When you don’t get chosen, how can you pick yourself up?

Catherine Johns got gonged and asked me for advice. Her blog “I Got Gonged” can be found on her website. Here is an excerpt of her informative article.


For me, not being picked for a gig equals not being invited to Tom Robinson’s birthday party in 6th grade. Not having a date for prom.  Not being renewed at WLS (they called it “a likeability issue.” Sheesh.)  And a lifetime of other not-picked experiences.

Before you think I’m completely crazy, this is not unusual.  It’s the way the brain operates.  My brain, your brain, everybody’s brain.

Executive Coach Kris Lonsway says research proves that we feel before we think. So a business situation can trigger emotional memory before we cognitively know what’s going on. Thanks to that primitive part of the brain, the amygdala, feelings get activated immediately if they’re connected to some significant experience from the past.

For me, those emotional memories are about not being picked. For some people, it’s doubt about their talent or ability. They get a new client and instantly wonder if they’re really good enough to do the job. Others might have feelings about authority figures – their boss asks to see them and it triggers the emotion they felt being called to the principal’s office 35 years ago.

And it’s not just a business thing. Kris plays competitive tennis. “Some people quickly move on from a bad shot or a bad game,” she says. “Other people, who are technically better tennis players, get so bummed by losing that they can’t recover. One missed shot becomes a downward spiral because they generalize: I’m a failure. I can’t do anything right.”

Luckily, there are strategies for business owners and tennis players. Read more.

Catherine Johns coaches business owners and professionals who use speaking to get more clients, have more impact and increase their income.


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