Three Things I Learned From Embracing Rejection
An opportunity to improve and thrive.
Rejection is an interesting type of failure. To be rejected, you must first produce something and put yourself out there, meaning you accomplished way more than many people would even dare to.
Rejection is a sign that you went for it, and while it never feels good to have our work dismissed by others, it serves as a critical rung on the ladder of success. Rejection has a few lessons to teach us if we are willing to set aside our shame and listen.
Rejection Tells Us to Try New Things
If you’ve been submitting the same work to different publications over and over, repeated rejection should be taken as a sign that you need to change one or several aspects of your writing.
Perhaps you need to proofread for grammar or spelling mistakes, or maybe you need to approach the piece you wrote from a different angle to make it more relatable to the audience. Rejection teaches us that we don’t always know best and that it’s okay to try new things.
This isn’t to say you have to change yourself and your work completely to appease anyone. Rejection invites us to look at the parts of ourselves and our work that aren’t doing the most good. There is always learning to be done. No one is perfect, and you can always do better.
I used to take offense to those who criticized me or my work. While it’s good to take suggestions with a grain of salt, there’s always value in being open to constructive criticism from others. If what you’re doing just isn’t working, it may be time to switch up your strategy and try something new.
Rejection Forces Us to Grow
There was a time in my life when I chased after the same man for several years. I can’t even count the times I was rejected by him. No matter what the circumstances were, no matter how many times I confessed my undying love for him, I still got rejected time after time. It wasn’t until I began cultivating self-love and self-awareness that I stopped pining over my crush and started fixing myself.
Rejection forced me to look at the ugly spots in my soul and heal the aching holes in my heart. If he had said yes and swooped me up into his arms, I would have never found the time or need to heal what was hurting me and causing my unhealthy attachment towards him. I grew from rejection and figured out what I wanted and needed in my life besides romantic love.
Rejection Cultivates Resilience
If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
In the case of my writing career, rejection served as a powerful catalyst for me to increase my resilience. I’ve got less than two years of freelance writing experience under my belt and I would not recommend it for the faint of heart.
I’ve been told no far more than yes, but it hasn’t stopped me from keeping on. With the right mindset, you can turn each rejection into a powerful learning opportunity. Instead of dwelling on why you weren’t hired or accepted, you can ponder about what you will improve on when you dust yourself off and give it another go.
Keep in mind that rejection doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong. Maybe that client wasn’t ready to buy. Maybe that guy or girl was just a snob who doesn’t deserve you. Maybe your unique book idea really would make sales if given the chance. However, don’t underestimate your power. There’s always something you can do to show up better, brighter, and stronger than you were the day before.