Have You Let Rejection
Stop You In Your Tracks?

Other people's unthinking or malicious comments can cut to the quick if you let them. But if you put them into perspective, you can diffuse their power and move ahead towards where you want to go.

Here are a couple of strategies to help you overcome a fear of rejection.

First, consider the source.

Often people make critical comments when a part of them - often unacknowleged even to themselves - is envious of your youth, talent, opportunities, courage - you fill in the blanks. They may resent you for striving towards a goal when they don't have the courage to go after their own dreams. It happens more often than you think, and if that's true of the critical or discouraging people in your life, perhaps a more appropriate response would be pity. Thank them for their concern or feedback, then walk away as fast as you can.

Draw the encouragement you need from your mastermind group, people who are also following their dreams and refuse to stay stuck in a rut. And if you don't have a mastermind group, start gathering one around you today.

Examine the comments.

Remember that any comment a person makes is only one opinion, and is dependant on the context of the moment. Usually it's more about the person making the comment than about you.

But sometimes you'll find a nugget of truth in the criticism, especially if you've heard similar comments from other people. In that case, take a deep breath, step back from your emotions and take an objective look at what's been said. Maybe it's something you can use to improve yourself in some way.

As you've no doubt discovered, the world is full of critics, so if you want to succeed in life, it's essential that you overcome your fear of rejection.

I wrote the following article several years ago when I ran a writers' web site. While it's geared towards writers, the important thing about it is the message it contains about rejection.

Take a look at what the so-called experts of the day said about writers who went on to become literary giants. What happened to those critics? The same thing that will happen to yours. They'll fade away into oblivion while you go on to make your mark.

Here's the article:

Rejection - The Greatest Fear

Most writers share some form of antipathy towards rejection letters. Professionals and highly motivated beginners learn to live with them, but for many fledgling writers they become the biggest stumbling block to achieving their dreams. Some find themselves unable to send out that first submission for fear of being rejected. Others overcome that initial barrier only to find themselves paralysed once they receive one (or several) of these responses.

It can help to realise that you are in excellent company. Most of the great writers of English have been rejected at some point in their careers, many of them far more harshly that those of us currently receiving the "Sorry but it doesn't suit our list" type of response. The comments below serve to remind us that rejections are not necessarily about a writer's lack of talent; primarily they reflect the judgement (or lack thereof) of the editor/s assessing the work. Often getting published is about persisting long enough to connect with the "right" editor who recognises the value of your material. That simply won't happen if you stop submitting after publisher number six, when publisher number twelve is the one who might respond to your work.

Here are 10 classic rejection quotes:

  • On The Ipcress File by Len Deighton:
    Not only does this bog down in the middle, but the author tends to stay too long with non-essentials. He seems to have little idea of pace, and is enchanted with his words, his tough style, and that puts me off badly.

  • On Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Nobel Prize winner):
    It does not seem to us that you have been wholly successful in working out an admittedly promising idea.

  • On Catch 22 by Joseph Heller:
    I haven't the foggiest idea what the man is trying to say. It is about a group of American Army officers stationed in Italy, sleeping (but not interestingly) with each other's wives and Italian prostitutes, and talking unintelligibly to one another. Apparently the author intends this to be funny - possibly even satire - but it is really not funny on any intellectual level. He had two devices, both bad, which he works constantly. It is a continual and unmitigated bore.

  • On A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce:
    The public will call the book unprepossessing, unattractive. The point of view will be voted a little sordid. And at the end of the book there is a complete falling to bits. The writing and the thoughts are all in pieces and they fall like damp ineffective rockets.

  • On The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre:
    You're welcome to Le Carre - he hasn't got any future.

  • On The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham:
    Not desirable. Much of the philosophy of life is tedious and the author's view pessimistic and hopeless. I think it is distasteful.

  • On Animal Farm by George Orwell:
    It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA today.

  • On Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw:
    He will never be popular in the usual sense of the word, and perhaps scarcely renumerative.

  • On The Time Machine by H.G. Wells:
    It is not interesting enough for the general reader and not thorough enough for the scientific reader.

  • On William Butler Yeats's poetry (Nobel Prize winner):
    Absolutely empty and void. It should really be the last despair of mankind if Mr Yeats ever became popular. The work does not please the ear not kindle the imagination. It is to me sheer nonsense. Absolute nullity. I would not read a page of it again for worlds.

Now you know why publishers avoid writing critiques on rejected manuscripts. How would you like to live with yourself after committing those opinions to paper??

And finally, consider these words from former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt:

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Disclaimer: This site is purely educational and we make no claims or guarantees with regard to the information presented. Please consult a certified NLP practitioner for individual coaching in the use of NLP techniques. We strongly advise consulting a financial industry professional before embarking on a wealth creation journey.

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