The growth that comes from disappointment, in my opinion, is monumental.
I used to silently lose a little bit of my passion to those rejections. I would question everything, including my own worth and abilities. Those were the days I did not fully understand how powerful “no” could be.
The power that is contained within those two letters changed my perception. If I had only seen the redirection within rejection: its inevitable preparation.
I previously never allowed myself to go towards the magnificent light that I am, the light that could have guided my way. I stalemated myself from remembering all the things I have always known: Namely, that life is always happening from me, not to me; that I am the universe in conscious form; that I have all that I need contained within me, and there is no one who can stop me but myself; and that, most importantly, I am loved—always.
As I began to write my life out to show the world my thoughts, passions and the hurdles I once jumped through, I felt powerful and vulnerable in all the right ways. I felt as if I was finally ready to show my innermost thoughts, joys, growths and even my shadow self. I was ready to start voicing my life with the intention of inspiring others to awaken who they truly are.
So I submitted my first piece to elephant journal, and I was rejected, multiple times.
The honestly that was written in that email shook me. It gave me no other choice but to respect it and learn from it. elephant journal gave me the tools to fully understand what their intentions where. They did not reject me in silence, never to hear from them again. They chose to tell me exactly what I needed to do to grow. And grow I shall.
This is what I’ve learned from elephant journal’s rejections:
1. Rejections are never an ending.
The rejections I receive are my points of stillness, my moments to keep practicing, evaluating and aligning myself until I get it right. I am not being told my words aren’t of value; I am just being guided to be even better than what I feel I am.
2. I am capable.
Even on pity party days, the days I want to pull the covers over my head and give in, I am capable of pulling myself from that emotional illusion. Instead of letting my mind control my aspirations and intentions, I choose to let my soul do the guiding. My soul will never sway me into a direction that doesn’t feel good. My soul comes from a place of unconditional love. When I listen to it, not my head, I am capable of anything.
3. Not all rejections come from an egotistical narcissist.
I would like to think that everyone I submit work to is just an OCD asshole who expects too much. But in reality, this often isn’t the case. I learned to put away any defensive shields I had up and decided to keep pressing on. I trusted my intuition to keep me calm and to understand their true, non-malicious intentions. They were just guiding me towards what they represent and what can make my message clearer.
4. Never be too proud.
I used to never admit all the times I submitted something and got turned down. I now see that the most important aspect of voicing rejection is that it shows you are trying: I am not timid, afraid of opinions, over-thinking the worth of my work; I am just going for it. I now have no problem asking someone to glance over my work and give me feedback. I now see the importance in seeking those who will give me constructive opinions, not constructive criticism—I don’t believe there is such a thing.
5. Time is not “of the essence.”
I learned that if you don’t give into the universe once you have done your part, you will constantly feel as if you are climbing an uphill battle. Time is an illusion and, when I stopped acting as if I had some kind of timeline for when I needed to have something accepted or noticed, all the pieces started falling seamlessly into place.
6. Compromise isn’t changing who you are.
I used to believe that I had to be hard, strong and stuck to my beliefs. But the truth was, I had no idea who I was then, nor did I know what I needed to feel grounded. I used to be very defensive and argumentative in all the wrong ways. It was an immaturity that stemmed from insecurities. Receiving critiques from others when I felt my work was good enough isn’t always easy to take. But learning to compromise on what both of us felt was good made my work the best it could be.
7. Going forward is the only option.
Because I choose growth, I also choose disappointment. These things usually tend to go together more often than I would like. But I choose going forward. I choose to put myself out there. I choose to have no regrets or I-should-haves. I will get upset, let down and disappointed often, but I won’t stay there long. I won’t let rejection stagnate me. I can only control what energy I put out, not what I receive back. And what I consist of is pure light, pure love and magic.
We are all made of the same things. We all, in some way or another, want the same things: to love, to be loved, to live a life where happiness consumes us more than does doubt and fear.
Rejection can be a superpower, and I embrace this now. Thank you, elephant journal, for not just existing but for being my teacher as well.
“Find what you love and let it kill you.” ~ Bukoswki
Author: Britt Johnson
Editor: Caroline Beaton