Today I chose to share with you an article I found about rejection. It’s a subject that keeps on coming to me with my clients. You will be reading about how Paulo Coelho – one my favourite poets, dealt with having his first poem rejected from publication.
Rejection doesn’t matter. What is important is what you do after being rejected.
Paulo believed in himself. He believed that he was a good poet and that his poems were not suitable for small magazines. So he sent his poems to the ‘Escritores e Livros,’ a popular literary column in a newspaper called Correio da Manha.
After a week, Paulo looked at the newspaper and read the following:
“To all young show-offs who are desperate to get themselves a name and publish books, it would be worthwhile recalling the example of Carlos Drummond de Andrade, who only published three volumes totaling 144 poems in 15 years.”
Like any normal person, he took it personally, but managed to regain his confidence and write his own version of Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “If…”.
If you ask your friends and enemies for a chance.
If you can hear a ‘no’ and take it as a ‘maybe,’
If you can start from the bottom and yet still value the little that you have.
If you can improve yourself each moment and reach heights without succumbing to vanity.
Then you’ll be a writer.
The lesson: Rejection always hurts. Some say that rejection shouldn’t be taken personally, but honestly, I don’t think that advice helps. We value ourselves and the things we create. Thus rejection brings a cognitive dissonance inside our minds.
Two conflicting thoughts, self-belief, and self-doubt, wage wars to determine who will stay and rule the kingdoms inside our heads.
When there are two conflicting thoughts, we need something to guide us on what to do after the rejection. If you don’t know what to do or what to believe in, most of the time the evil side will win the war.
In the case of Paulo, his self-belief won and this is because of a certain obsession of his.
How do you deal with rejection?