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Here's what to do (and what not to do) with that rejection



I admit that I don’t relate very well with people who are torn apart by rejection and criticism. By the time I graduated from journalism school, rejection was my middle name. After spending a year looking for a traditional reporting job in the coveted small-town newsroom, rejection was my first name. Almost ten years later, and after adding several years as an editor to my resume, and I now hyphenate my middle name as Criticism-Rejection.


Such a name isn’t just given; it’s earned. I wasn’t just a writer who is used to pitching ideas that were turned down. I was a writer who believed in ideas that weren’t a good fit, but I kept advocating for them until I found that good fit. That’s what you do with rejection. Instead of looking to rejection to tell you something about how good you are or aren’t at something, look at it as a sign that you’re heading in the wrong direction.


Here’s what else to do:


Expect to be rejected sometimes—a lot of times, in whatever you do. It’s proof that you’re working and striving toward something.

Treat yourself well through it. You have a right to feel defeated in that moment, but you need to balance any negative self-talk with affirmations.

Learn from the rejection and criticism. I’d like to think I’m a better content strategist because I looked at every criticism as a learning opportunity.

Get mad, then get better. Sometimes the criticism and rejection are unnecessarily harsh. Don’t be tempted to focus on the delivery, no matter how sharp the tongue felt, and don’t respond in kind. Turn that venom into fuel and go get it.

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