Today’s #OvercomeRejection post is brought to you by Kelly Chripczuk, blogger over at “A Field of Wild Flowers,” one of the most beautifully written blogs your bound to stumble upon here on these old interwebs. So follow the link at the end of the post and check out some of her other words. In the mean time, here is her post on overcoming rejection (and please feel free to submit your story of overcoming rejection to firstname.lastname@example.org):
It took me over a week to think of a single concrete experience of writing related rejection.
Repress much? Maybe.
Or maybe I simply haven’t risked enough. You have to play your cards to win. You have to play your cards to lose.
Driving in the car the other day, though, it came to me, the memory of a very concrete experience.
About six months into blogging I met with a friend, the editor of a regional parenting magazine. She wanted to know whether I would be interested in writing a monthly print column, something about parenting and faith.
“What angle are you looking for?” I asked.
“It’s up to you,” she replied, “I see this as an opportunity for you to build a name, a platform, you can do whatever you like.”
So I started, I played my cards and led with what I thought was a pretty impressive hand. I kept to my word limit and tried to tell spacious stories that invited the reader in.
Three months in I got an email, they were going to go “in another direction,” the column was canceled.
Game over. Just like that.
I will say that I wept.
It was something, you know, and when you’re a full-time homemaker and mother to four, having a paying gig in the real world, well, it helps you feel like a real person might someday emerge when the years of diapers and laundry pass (they do pass, right?!).
Rejection, like praise, comes with its own set of temptations.
I knew I had written well. I knew it had simply been a poor fit and there hadn’t been enough time and feedback to find a voice that worked for that publication.
I knew all of that.
But I was tempted, sorely, to let that rejection say something more about my writing and, more importantly, about me. Desperate (at times) for affirmation and (ultimately) for identity that transcends my circumstances, I face (still) the temptation to let that experience sink all the way down to the heart of me; to let it become an answer to that ever present question, “Am I good enough?”
It’s the same thing I want to do with praise, the same process, only it feels a whole lot worse to begin with.
And there you have it, the heart of the problem, I’m not going to be free to take risks if every failure, every success is allowed to imprint itself with permanence upon the heart of me.
Risk (read: writing) involves vulnerability, a willingness to walk into the arena of life as Brene Brown puts it. It’s a glorious, muddy, terrifying place, this arena – parenting, writing, I face failure and success every day. I play good hands and terribly poor ones.
I celebrate the wins and mourn the losses but I don’t live there. Not any more. I won’t let what happens in the ring label the heart of me or answer that ancient question.
At the end of the day, at the end of all of my successes and failures, I return home.
I return to love that is unconditional, love that reshuffles the deck and deals out a new hand – new every morning. I return to the One who changes the question, changes the answers and offers a simple affirmation, “You are loved.”
From that place of truth I step out again, renewed and cautiously hopeful.
This is how I deal with rejection.
Oh, and repression helps too.