

(763) 331-2914

Summary by Sue Filbin, Smiling Dog Design

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