How to Deal with Rejection Day

Dealing with Rejection Day, The Mist-Style

They’re out there, waiting to tell you No.

Sometimes you can almost smell its sulfuric aroma before you get out of bed. Other times, you don’t know what’s happening until you’re hiding under your desk with a pint of Rocky Road ice cream.

It’s …*boom boom BOOOOOOM*…
Rejection Day.

Rejection Day starts creeps in slowly. Someone unsubscribes from your blog. Someone else stops following you on Twitter.

Then rejection’s creatures start coming out. Small at first. You lose another follower. And another. And another. And it’s you’ve been checking your stats for only two minutes.

With the drop in stats undermining your confidence, you hop off social media and head for the meaty, productive part of your day. Your inbox. Where larger, more bloodthirsty rejection creatures lurk.

A client sends feedback. And like all great feedback, it’s prefaced with “This is not a reflection on you, but…”

You haven’t seen so much red since your high school paper on Great Expectations in which you kept referring to Pip as Pipe.

As you dig in to the feedback, you get an email from a prospect saying that they’ve gone in another direction. Rejected before you even start. And there’s another email with the same subject line. Its preview doesn’t bode well.

Rejection has you thrashing in its tentacles before you even finish your coffee.

Good news: Everyone has the occasional Rejection Day.

Bad news: The good news has no impact on your day right now.
Unless you find someone to commiserate with.

If I was a character in The Mist, I would’ve died early trying to get to my car. And taken the last of the Rocky Road with me. But I can share some ways to deal with Rejection Day.

Tell a loved one “I love you.”
Since the universe isn’t filling your day with sunshine, it’s up to you. And telling loved ones how you feel brightens your day and theirs. I do this to my fiancé regardless, but it always makes me feel better when my day isn’t so great. You never know, maybe they need the pick-me-up too.

Finish a long-overdue chore.
A victory is a victory. And dealing with something that’s been sitting there mocking you is an accomplishment that can’t be debated. You hung the picture. It’s up. That’s a fact. For me, most of these victories come in the form of organizing my kitchen or moving furniture so I’ll stop running into it.

Write the universe a rejection letter.
Why suffer in silence? Tell the universe how you feel about this shabby, shabby treatment of your self-esteem. All too often, when I read my own rant, I realize just how small my problems actually are.

Note your accomplishments.
You may have lost five followers, but did you gain one? Did you post to your blog anyway? Did you handle that client feedback professionally even though it made you cry a little inside? You’re not as bad off as you may think.

Give yourself some tough love.
Remind yourself that this is what you signed up for when you chose this career path. And that if you get too frustrated with small stuff, you may as well find another line of work. Besides, you didn’t get this far by being a whiner.

Rejection Day isn’t marked on any calendar. You don’t always get warning. And some are worse than others. But it’s still only one day. Make it to the end and bounce back tomorrow.

How do you deal with Rejection Days? Share in the comments.

21 thoughts on “How to Deal with Rejection Day

  1. “You haven’t seen so much red since your high school paper on Great Expectations in which you kept referring to Pip as Pipe.” LOL, that’s too funny.

    I tend to not sweat the small stuff like losing a subscriber or a follower. But unexpected reactions to my work I usually take personally. I try to find positive things like short inspirational videos. Or make a list of my recent milestones. I try to remember that it’s only one client, or one comment, or one project and that there are so many more untapped opportunities that will go a lot smoother.

    And sometimes, as you said, tough love is needed. This career path isn’t for the weak. It’s for gladiators.

    • Thanks! True story I’m afraid. And it’s my favorite novel so go figure. 🙂

      Good for you, not sweating the small stuff. And you’re right: there really are so many untapped opportunities, period.

  2. I like these two best:

    “Tell a loved one “I love you.”
    Since the universe isn’t filling your day with sunshine, it’s up to you. And telling loved ones how you feel brightens your day and theirs. I do this to my fiancé regardless, but it always makes me feel better when my day isn’t so great. You never know, maybe they need the pick-me-up too.

    Finish a long-overdue chore.
    A victory is a victory. And dealing with something that’s been sitting there mocking you is an accomplishment that can’t be debated. You hung the picture. It’s up. That’s a fact. For me, most of these victories come in the form of organizing my kitchen or moving furniture so I’ll stop running into it.”

    I like them because you’re fighting negativity with positivity instead of sliding down a deep hole of misery.

    • Thanks, those are my favorites as well. I always do those first because I want to make sure the day has a high point. Otherwise, it’s just one long cycle of negativity.

      • My husband almost asked me to give up writing early on when I went off the deep end any day that started with a rejection later. Thankfully, I got over it. Not that it’s easy.

        • It’s never easy. It’s something I have to practice because the moment I let my guard down—blammo!

          Sometimes I think the rejection is pretty ridiculous, I sigh “oh, good gravy.” And if the fiance hears it, he thinks I want gravy. Maybe change it to “good chocolate”? 🙂

  3. I tend to go with the tough love route. Try something a different way for success or pretend that everyone is against me and I’m going to prove them all wrong. Probably why I listen to heavy metal while working out :).

    It is definitely an invetibable reality, though, and I think the best way to handle anything is to hope for the best and expect the worst.

  4. Great tips, not your average. Regardless of how rejection makes me *feel*, I always focus on what I can *do* in that moment to keep moving forward in my career. That sometimes makes me feel a little better.

  5. These are good suggestions. I haven’t had so many in one day. Usually there is more of a balance. I like the ways you mention for taking charge of the situation. I guess one upside is the post I wrote about rejection and rising above it has been one of my most popular. I was mentioned on several sites, and a writer’s group wants to use it in an upcoming newsletter. You seem to have struck a cord here too.

    • Thanks Peter. Glad you liked them. I wrote this particular post because I was going through a Rejection Day. Nothing was working, nothing. (Except, of course, for one particular person who let me vent a little and gain a little perspective – you know who you are, you fabulous lady.)

      I remember your post: it’s one of my favorites. Congrats on the mentions. Well-earned. 🙂

      One of my previous posts, Facing My First Creative Rejection, also struck quite a cord. And I think it’s because rejection is so universal.

    • Hi Crystal, welcome to Rubber Ducky Copywriter!

      Yeah, sometimes there’s just no telling what causes that little number to change. But that’s okay. No real reason to worry unless Mom stops following. 🙂

  6. Erica
    FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich. AC Milan: They don’t win every single match, but they almost invariably (it would seem) end up winning their league. And that’s what matters.

    And rejections are just like losing the occasional game (whatever sport it is). They’re just small setbacks in the grand scheme of things. Aren’t they?

      • There is some irony in all this, Erica, in view of the fact that it was Carol’s second link party this weekend.

        Last month my Halfwit Copywriter post got a fabulous response. But this month, my more sober Blog vs News post didn’t really tickle anyone’s fancy.

        Funny thing, I thought this month was more insightful, better optimised, more relevant to target customers and more what potential clients would look favourably on.

        But rejection here was good. I mean really good.

        As you say, you can’t win ’em all. This is often because you can’t be all things to all men (or women) at the same time. And make sure you know precisely who your target audience is for each of your posts.

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