I’ve watched a lot of soccer games. The shots taken to goals scored ratio is very lopsided. Yet, the players, somehow, think it’s worth the effort to keep playing in spite of this fact.

My wife is a photographer. In a given photoshoot, the vast majority of her pictures never see the light of day. Yet she believes that all those failed shots are worth the tiny fraction of great ones that evoke such joy in her clients.

Initiating friendship can feel like this. You may feel like giving up–like it’s not worth the risk to feel rejected again after putting yourself out there. But the fact is that it usually takes a greater volume of initiating than we are comfortable with in order to achieve the relationships we desire. Thinking of these less as failures than attempts can help the inevitable percentage of declined invitations feel less like rejection and more like normal life.

Keep at it. Persistence pays off.