Let’s talk about rejection. Rejection is not necessarily about the person rejecting you it’s about you and how we feel and interpret the obvious ‘NO’. I hate rejection, as it reminds me that although I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, I’m not their shot of whiskey either. As a writer, I often find that each time a piece of work receives another ‘no’, the blow feels fresh. Even-though it is often targeted at the same spot; a spot that wasn’t quite done healing from the last wicked punch.
What happens when you’re are rejected from a place of spite and envy? Does it turn into a game of ‘it’s not me it’s you?’ What happens when you receive no words of counsel and lack guidance on ways to improve? What happens when rejection comes as a stipulated decree on how to improve your craft? Does that truly feel better? Certainly not! But let’s look at five ways to deal with rejection without becoming completely demoralised. These have helped me a great deal, I hope it helps you too.
1) Do not revert to fatalism
Let’s face it, it may feel like the end of the world, but it really isn’t, trust me, I know. I’m writing this draft at 03:24am after being rejected by a publication for the 3rd time. Can’t quite a settle down to a good nights sleep yet! Simply because they didn’t take you does not mean, they will never take you, or that no one else will take you. Think of this as a place upon which to stand, another stepping stone into your calling.
2) Breathe and Validate your Feelings
Sounds silly and pretty basic right? But sometimes we don’t take a step back, especially when we need to. It is important to have some quiet time, where nothing moves, nothing changes, and things remain still. It’ll help you come to grips with your emotions. It’ll help you understand them better; what do you feel? Anger? Frustration? Sadness? Dismay? Do you need to have a good cry?
Take time to face these emotions and ask; Why do I feel this way? What is it about this particular refusal that caused this feeling?
3) Hakuna Matata
Yes! I said it; it’s amazing the things we can learn from Disney animations even as grown adults. HakunaMatata truly does mean ‘no problems’ in Swahili. You are not alone, you are in good company. Thousands of people get rejected on a daily basis around the globe, and thousands of people say ‘Hakuna Matata’. You could be one of these people. Do something relaxing; pray, talk to a friend, sing Kumbaya, have a cup of tea, a slice of cake, a Krispy Kreme donut, go to the gym. There are no problems here.
4) What Can I Learn?
Once you’ve accepted this blow, and you’ve faced your emotional response to it. It’s time to take stock, ask yourself, what can I learn? You see there is always something to learn from every life event, no matter trivial. If you were given feedback, listen to it in your Hakuna Matata/ Zen state. Take it on board and don’t get personal. If you were not given feedback, ask for it if you’re brave enough. There’s no harm to be done now anyways, they’ve already rejected you! Say thank you, a word of appreciation for their kind feedback is always a good idea.
5) What’s the a goal?
Think about the point of the entire exercise. Surely you put yourself out there for a reason. You have a goal I presume? There is something that you are aiming to accomplish. Focus on that instead, and appreciate the overwhelming journey as it helps you get to that destination. For me this morning, the goal is rather simple; I want to write. This piece was birthed following several deep breaths, Kumbaya and a word of prayer. I didn’t even reach for the ice-cream today!
Did you find this helpful? Have you faced rejection? How do you cope with it?
Do share your thoughts below. You know Dami loves to chat.
Until next time.