Rejection is Tough

Rejection is tough. There is no option but to steer into the wave and completely embrace it.


Ben Shelley

2 years ago | 5 min read

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash
Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

No one likes being rejected and if they say they do, then they are lying...

For me, I do not like rejection. Maybe it stems from being an only child of a single parent. I was rejected by my father and that's why I really have to take a deep breath when it comes to rejection.

Who knows. It could just be hard-wired in all of us. To fear rejection like Donald Trump fears commitment to anything other than his money.

Rejection is unfortunately a part of life, so how do I deal with it?

Online Writing

I’ve had a few rejections and my first thought is to run and hide.

Rejection is commonplace. It is survival of the fittest. Dog eat dog and we are all scrambling over each other for attention.

I want my work to stand proud. To have people comment, to be accepted into publications that are bigger and better than the last. This, however, is easier said than done.

I've had a few rejections and my first thought is to run and hide. To stick within my corner, pleasing myself through writing to my audience. To avoid rejection I stick with what I have. It is akin to watching England play football. Get a goal ahead and then attempt to hold onto what you have.

As evidenced by the Euro 2020 final, this is easier said than done. Eventually, a parameter will change. One of the publications may close and you need to find new ones. The big publications will reject you until one day, that may change.

Something that has helped me keep the faith is Stephen King's, 'On Writing'. He kept every rejection letter he had for years. He received hundreds, yet did not stop. He continued plugging away until he had a name.

Once you have a name, publishers start to take note. The same approach can be said for online writing. You need to search for one editor in one publication that enjoys your story and wants to take a risk. From there you will be noticed and your work read. Until then, stack up the rejections and be proud that you are in the 'fight'.


It re-enforces a lack of basic friendship.

Everyone knows what the pandemic is. Most will understand the impact it has had on weddings. Brides and Grooms cancelling and rebooking, losing thousands and having their days taken away from them. It's been tough.

My partner and I are due to get married in five weeks, yet the belief for me is still not there. We have everything paid for, our final guest list and a plan for the day, yet until we are there, I will not commit in my mind.

From 80 to between 50 and 55 guests

Some have dropped out due to being in other countries and not being able to make it. Fair enough

Some are heading home to see their families, which they have not seen for 18 months and in one case, are sick. Fair enough

One is moving to Bermuda and others I forget.

The two that stood out are one who doesn't want to travel alone and the one that is uncertain about the Delta variant.

The one that does not want to travel alone I do not accept. I travelled to a friend's wedding in Devon a few years ago. I was alone. I knew no one but wanted to be there to see my friend. It was awkward but the important point is that I was there. I turned up and so I don't accept that. It re-enforces a lack of basic friendship.

The other is worried about Delta and the spread. This has hurt as they are a good friend and I will miss them. To be rejected here suggests that we are endangering lives bringing everyone together. Something that is maybe irrational but worth considering. Yet when I take a step back to think about it, two truths emerge.

  1. The truth is subjective
    My fiancee and I are including social distancing, hand sanitiser and spread out tables for the meal and ceremony. We are being cautiously aware of the situation. That is my truth
  2. The truth is unique to the holder
    The friend is worried due to Delta and that's fair enough. It's a rejection for a personal reason and whilst it hurts, I can rationalise it.

I'm uncertain of what the next few weeks will bring. I've stopped looking at the daily graphs and begun to look weekly as it's better for my mental health.

You get an overview rather than a day to day obsession. If more rejection arises then it does, just like the infections will go up until they go down. Staring every day is not good for you. Your brain wanders off and it's never good to live with animosity.

Taking Pride

…believe that friendship should be worth something, or why have it?

Confidence in who you are and a rational mindset is what you need to counter doubt. To move beyond the worry of rejection, you need to remember that you cannot please everyone and you never should. Running events at work showcases to me that people do what is in their self-interest.

Family is more of a motivator than friendship. Always has and always will be. We have not evolved beyond that. For me, my friends are my family and so maybe I take it more personally than I should, yet believe that friendship should be worth something, or why have it?

I am great. I believe in myself but understand that I will never please everyone. I need to do what is best for me, whilst also considering others, as this is how I was raised. Put yourself in the shoes of another and consider what motivates them and why they may be saying what they are saying.

I live by not wanting to look back in anger and so I feel as though whilst rejection is tough, we should revel in it. We all have limited tribes to which we will appeal in life. The rest will hate us. Not personally but the focus should be on those who do want to hear more. Not those who tell us we're bad.

A Final Thought

From this, I will start compiling a list of rejections, as I believe that one day they will turn into acceptances.

In addition, I won't take it personally during the wedding. What will happen, will happen and I am focusing on my fiancee. For those that do not attend I plan to pause the friendships. I will never talk about the wedding to them.

Rejection and how we feel with that is every bit as important as how we deal with life. In any relationship you take the rough with the smooth and how you deal with both is important. We need to be aware of our feelings and focus on the positive, as quite frankly, in the long run, the negative can take a hike.


Created by

Ben Shelley

#husband #marketer #writer #runner #reader #travel







Related Articles