The Joy That Comes From Being Rejected

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by Kimanzi

This week started with the potential to ruin the entire week! I woke up and decided to stay away from emails and social media, I decided to have quiet morning, that was a good start.

UnknownAfter a refreshingly peaceful morning that involved hanging out with my family, it was time to get to “work.” I fired up my MacBook Pro and went to the mail app. There were the  blogs I’m subscribed to, there were the emails from people asking specific questions about self-publishing and speaking advice.

There were some offers for advertising on my website and offers to “help me boost traffic” from people, all of this was pretty ordinary. The emails that got my attention right away were from conferences that I sent proposals to speak at, I see these emails and get nervous and excited. Where in the world will I be going to next….

Well, on Monday it was pretty obvious that I would be going nowhere! I had four emails from conferences rejecting me. Now they were nicely phrased, saying they liked my proposal but had to “go in another direction” but it still stung!

I have experienced rejection before and I have written about it several times, I should be an expert. When others have emailed me or called me to tell me about their rejections and have asked me for advice, I have always said to pick your head up and keep pushing forward.

I’d like to tell you that I followed that advice but inside I really didn’t. Right away I was:

  • Mad- This is my dream, I should get every conference I propose to, right?
  • Proud- How could they not choose an international speaker?
  • Depressed- I have made so much progress and now I’m  hitting a wall.

There were a lot of emotions going on inside, yet outwardly I was acting like I brushed it off, I even said so on Facebook 🙂 Can you relate to going through rejection and feeling like this? 

Accepting the truth

We all have and WILL experience rejection in our life, this isn’t a movie. We all know in our minds what we can and should do but doing it is something else entirely.

Outwardly we can tell people that it’s no big deal while inwardly we’re screaming. Here’s the thing though, you have to let it out!

The truth we have to accept is that rejection will always be there but there’s a greater truth we often miss: holding those emotions inside will lead to bitterness and depression. 

One tip

When you experience rejection, reach out for support, seriously. We may be strong but at one point or another we all need someone to lean on. I’m blessed to have an amazing support group, when I got those rejection emails I called them right away, I know myself and knew how fast I would get emotional.

When you are going through rejection a good supportive friend or family member can do more for you then you realize, reach out! Click to tweet-

The joy that comes

So there I was after talking to my support system, I had to go through the day and get things done. I did and it turned out to be a good, productive day. I woke up the next day, I went through the same routine.

I checked my emails and there’s one from a conference, except this email says “congratulations, we can’t wait to hear your session! You’ve been accepted as speaker at our conference.” So I look at the email because I send out a lot of proposals and couldn’t remember where this conference was. I checked the conference and got a HUGE smile on my face, the conference is in LONDON, England!

The cool thing is I get to bring my wife and accomplish one of my goals that I told you about at the beginning of this year. We will stay in London but also visit Paris, it will be So cool to cross that goal off my list 🙂

So after getting rejected, then getting an amazing victory, I’m reminded about the joy that can come from rejection IF you keep pushing forward! 

How have you or do you deal with rejection? Have you had real struggles with dealing with rejection? 

  • Is that event going to be the London Wordcamp?

  • Great post bro! Support is requires if we want to keep our motivation up after being rejected.

    • That’s right Dan. I appreciate the support I get from being friends with you!

  • Wow, congrats. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about rejection. They say just grow a thick skin, get up and keep going, concentrate on your dream – but it still stings always. I don’t think you get over the sting you just learn that the pain of the sting is often followed by the triumph of victory.

    • It’s easy to know what to do but doing it is very hard. Great point Loren.

  • Congrats Kimanzi! that’s super awesome.
    My sanguine side abhors rejection! And my choleric side wants to clamp down and pretend it didn’t hurt 🙂 But like you I’ve learnt (and still learning) how to keep balance. It’s important to process the emotions, not to imagine that we have a heart and hide of stone.

    • You’re right, balance is the key! We’ll have to keep working on it together.

  • Congratulations Kimanzi! It’s often soothing to think of failure as a numbers game. If you look at your past and find a failure:success ratio of 9:1 then after 9 failures in a row, you should be pretty excited knowing you’re on the verge of something great! 🙂 The book “Go For No” is an incredible book on failure for anyone interested.

    • Thanks Ryan and thanks for the book recommendation, great point! Thanks for adding value to the post.

  • That’s awesome that you get to go to London and Paris- even better that you get to bring you wife!

    Rejection stings and really sucks, but it’s part of life. Having a supportive group to help is vital to pressing on!

    Thanks for sharing not only your successes but also your set backs. I like that you keep it real.

    • You’re welcome and I can’t wait! I remember your post and that’s why hanging out with the right people is important!

    • DS

      I agree with TC your transparency impacts lives.

  • DS

    I’m not sure any person I’ve ever met likes rejection. I don’t believe that I’m good at accepting it because I’m naturally a people-pleaser. It’s one of the reasons I love success stories of regular people (like yourself). They motivate and inspire me to keep going even when I feel like a failure. In fact I’m teaching a class on it right now. The first version is posted here I really try to surround myself with good positive stuff and people. It’s also a reason we’re hosting an orphan from the Ukraine, to help them know they’re awesome, even if they feel rejected due to no parents.

    • You’re doing great work and you have such an amazing perspective! Keep it up!