Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guest Blogger JoAnn Ainsworth - Surviving Rejection

Rejection. Hard on the ego. A given for an author. A fact of life for everyone. Allow me to share some life experiences with you for surviving rejection.

Stay unhappy for only a short time.

Sounds impossible, doesn’t it, but it can be done. The trick is to focus on your mood instead of on the event.

My firm went out of business during the dot.com recession and I lost my job. When not focused on the job hunting, I spent the day listening to music, watching comedies, and meeting with friends who consistently cheered me up. I left only a little time to grieve—just enough to get it out of my system, but not so much that I got stuck in it.

I find that negativity dampens my energy level and eventually makes me sick. Depression blinds me to potential resolutions. By keeping my mind alert and my mood elevated, I have the energy to find my way out of the circumstances created by the rejection.

See if there is a lesson in the experience.

It seems to me that sometimes life causes bad things to happen to put us on a new path. Is life telling you that you’re in a rut, that it’s time to try something new? Maybe you should you be writing in a different genre.

In hindsight, those changes often are for the best–different friends, different job, different place to live, different hobbies.

Project onto family, friends and business associates who rejected you or your ideas those qualities you like most about them.

At the time you want to hate them, I’m telling you to do the opposite. I’m suggesting you focus on why you loved them in the first place or wanted to work with them.

What’s my reasoning? The goal is for you to become happy again as quickly as possible. Why wallow in the things that make you unhappy?

Visualize the relationship perfection you’re seeking. See family, friends and co-workers exhibiting the kinds of personality traits you love best. Often expectations are self-fulfilling prophecies. See the best in others and, maybe, that’s how they’ll respond.

Visualize the successful outcome you want.

When I stay focused on what I want to have happen and don’t let the problems of the moment throw me completely off track, I can find the energy to take baby steps away of the mess and toward the solution.

Here’s where you have to be patient—with yourself and with others.

Baby steps take patience. Often, we want to jump right to the solution. I’ve found an immediate solution rarely happens. Instead, I have to work my way out of a problem little by little.

Eventually, I get to a point where I can taste the end goal. Excitement sets in. I’m back to my old self and enjoying life.

Keep getting up when knocked down.

Life taught me there’s always another chance to succeed if you don’t give up. Get up, dust yourself off, get happy and set a new goal. Remember, Abraham Lincoln’s first two businesses went bankrupt. He ran for public office six times and lost. BUT on the seventh, he won the presidency of the United States.

What if he'd given up because of rejection?

Best to you and yours,
JoAnn Smith Ainsworth

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JoAnn Ainsworth’s debut medieval romantic suspense novels received four stars from RT Book Reviews and comments like "this is a keeper" and "I loved it" from other reviewers. JoAnn has a lifetime of achievements, but she's most proud of becoming an author as a senior citizen.


Kelly Jamieson said...

Welcome to the Naughty Nine, JoAnn! Those are some very wise words, which I will try to remember next time I want to sink into negativity (which is only too easy to do!). Thanks for that!

Juniper Bell said...

Wonderful post, JoAnn! I truly appreciate your insights. Thank you for visiting us here, it's great to "meet" you!

Meg Benjamin said...

Hi JoAnn, welcome! Tough subject, sensitively handled.

JoAnnAinsworth said...

Thanks Kelly, Juniper and Meg. I've found if I can take my ego out of the hurting process and find a way to distract myself from my anger at the rejection, I can rebuild my confidence and get back on track again.

Patricia said...

I needed to hear this. It's a superb uplifting post that all of us need. I get rejected almost daily now because I've been sending out query letters for my fourth novel. But interspersed between the rejection letters I've had some requests for partials, so why do I focus on the negative, right?
Thank you.

Jane Lovering said...

Lovely post, and a great reminder that rejection only affects us as much as we let it. Maybe it's human nature for us to always see the bad..?

Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

JoAnn, what wonderful words of wisdom -- I like how your philosophy applies equally well to rejection and to anything ELSE that's negative!

JoAnnAinsworth said...

I believe, Jane, that it's social programming (and less human nature) to see the bad. That's why it's such a slow, baby-step process to bring ourselves back to a positive viewpoint. We have to deprogram ourselves first. The process gets easier the more you practice.

JoAnnAinsworth said...

It warms my heart, Patricia, to hear that my life experiences are able to give you a lift up. Do something fun soon after getting those rejection letters. Keep focused on your end goal. Savor the idea of a published manuscript.

JoAnnAinsworth said...

Learning how to handle setbacks in my personal life, Laurie, made it easier for me to handle rejections when I became a published author as a senior citizen. I've found that distracting myself from the setback made it easier for me to see the solution. I got a new perspective.