What do you mean, don’t take it personally? Putting yourself out there is a personal risk. Actors try out, singers audition, writers query, job hunters apply, politicians run for office. Where do you get the resilience to persist through rejections, defeats, and bad reviews for the sake of the risk that pans out?
“Maybe it won’t work out. But maybe seeing if it does will be the best adventure ever.” This quote’s been showing up anonymously on social media, and I love it. One source of resilience for me is a sense of curiosity, exploration, and growth. I can learn through every encounter, so none of it goes to waste.
Paradoxically, another source of resilience is to get over myself—to remember I’m one of many and none of us is perfect. As I wrote last October, belief in oneself can mean belief in one’s ability to improve, to keep honing one’s craft. Rejection can serve as a sharpening tool.
How do you bounce back from rejection? Please comment to share what works for you.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.