In one of my earlier posts this year, I declared some of my hopes and dreams for 2014. One of them was that I’d write a book and get it published. Well, that journey has begun. I have a great agent who has worked with me to hone the proposal, and we have it out to a dozen publishers or so.
Last week, I got my first rejection email.
“We’re going to take a pass on this one,” it read.
How could anyone possibly pass on these life altering concepts that I’ve birthed? How could they look at my baby and not think it’s the most adorable thing in the world? Who in their right mind wouldn’t immediately fly to my house to enter into the bidding war that was certain to ensue?
Actually, I was surprised that it wasn’t that big of a deal to me. I have gotten lots of nos in my life.
There was the young woman in college who I repeatedly asked out, and who repeatedly gave lame but kind excuses, hoping I would get the hint. When I didn’t, she finally said it straight: “Look, I am not interested in you.” It was painful, but I moved on.
There was the church in Orange County that I so desperately wanted to work at, where I made it all the way down to the final two people. I think I went through 13 interviews, including a weekend trip out there with Mary. I remember walking the beach and thinking, “This is going to happen! I can’t believe it.” A few weeks later, I got the phone call, telling me that even though I was the greatest pastor ever, they were going with the other guy. That was really painful. But I really did move on.
There have been lots and lots of small nos. When I wrote that crazy parenting post that went viral and ended up on Huffington Post, most of the reaction was very positive. But there was also many severe reactions, one that called into question my mental stability, and one that said they were sorry that my wife and kids had to be married to a person that would say those things.
Even our journey with infertility over seven long years felt like rejection. Every month, our hopes would rise, and every month, they’d be dashed against the rocks. Every friend that got pregnant felt like personal rejection. Every new fertility treatment we’d try that didn’t work felt like rejection.
So, how do you deal with rejection?
Feel the disappointment all the way down to the ground. Get mad. Feel hurt. Voice how disappointed you are to friends that can listen. Don’t try to pretend it didn’t matter that much, or that your hopes weren’t really that high. Let your hopes rise, and let them crash.
Ask someone you trust to tell you that they believe in you, and why. I know this sounds cheesy, like demanding that your spouse tell you they love you. But I have found that I need to hear from people who know me that they believe in me, and why they believe in me.
Keep moving towards yes. Your book, your business, your partnership, your idea is not for everyone, but it is for someone, or some group. Someone needs what you give. So, when you’re done being upset, dust off that idea and get it back out there, because the world needs what you give. We’ve all heard how many times Edison failed before the light bulb worked, or how many times Einstein was wrong before he got the theory of relativity right.
You’re a gift to the cosmos, and you will get to yes. Keep going.
I’ll let you know when the book gets published!