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.