Pick Me Girl Rejected

5 years ago, my company, Ditched the Drink, was brand new. As a new business owner, I took a gamble on myself and nominated myself for an award that my previous corporate job sponsored. I thought it would be a great way to bridge the gap between what I had done in my past career and what I was just starting. From selling HR solutions to becoming the founder of a company, I was really proud of my new endeavor, not to mention what I had overcome. I wanted everyone to know. 


The application process felt to me like a big dance audition in front of a group of intimating judges. I knew some of the  judges from having worked for a top sponsor of the awards. I was never really in with the who’s who, but as a salesperson, I was always there, working the room and doing my best. There was one board member that I got to know, love, and respect. I believe she was the only woman on the leadership team, so naturally I gravitated toward her.


Our relationship gave me the confidence to nominate myself as a new business owner and sober coach. I had to fill out my application form and sing my own praise. This was uncomfortable, but I did it. I was asked to share my insider secrets to success, and although I wanted to protect my intellectual property, I also wanted recognition, so I did it. 


One goal in applying for this award was an attempt to transfer my network from my corporate world into supporters of my new passionate endeavor as a social impact entrepreneur. I wanted to shine a light on the work I was doing. I wanted to walk across a stage and tell an entire auditorium that the sober life was the boldest, happiest life. I wanted everyone to know that there were a million ways to access freedom from alcohol. Anytime was the best time to address it, and the sooner the better. The old-fashioned and most familiar options were still there, if that’s what you were seeking. The innovative part was that there was also this cool, new, modern, happy, female-centered way to quit drinking. I had developed a winning-results process and program for other high-achieving women like me. Typical rock-bottom stories were not necessary. Neither was committing to a life of abstinence from alcohol.


In the final interview step, I had to share a video of me and my “shark tank"-like pitch. It reminded me of my past show pony ballerina self trying out for the Nutcracker Production. My dance teacher had encouraged me to put it all out there in the ultimate “Pick Me Girl” fashion, with my biggest smile at the end. Back in my dancing days, I gave it my all. And then I got rejected. Ouch. 


It was excruciating to do this again as an adult. I was a brand new business owner and very insecure. I was trying to fit myself in with the male tech entrepreneurs with decades of experience, connections, and funding under their belts. These were the same men I was selling to as a corporate HR sales gal. I was now putting myself on the same level. Suggesting we were in the same category. It was pretty bold. I pumped myself up with positive self-talk, set up my computer to record, and begged the judges to see my goodness and light as I recorded my video pitch. I, of course, ended with my biggest smile. Just one step away, from a curtsy bow. 


I quickly got a form email saying that I wasn’t chosen. I was mortified. Embarrassed. I wish I had never applied. I wanted to erase that video. How cringy! It was almost as bad as a hangover morning. As if I were hearing about all the dumb things I did the night before. Here, I was sober and feeling the same. Maybe worse. Ugh, I hated myself. Now everyone knew how eager and cocky and new and clumsy and ballsy and foolish I was. Stupid, stupid me. 


The good thing was that I was no longer selling HR solutions. I never had to see these people again. I didn’t tell anyone that I applied and lost. As a high-achieving and competitive person, it hurt. I wanted to win. I thought putting myself through the process and having the guts to even apply was award-winning behavior on my part. 


Words of affirmation, feedback, and recognition matter to me. I wish I didn’t care what everyone thinks, but I do. More than I’d like to. I like to be liked, adored, and even admired. This felt like the ultimate “someone is mad at me, nobody likes me” trauma leftover from childhood bullying.


You know what I did? 

I put it behind me. 


Then I grew my business. I launched new programs. I attended more events. I partnered with more people. I tried new things. I made new investments. I learned. I invested in more certifications. I failed. I was rejected again and again, and despite all that, I continue to win. 


I helped more women (and a few good men) ditch the drink than I could have ever imagined. Then I helped them become certified coaches so they could learn the process to help others ditch the drink. Then I helped them launch their businesses so they could reach more people. 


Now even more people are ditching the drink and becoming their own bosses. 


I have since won a prestigious Top Sober Coach Award. I have received praise from many in many ways.


However, the highest praise will always come from the clients’ I serve. They know so much better than the intimating judges that I was smiling at, begging for recognition. In fact, they are the only votes that matter. The rest is just a game. 


The other day, I was asked to re-nominate myself for this award. It’s been years, and I’ve come so far. I have all the recognition I could have ever wanted. Right before this re-nominatio request came in, I received a few texts that came in from clients within hours of each other. These are common and frequent, but to get so many in a row in a short period of time made my day.


My own personal award winning achievement needs no award. Just women having the time of their lives getting sober. 


FREE Sober Secrets Guide and 7 Day Insider Community Trial, and Certified Recovery and Life Coach training and business support . https://www.ditchedthedrink.com/


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