The Prickly business of Rejection



We’re all afraid of it.

We all avoid it.

It’s uncomfortable.  Embarrassing.  It steals your confidence.  Maybe a little bit of your soul.

And most times, it just plan old hurts.

What a good reason to just never step out of our comfort zones and take a risk, right?

The thing is, by risking nothing, we also gain nothing.

Sure, it’s easier to hide your talents, your thoughts, your ideas, your wants or your needs.  It’s easier to never stick your neck out and dare to ask for more or better.  It’s easier to just create our own little box of comfort and relax in it, never having to worry about those protective walls coming down.

But at the same time, nothing risked; nothing gained.  You’ll never know what could have been if you never try.  It takes guts..  to put yourself out there like that.  To let people see your vulnerable spots.  To risk the hurt, embarrassment and loss of confidence.

I remember when I, who has always been afraid of my own shadow, first tried to break into the needlework industry.  I meekly sent in my designs and I was rejected.   It hurt.  I kinda wanted to just throw up my hands and say “I suck!” and quit.  It would have been the easy thing to do..  to slink off into the corner and lick my wounds.

But I decided to try again.  And again…

It took six tries before my designs were accepted.  Damn..  I wanted to quit -but I had someone in my corner urging me not to give up.  And so I kept torturing myself, time after time, rejection after rejection.

When I was finally accepted……. I almost fell out of my chair!  I was SO excited!   Then suddenly it all seemed so worth it.

But even then it wasn’t smooth sailing.  I still had to have every single design accepted.  Through three publishers and several magazines over the years, each design was a risk; an assault on my confidence.

But you know what?  I got tougher.  I learned how to take criticism.  Oh – it was hard, all right.  I raged and I cried and I swore and I spent a good deal of time being pissed off.  But I learned, and I accepted and I practiced taking it.  It got easier as time went on.  I actually got good at it…  sort of.. ;P

Many of my biggest achievements and accomplishments in life came from putting myself out there and risking rejection.  My life is what it is today, because I took a chance at asking that boy out in high school even though it scared me to death.  luckily, he said yes.

This week my photography was rejected by a place I applied to and …….. it hurt.  yeah.  It did.  If I’m honest with myself, it did.  Even though I expected it, I prepared myself for rejection and felt sure that I wasn’t going to get accepted…..when it came down to it, it still sucked.  But it wasn’t the first time.  And it won’t be the last.

But that’s ok.  I’ll try again some time.  And again, and again.  And eventually something good will happen.  And if it never does, at least I know I tried.  I can feel good about that, and know that I gave myself a chance to find out instead of sitting there years from now not knowing what could have happened if only I’d taken a chance.

So…….. take a chance.  Throw yourself out there and be vulnerable.  You may bleed a little, but you’ll heal.
Sure, you could fall….  but what if you fly?