How many times in our lives do we face debilitating rejection? Mortgage applications, job interviews, manuscript queries, invitations, date nights, play dates – we face each of these stamps of disapproval differently, at least, I do.
Well folks, today I am throwing down the gauntlet! Go ahead…reject me! I dare you.
Reject — vb
1.to refuse to accept, acknowledge, use, believe, etc
2.to throw out as useless or worthless; discard
In my infinite wisdom (ha!), I want you to understand one thing about you (because I know you so well). You are the only person who can reject you! Sure, there are countless ways others can reject - refuse to accept, acknowledge, use, believe (Source: Dictionary.com) - you, but in the end, you are the only one that has the power to let another’s rejection hold you back. Today I challenge you to join me in letting go of other’s attempts to dishearten you. I challenge you to abandon rejection and instead see “no” as a call to action. No matter the source, let another’s lack of belief propel you down a better path, a path that gets you closer to who you are. Let go of fear! Practice, practice, practice! And, when all else fails, try, try again!
“I am not afraid…I was born to do this.”
- Joan of Arc
As a woman I have been rejected by men who think themselves superior, men who believe their opinions, thoughts and feelings are the only ones relevant. To those men I say, “You aren’t worth my energy”; not the energy I could waste fighting back and certainly not the energy I might expel worrying about what you think of me. I am my own person and if you don’t like me for who I am…fine. You are missing out!
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
– Margaret Thatcher
As the mom of a three and a half year old I am constantly faced with rejection. It’s not a kind of rejection, when recognized for being what it truly is, that is painful. Instead, it is the rejection of mommy’s thoughts and opinions, guidance and direction, as my daughter spreads her wings in her first efforts to gain her independence. Every day she grows closer to becoming a girl, not a baby, and nothing could make me more proud, or more eager to receive rejection. Sometimes I have to lock myself in the bathroom and cry, but at least I see it for what it is.
“What you don’t do can be a destructive force.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
As a writer I cannot count the letters written by editors and agents not interested in my current work(s). That’s part of the game. Do I let their current interests and opinions stop me from writing what I love to write? No. Do I let the market’s needs dictate what I am to write about? Heck no! Does this mean I am inflexible and unwilling to change? Absolutely not! What it tells me is that I know who I am and what I am capable of. It tells me that when I query the same project in another three years that someone will pick it up. Their rejection today won’t stop me from believing in myself.
Facing rejection is how we learn from our mistakes, take constructive criticism, identify patterns of behavior in ourselves, and determine who we are and what we want to be when we grow up. So, another’s rejection today won’t stop me from believing in myself.
Sure, support from friends and loved ones, a good laugh and a penis joke shared between friends, and the venting about potty accidents, sleepless nights and embarrassing comments in the grocery store regarding our latest procurement of tampons that accompanies motherhood all help us to overcome it; no doubt. But, if I look in the mirror in the morning and think I can’t face another day of rejection, then I just didn’t learn enough the day before.