When you experience rejection (whether it be in the world of writing, parenting, or general living), instead of defaulting to self-loathing or retaliation, try to consciously make decisions that support your health and well-being. Here are a few suggestions.
- Move on. Keep writing. Keep doing your thing. You’ve been doing this a lot longer than a lot of people have, so just continue to do what you do. It matters very little (if at all) what other people think anyway. When it comes to writing and publishing (even on blogs), everyone has their own thing that they’re trying to do. It’s completely acceptable (though unfortunate when trying to get a submission accepted) that other blogs have a different vision for the work that they tie to their name than the vision you might have for your own work. When it comes to parenting (and general living), same thing applies. Just do the best you can do. Keep doing it. And when you experience resistance and rejection (yes, it happens in parenting, too), brush it off and keep moving. It is completely unhelpful to internalize the rejection or to see it as some grotesque reflection of yourself.
- Be open to the truth. It’s true—sometimes our writing isn’t what other people are looking for. It might not be a good fit for their thing. This is part of being honest about the realities of the process. Not everyone is going to like or want or need what you submit. That’s okay. But it might also be true that they aren’t a good fit for your writing. It goes both ways. To apply this to parenting (and life in general), it’s true that sometimes we need to up our game—there may very well be things that we can work to improve upon. Skills are sharpen-able. There’s a degree of control that we have with seeking to better ourselves. But it may also be true that our game is fine and that it’s simply hard to be a parent of young children (or to live in this world as it is). There’s no need to blame in either direction. Everything is what it is: sometimes it’s us, sometimes it’s not us. The best thing we can do for ourselves in this respect is to learn to differentiate between the two—or at least try to determine the extent to which it’s us and the extent to which it’s not us.
- Keep positive energy flowing. It’s really tempting to turn negative upon experiencing disappointment. We may be, in fact, justified in our negative response. But only put out as much negativity as is really necessary—and simply release the rest. Resist retaliation in the malicious sense. And put away anything that might get in the way of better things coming your way. Negativity breeds negativity—and positivity breeds positivity. The direction of our lives largely depends on our choices here. Choose to stay focused on your vision in life, and reject any distraction that would take the form of excessive negativity and/or backlash. Just move on. Accept the truth as it stands. And stay positive. This applies both to writing and to parenting (and to general living as well).
- Retain your confidence. You aren’t a nobody—otherwise, your words would have never made it onto the page because you would have never existed to begin with. And you don’t don’t matter. Otherwise, you wouldn’t feel as strongly as you do to share your thoughts in the form of the written word. Just keep doing what you do. Believe in what you create. And let the rest be what it may. Do not let things that happen to you determine who you are or will be. This is true in writing as well as in parenting (and also in life in general).
- Let go. It’s easy to mull over things and hang on for forever (or is it “hang on for ever” or “hang on forever”?). Don’t do this. It’s entirely unproductive. Understand that sometimes we get what we want and sometimes we don’t. Do yourself the hugest favor ever and just let go. With writing and with parenting (and with life), more opportunities will come for you to grow and for you to demonstrate your skills and your effectiveness. It’s not a one-shot thing, this journey that we are on. Some opportunities might be one-shot things—but not us, not our efforts. We are in this for the long haul, so it’s best to let go of dead weight.
Rejection come in many forms and can come from anywhere. So whether it’s writing or parenting or some other area of life, our thing that we are making progress in doesn’t have to be defined by our losses. We will have wins. If we will only bounce back the best we can with each set-back.