Why are we afraid to fail? Often because we believe rejection exposes a gap in us. It points to something we don’t want others to see. It confirms what our suspicions tell us.
We aren’t acceptable.
As writers, we risk rejection from many different sources. Projects and people alike can make us feel unacceptable, and throw us into a pit of paralyzing despair. Any one of a myriad of things have the power to make us give up on our writing dreams. If we let it.
- Literary agents can reject us.
- Booking agents can reject us.
- Publishers can reject us.
- Editors can reject us.
- Endorsers can reject us.
- Influencers can reject us.
- Reviewers can reject us.
- Media can reject us.
- Readers can reject us.
- And through Self-deprecation, we can reject ourselves.
So how can you empower yourself to feel acceptable when rejection says you’re not?
Challenge your own viewpoint. Take a 180 approach and look at this specific moment as your personal catalyst for change, improvement, and a call to do better work. Jim Stovall, a blind author and movie maker, knows rejection well.
You’ve GOT to watch the video on his link to see what he says about giving up. Here’s a quote to give you a hint of the amazing story you’ll want to hear. “That big dream would not have been put inside of you if you didn’t have the capacity to achieve it.”
Another powerful example of tenacity in the face of rejection comes from an author most of us recognize. Internationally acclaimed novelist John Grisham. He understands what it feels like to fail in front of professionals, but he chose to learn from his mistakes, and keep on keeping on.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you of the greatest victory that came from the greatest rejection of all. A book that was denounced, fought against, and even after publication, faced efforts to utterly destroy it. But yet, the words inscribed inside changed the world, and made it a better place. The book I refer to is The Bible. Aren’t you glad God didn’t give up.
So the next time you get a rejection letter, phone call, email, or text, remember these three things.
1. The capacity to make your big dream reality is already inside of you.
2. Rejection prepares us for great things in the future, and reminds us to stay humble when we arrive there.
3. Just because a few people fight against your efforts doesn’t mean you won’t come out victorious.
Maintain a teachable attitude, then act with integrity, humility, and tenacity. This is your big dream. Take courage, and don’t let anyone convince you it’s unacceptable. Risking rejection can turn that big dream of yours into something real. But only if you don’t give up too soon.
10 Replies to “Risking Rejection”
Thank you, Anita. I look forward to your encouraging posts. I watched the video about Jim Stovall. Wow.
Thanks, Heather. He is one of my writing heroes, and I get so much of my own encouragement from him.
Wow. This is amazing. It’s so easy to get down on our writing, but I love that quote, that if we have the dream within ourselves we can achieve it. I think I’m going to tape that to my computer!
Isn’t it amazing how one quote can energize and inspire us? That’s why a writer’s job is so important. We never know how we might help another get through a challenging moment. Blessings, Jessica.
Thanks for this, Anita. So important to remember to be strong and not give up!
Thank you, Jarm. Inspiration from others has helped me past many a discouraging day.
Words of wisdom, Anita! And for me, very timely as I struggle to balance writing with the other parts of my life. So many times, it would be easy to say “this is going nowhere” in the writing business, and to drop a set of tasks from my life would make the rest of my days much easier! Jim’s words are excellent reminders that by moving past rejection, we find what God wants for us. Thanks for a wonderful post.
Jim is such an inspiration to me, Jan. Happy to share his words with others, and glad they’re helping you. Many blessings. 🙂
Thanks for such an awesome post! I can’t watch the videos right now because I’m at work, but just from the quotes you posted, sounds like there is some good viewing awaiting me when I get home this evening.
You are welcome, Emily. Thank you for the awesome comment!
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