Don’t Let Rejection Stall Your Career: Here Is My Anti-Rejection Checklists For Creatives To Ensure That Rejections Are Few And Far Between


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We’ve all face some kind of rejection in our lives and if we are honest, rejection hurts. In recent months I have had the pleasure of working with some very creative individuals and helping them through dealing with rejection. Many creatives think about rejection so much that they are afraid to even create. This is a crime.

How do we deal with the suffering that comes with hearing no, no, no, time and time again? Over the years I’ve had my share of rejection and coached many people through this painful part of life journey.

So I decided to create this anti-rejection and post-rejection checklist for you if you have recently or in the past faced rejection. To help you ensure that rejections are few and far between, and when they strike, that you have a plan to help you move on, as I always say

“Rejection is not finial but only the beginning to something great.”

Anti-Rejection Checklist To Ensure That Rejections Are Few And Far Between

1. Separate the creating and the promoting process. I suggest creating first, and thinking about selling later, when your work is complete. Do whatever you can to produce the best work you are capable of.

2. When submitting your work or project, submit your impeccable slides or queries – absolutely free of errors, typos and smudges. Show up in a professional way and expect to be treated professionally.

3. Do your research. Seek a true match for your creative work and flare. Be clear about the submission process for each work you submit. Make sure to follow the guidelines. Again, this is not the place to express your abundant creativity, unless it’s in the vein of how you can get in front of your target audience.

4. Set up a system to track your submissions. Know where you have submitted your work so that when you get a rejection, you are ready to resubmit to another likely candidate. Make it easy to keep submitting – you don’t want to be so overwhelmed emotionally that you can’t keep going.

5. Speaking of emotions, its inevitable that you will be awash in a whirlpool of emotions. The work of making and selling creative work is a deep and powerful expression of the human existence. No wonder we get emotional! Anger, resentment, frustration, and sadness may all threaten to overtake your resolve to make and show your work. This is normal, yet you don’t want to dwell in the storm. Experience the emotions and then move on. Give yourself a suitable period of time for you – an hour, an afternoon, a full day, and then keep going.

6. Be very clear about what is being rejected – this particular query or this particular piece of writing. You are not being rejected. Your entire creative life and artwork are not being rejected. We can get depressed beyond repair if we globalize the rejection and take it to mean that we are no good or our work is no good.

7. Know that rejection is as much a part of creating as is the thrill of inspiration. Rejection is built into the game. Get used to it and be willing to take it in your stride.

If you are getting rejections, take it as an excellent sign. It means that you are moving your work from the privacy of your home and into the world. It means that you are trying, and that you are taking your work to the next level. It means you are taking yourself seriously enough to risk a no. You should feel good about this and acknowledge your efforts to bring your work to a wider audience.

Post-Rejection Checklist to Help You deal With It And Keep Moving

Okay, so you have done everything on the anti-rejection checklist (and more!) to ensure the best possible result. And you’ve been rejected nonetheless. Now follow the post-rejection checklist to deal with it and keep moving.

You can only do so much to avoid rejection. How you deal with it will determine how successful you will be. Here are ten rejection rituals to overcome the sting of ‘No.’

1. Write an encouraging letter to yourself. This first ritual has helped me tremendously in life so I’m confident it will help you too. Remind yourself why you do art and why it is worth some suffering.

2. Write another letter that expresses your emotions to the rejector (then throw it away). You will be so surprised the power of just being able to express yourself on paper. Make this fun and really go for it, because you are not going to send it.

3. Revisit a former success such as a winning of a contract or a prior showing of your work. Gloat over your previous victories and know that they are just the beginning of your success.

4. Spend some time free writing on your experience with rejection. This might sound difficult to do at first, but once you start you will get the hang of it. Start with the prompt, ‘When I was rejected….’

5. Throw a tantrum. Yes go ahead and do it. Grab a big pillow and pummel it with all the force of your disappointment and anger. Rant and rave about the unfairness of it all. This process is the most therapeutic one I found for myself personally.

6. Exercise. Go for a walk or a run or a bike ride, or whatever you do to get into your body. Offer up your sweat to the rejection. This also helps to release tension and stress, as we do not want these toxic feels to remain inside of us.

7. Some people save their rejection letters. This is totally up to you. You may want to add it to a file or…

8. Burn the rejection letter, and with it, all the disappointment.

9. Call a supportive friend and tell them about the rejection. You may ask them to recount your strengths as an creative and a person. Make sure this friend is able to offer unconditional reassurance as part of your rejection ritual.

10. Do any of the above rituals and then get back to whatever you were creating. You must keep going!

Life is full of pumps and in a way they have been created exactly like that with life, but that is why life has given us to feet, so we can get up and and keep walking over the bumps of life.

What has been the best way you have found as a creative or individual in the workplace of life to deal with rejection that you have faced? It would be great to share, as you never know it could help someone else along their journey.

If you loved what you just read, you can check out my Career Toolbox on Rachael Academy. It offers some great tips, information and help to help you along in your dream career.

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