If you're not getting rejected, you're not trying hard enough.
That's what I tell myself when it's been quiet around here and no one has told me no in a while. It generally means I haven't been putting myself out there enough.
But that doesn't mean it doesn't sting. Rejection hurts, especially when we put all of our love and every bit of ourselves into something that gets rejected.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, which became a global best selling book and was then turned into a movie staring Julia Roberts, spent six years of her life receiving rejection letters. SIX YEARS of rejection.
But she kept going.
How many of us could keep going?
J.K Rowling, from the famed Harry Potter book series, was on government assistance and suicidal before her first book was published. She persisted and has been quoted to say she was determined to get a rejection letter from every publisher. But we know how her story ends. A publisher finally picked up her book, and now there is a Harry Potter empire. But before that, rejection, rejection, rejection.
She kept going.
Creatives may suffer rejection more often then most, but that's because we keep creating, putting our heart out into the world.
Rejection happens to all of us. From little things, like a driver cutting you off on the highway, to hearing a negative comment about your appearance, to bigger, deeper life events like not getting that promotion you really had your heart set on, getting passed over on a job you were working on, or losing your job all together.
That rejection can really sting and sometimes keep us stuck when we take it in and believe it.
When we begin to believe there is something wrong with us, or that we aren't supposed to create, or that the other person is out to get us, or worse, that the harsh judgment being passed on is right, or that we have nothing to give, the world can begin to feel isolating, cold and restrictive and we can lose hope.
But rejection doesn't have to be negative. Rejection can be a way we stay on our path, and a way we stay true to ourselves and show the universe we believe in our convictions, our growth and our purpose.
So what if for a minute we decide rejection has nothing to do with us personally?
It is then that we give ourselves permission to keep going.
When we are certain of ourselves, the good, the bad and the ugly comments won’t build us up or knock us down. The knowledge we have of who we are is enough. With certainty comes the release of the need to be approved of by others. And sometimes we have to fake it. Sometimes we have to keep going even when we want to believe the rejection.
Sometimes we keep going because we can't forsake ourselves for them. We can't afford to take rejection personally, because we can't afford to not live our lives authentically.
One of my all-time favorite books, The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz, dives deep into the idea of not taking anything personally. In it Ruiz explores the idea of the beliefs of others being a tapestry of experiences and circumstances unique to each person. Our experiences and what we’ve been taught, this is where our judgments come from.
“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they live in a completely different world from the world we live in. “ -Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements.
So regardless of what they say, we have to keep going.
No one else knows the truth of who we are better than we do. We know what's in our heart. We hear the inner whispers. And it's our life purpose to let our heart's desires be witnessed by the world, however loud or quiet, big or small. It's our purpose to be witnessed.
Can you imagine a more expansive world where you don’t take things personally? How many things would you try if you didn't care if it was accepted or not? What are you not allowing yourself because you're scared of what "they" would think? How is the fear of rejection holding you back?
What if rejection became a new benchmark of being yourself? Because the truth is, not everyone is going to like us or like what we do. There will always be haters. There will always be rejection. But we can't let that stop us from doing what we are put on this earth to do.
Life purpose is bigger than opinion.
We have to keep going.
We owe it to ourselves, to our children, to our worth.
Where can you put yourself out there? Where can you go that feels uncertain? How can you become more in alignment with your authenticity and show us what you got? What are those secret urges you have that you're keeping to yourself? There's never been a better time than right now.
What are you ready to work on? What is worthy of rejection? That's how you know it's yours, if you believe in it so much that you're willing to be rejected for it. And there is nothing more worthwhile than living your purpose, sharing with the world why you are here. What are you holding back that you're ready to set free?
As one of my business mentors Marie Forleo says, "eat rejection for breakfast."
So, dear heart, bon appetit!
And lots of love,