Sometimes you get rejected and if you let it, it hurts like hell. The hurt comes from the attachment to the outcome and what you make it mean about you. I submitted a piece to the ‘Huffington Post’ and I was told that they wanted to feature the piece. A few steps down the road it turned out that they didn’t want to use my piece after all.
So I made that mean something about me all the way along. I made it mean something when the piece was accepted. I made it mean that I was a ‘writer’ and that I could write. I made it mean that there was a new aspect of who I was. My ego was having a great time with the whole acceptance thing.
Then when I got the rejection I made it mean that I could not write and that I would never be a writer. I got all dramatic about it, like a movie star diva betrayed by her movie idol man. I let the feeling of failure simmer and felt in some way that I was entitled to all the crappy feelings I was feeling.
Then time did it’s thing and gave me a little much-needed distance. I got up again and wrote another piece and this time I followed the submission guidelines and this time I got to know the site I was submitting to and read it to understand just what they were looking for.
Then I tried to meet their needs instead of mine. I gave them what they wanted for their readership, while still being me in my quirkiness.
Well they say they are going to publish it and this time I am two steps back from it. I am not pinning my identity and the success of my business and whether we get to eat organic (yes, if this is a concern, how lucky am I?!!) on whether the piece gets published or not.
Stephen Pressfield in his book talks about ‘Doing the Work’. It’s about the day-to-day checking in to get the job done, to write the next piece, to show up on the page. That is my only job. It is not my job to make all the things that come from that happen.
So when you are rejected realise and notice when you are making it about you and then ask:
How could it be about them?
How could it be about things just as they are, that I don’t have control over?
Why might this rejection be nothing about me?
How can I show up and continue to do the work?
What do I still need to learn?
What could be right about this rejection if I let something be right about it?
What if whether this was a rejection or not was up to me?
What do I still need to learn and where can I learn it?
Oh, and if you feel the need to wallow in your misery of your rejection because you feel it is understandable do it within a boundary of time and let yourself feel what you need to feel, because feelings are allowed.
And if you need help, please get the help you need.