One thing that I have struggled with in the past is rejection. From a young age (until fairly recently) I let my fear of rejection keep me from taking risks. Unfortunately, this kept me from experiencing a lot of success and joy in my life, work, relationships etc. Sometimes I just played it safe, thinking that ho-hum is better than being hurt. Other times I was more extreme, pushing people away because if I didn’t let them get close to me then they couldn’t hurt me. Right? **sigh**
Over the years I have worked on putting myself out there in the world, exposing myself (not in a flasher-type way!) and learning to deal with the occasional (or frequent) and inevitable rejection that is a part of this experience.
After starting my craft business I decided to enter into juried craft fairs. I have had to deal with putting my artwork, and by extension myself, out there for scrutiny, resulting in eventual acceptance or rejection. It hasn’t been easy, but I don’t let my rejections get me down. I remember what one of my favorite art teachers once told me about submitting her art to galleries. She said that as an artist you need to get used to rejection because you will be rejected, again and again. BUT, she said that each new rejection brings you one step closer to being accepted. So, that’s how I like to think about it. Each rejection brings me closer to acceptance.
Here is a fantastic take on failure, by Seth Godin. I have copied this directly from his website, but you can find the original here: Failure, success and neither
“The math is magical: you can pile up lots of failures and still keep rolling, but you only need one juicy success to build a career.
The killer is the category called ‘neither’. If you spend your days avoiding failure by doing not much worth criticizing, you’ll never have a shot at success. Avoiding the thing that’s easy to survive keeps you from encountering the very thing you’re after.
And yet we market and work and connect and create as if just one failure might be the end of us.”
– Seth Godin
Now, to end this post I am going to start what will become my ongoing list of rejections. I’m not doing this to gain sympathy, or ‘fish for compliments’. Really, I’m A-OK with these rejections. Really.
I do hope that by putting my rejections out there I can make someone else feel better about taking a risk. Rejection is not the end, it’s only the beginning. Remember that each one gets you closer to success!
Craft Fair Rejections
Holiday Handmade 2011
Horseshoe Market Spring 2012
Horseshoe Market Summer 2012
Boulder Farmers Market 2012
Longmont Farmers Market 2012
DHA Booth at Denver County Fair 2011
Art by Craft 2011
DHA Booth at Denver County Fair 2012
French Nest Sept. 2012
Up in the Air
Arvada Center Craft Fair 2012
HaHo September 2012
Horseshoe Hit The Road – Georgetown 2012