October 21

Creative work is subjective, which is one of its most challenging qualities. You can labor for weeks on a project and deliver something that you fully believe in only to have it rejected by the stakeholders for some nebulous, maybe even undefined reason. In those moments, it’s easy to take the rejection personally and to feel it deeply. After all, it was your idea, your execution, your risk. It stings, and rightly so.

While it’s perfectly fine to feel the pain of rejection when it occurs, it’s important to be mindful of what happens next. Sometimes that moment of rejection can morph into a season of feeling like a reject. The temporary moment of rejection turns into a name tag bearing the name “reject”, and you begin to wonder if you’ve lost a step, and if you’ll ever be as good as you one were. 

A rejection of your work is not a rejection of your worth. Yes, it’s natural to feel the sting when your work isn’t chosen, but that is not a statement about the value that you inherently carry as a human being, nor is it a statement about your capabilities as a creative pro. It’s a statement about one moment in time, with one project, in one specific situation, with one set of stakeholders.

The rejection of your work is not a rejection of your worth. The best path beyond rejection is to throw yourself into the next project.

Question:  Are you allowing the rejection of your work to define you?

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