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Rejection…bring it!

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**

What are you looking at, huh?!?

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


2 responses

  1. Oh Tracesea, what a great post! And what an amazing reminder to put ourselves, and our hearts “out there”. One never gets the amazing gains of acceptance without the rejections that come first! I think it is our tendency too to say to ourselves when we are rejected “They don’t like me or my workl” or “I am not good eneough”, but the reality is likely much closer to they have plenty of vendors already to choose from, or there are multiple people in a similar category they are considering, or simple luck of the draw even! Thanks for the reminder to not give up!

    May 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    • Stef, you’re so right that there are many reasons why we might get rejected from a craft fair. We really don’t have any idea since they don’t give feedback. Even if they don’t like our work, I think that’s okay too. Taking risks means that some people will like what you do and others won’t. It’s all worth it when someone does connect with your work and truly loves it!

      May 28, 2012 at 2:15 am

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