Today I got rejected. That’s right, stone cold, rejected. It’s official, I am a reject! Before you go picturing sad, little ole Casey being turned down, let me better explain. Last month I saw a casting call of sorts to write a personal essay as part of this Summer Essay Series for one of the newsletters I read. I’ve been feeling called to immerse myself into my writing and look for more writing opportunities as of late - hello 30 days of blogging challenge - and felt compelled to write something for this competition.
The subject matter was transformation and considering I’ve gone through my fair share over the last handful of years, I felt confident in my ability to write a piece that would fit the bill and help me bring home the prize. Which in this case was being published and having $200 in my pocket. Don’t mind if I do!
So, one weekend in June I sat down and wrote it. I let the words flow out of me and onto the page and as is typical practice for my writing projects, I absolutely hated it once I was done. That is until I went back through and read it. I found myself getting emotional over my own words! My own writing almost made me cry!
I finessed, I tweaked, I edited, I erased and added over and over again until I was finally pleased with the end result. Pleased and quite confident it was going to be a crucial first step for me getting published and being recognized as a recipient of coveted honor for this Summer Essay Series.
That is until today. When instead I got rejected. I was traveling back to Sacramento for the weekend and in between connecting flights checked my personal email. There it was. The email I had been waiting for since I pressed ‘submit’ just a month ago. From the opening sentence I knew. I just knew it was going to be a compliment sandwich of an email - tell me how tremendous my work is, then let me down gently informing me that I wasn’t selected, then encourage me to submit my work elsewhere and even to their future essay series competitions in upcoming seasons. Sigh.
In all seriousness it was a very nice email. I’m fairly confident it was copy and pasted across all the other 200+ applicants who were rejected but still, it was kind.
The reason I bring this up is because I want to talk not only about rejection but to use my personal rejection to talk about how we handle the act of being rejected, turned down, told ‘no’. Personally, I’ve always felt grateful for my athletic background because I think that’s instilled this innate tenacity within me that has since bled over into my professional (and personal at times) life as an adult.
To me, hearing ‘no,’ or being turned down is like adding fuel to the internal fire burning within me. If someone tells me I can’t do something, I immediately have this insatiable desire to prove them wrong. Insatiable that is until I accomplish what I set out to do!
Now I want to turn the magnifying glass on you! How do YOU handle rejection? Hopefully you’re not having to do so frequently but when things haven’t quite gone your way or how you pictured them, how do you react? You can either allow it to beat you down and to support your inner belief that you aren’t deserving or won’t ever accomplish your dreams. OR you can learn from that ‘rejection’ and focus on how it’s going to make you better. How you’re going to come back from it even stronger, even more capable than before and most importantly, you’re going to prove everyone wrong.
I know you can do it, the question is, do YOU?