Gilbert’s memoir on creative living beyond fear makes an inspiring case against rejection.
She writes that when she used to get rejection letters from editors, she would permit her ego to say the following aloud.
You think you can scare me off? I’ve got another fifty years to wear you down. There are people who haven’t even been born yet who are going to reject me someday. That’s how long I plan to stick around.
Elizabeth’s ritual proves that rejection, like most things in this world, is a neutral construct. Rejection doesn’t suck, our feelings about it suck. What matters is our response to it.
Think of it as a spectrum. On the positive side of rejection, we can choose to stop counting, grow accustomed to it, learn lessons from it, own it as part of our character, turn it into a game, convert the energy into fuel and ride it like the wind until a yes comes our way.
Asking ourselves, is this a huge setback or the rejection of a lifetime?
The other option is to take the low road. Here’s how that spectrum of rejection plays out.
We stop caring, grow emotionally numb, get cynical and untrusting and resentful, seek revenge on people, conclude that we are useless, give up completely, shrink back from life and slide towards a toxic, black hole of despair.
Asking ourselves, who are we if we don’t wake up with this rolodex of people that we resent?
Who would you be without any bitterness?
The point is, as long as we stay in the game, we’re going to be rejected.
And how we respond to it is the determining factor of our greatness.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What story do you tell yourself every time you receive another rejection?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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