The art of Rejecting Rejection. by river bennett

River Bennett (image via Pinterest)

I received a rejection letter a few months back. It's not the first one I have ever had.  But it hurt. Actually, truth is I cried about it over coffee with my best friend while she handed me tissues. 

Rejection letters suck. Part of your heart goes into the waste bin. It's as though someone has ripped the cigarette out of our mouth and told you you are worthless. (Not that you smoke.) 
You begin to ask yourself ,"Where did I go wrong? I worked so hard for that." Which quickly turns into, "What's wrong with me?" You begin to feel paranoid. Feeling as though your every move in your particular craft is critiqued and judged.

We zone into negative self examination that often results in false mindsets, which in turn, can lead to major insecurity.

Lance Armstrong was right when he said, "A boo is a lot louder than a cheer." 

After a recent trip to Disneyland I did a quick read on Walt Disney. Here was a man who redefined 'entertainment' and 'happiness', and let's be honest Disney will impact many generations to come.   
Yet how quickly we forget he was also a man who was fired from the 'Kansas City Star' in 1919 because, his editor said, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

Stephen King, the American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy, decided to toss away his first book, 'Carrie' after he received 30 rejections. Thankfully his wife went through the trash to rescue it and convinced him to re-submit it. (Never underestimate the power that your support and belief can be to someone). His books have now sold more than 350 million copies.

So, wait a minute, does that mean potentially those whose craft is rejected could eventually make something of themselves if they learn the art of REJECTING rejection and get on with it? 

Michael Jordan was cut from his High School basketball team. He once said, “I have missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the winning shot, and I have missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Beethoven’s music teacher declared him ‘hopeless’ at composing.

Claudia Schiffer's low popularity as a teenager convinced her that she was not attractive. And yet she became a top fashion model, hailed by many as the most beautiful woman in the world. 

I recently watched a documentary on Jerry Seinfeld, one of the world's greatest comedians. After his hit series "Seinfield" finished he ventured back to standup comedy in local pubs and clubs. There is a scene that stuck with me for weeks. As he is welcomed to the microphone he starts his routine stories, getting a few laughs, and then he goes completely blank. Like, he doesn't just go blank for a couple of seconds, but actually cannot recover. He starts to fiddle with the microphone, he tries to revert to his piece of paper with notes on, but he is at a loss. An audience member yells out, "Is this your first time?!" 
Heavy. 
But he rejected rejection, he reinvented himself and ended up producing a film called "Comedian", a film about where comedy comes from. 

I guess that means if you get rejected you should be happy. You should start yelling "Yes! One more rejection to add to the list!"  
You should put the cigarette back in your mouth and pat yourself on your leather jacketed back, and congratulate yourself. 
Before long your rejections will cause you to reinvent yourself and it will certainly pay off. 

So, I guess that means you might need to head back to the drawing board :) 

I guess that means you will have reinvent again. 

Come on, you got this. XO