Reject – To be unwilling to accept, recognize, or make use of & to refuse to grant; deny. We have all been rejected in our lives by a love interest, a friend, a family member, a job opening, a club, a sport and the list goes on and on. I have now had 4 different book proposals rejected by different editors. Being rejected is painful. No one wants to hear thanks…but we were looking for someone else better qualified, this is interesting but not what we are looking for, I just want to be your friend, you’re a great runner but your speed just is not quite fast enough, you just don’t have enough experience…
My first reaction to rejection of any kind is an immediate punch to the gut “ouch” that hurts. Then I try to figure out why. Was the resume not strong enough, did I need more experience, how much faster did I need to go, who can I learn from that can teach me to be better at xyz. It’s not an easy process. Especially if the rejection is personal like with a love interest, friend or close family member. But when it is career or job related we can remove ourselves a little bit from the rejection.
The best thing we can do with rejection is to look at it objectively and try to learn and grow from it. Examine why it happened. Ask questions in a constructive manner. An employer does not mind hearing from someone who was rejected for a job if it is for growth purposes and it is presented in a professional and respectable way. All the editors who have rejected my proposals have been very helpful in guiding and encouraging my writing efforts. They authentically want to see me succeed. If we are rejected and only harbor ill will and sadness, allowing ourselves to drown in the sorrow then we have achieved nothing in the process.
In our lives we will be accepted and rejected in small ways hundreds of times. If we use these experiences as a way to grow as a person then we can learn to value the experience. Part of life is sadness and part is happiness. If we want to find and appreciate them both we need to be objective, ask questions; the difficult ones, and grow from the pain. Rejection will never be easy for me but I choose to embrace it and try to learn from it because I want to be better than I am right now. Keep sight of your goals and never give up, grow, change, learn but never give up!