The Power Of Rejection

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I had a call the other day from Dale, a former client who had just received her first rejection letter from a publishing house. Dale has written a children’s book and her dream is to have a major imprint publish it. We’d spoken last December about the world of publishing and I told her that she’d have to push through many rejections before finding the editor who believed in her and her book. She called to thank me for that advice because it took the sting out of her first rejection.

Was Dale happy to receive the rejection letter? No, of course not. Was she devastated and defeated? No. Dale didn’t take the rejection personally because she understands this is part of the process. To be a writer is to be rejected! And another part of the process involves readjusting her strategy based on feedback from that first rejection.

Clients will often say to me, “this is hard!” – “this” meaning whatever project they’ve undertaken or the particular process of changing whatever it is they’re set on changing. Duh! Of course it’s hard. Why would it be otherwise? Hard, though, doesn’t mean impossible. Hard simply means it’s not going to happen as fast or as easily as you’d like it to happen.

At the risk of sounding trite, something is only as hard as we choose to think of it as hard. Rejection is unpleasant. Dale doesn’t deny that. Rather than moaning how hard it all is, she’s now saying to herself, “I want to be published and this is part of the process. I’m glad I’ve gotten my first rejection since it means I’m closer to getting published!” That’s not being Pollyanna-ish. That’s being a realist.

A year ago my friend Melissa had her first book published – “Pieces Of My Mother.” It was an occasion for great celebration because she began the book twelve years ago and she was rejected twenty times. Her publisher sent her on a book tour across the country and she was profiled in several national magazines.

Yes, it was hard for Melissa to write the book. It was hard for her to remain faithful to the project. It was hard for her to be rejected time after time. The truth is that she didn’t know if the book would ever be published. She chose to see doubt and rejection as part of the process, adamantly believing the project was worthy of her best.

To know what or who is worthy of your best and to commit to that project or person – wow! Does life get any more real than that?

What about you? What or who is worthy of your best?

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