goals, rejection, and everything in-between

I want to talk about my most recent rejection. First off, let me say that rejection is part of life. There is often rejection when you first apply for college, there is rejection when you apply for jobs, and there is also rejection in your personal life. I think that the challenge in times of rejection is to find a way to go on, in spite of the fact that you sometimes feel like a fraud or like you’ve missed your moment. The truth is, if you have the will to do something and the talent to back it up, sooner or later there will be room for you.

Recently, I got my second rejection for publication of some poems I wrote. To put it in perspective, up until the last few years, I hadn’t really been used to being rejected. I’d been accepted into like every school I’d applied to and I’d gotten every serious job I’d applied for, and so I saw myself as someone who would get things I tried for. Lately, I feel like rejection is all I really encounter. Joy and I were talking about how, because of what we are trying to do in our careers, rejection is sometimes the only thing you can be sure of, at least for a time.

Anyway, my most recent rejection was for a few poems I had written. I was super proud of them (and I still am) because they are some of my best work. Long story short, the editor said that my work was one of their favorites, just not their guest judge’s favorite. And sure, it’s possible that this is something that they just say to everyone, but I would like to believe that I was good enough to be noticed in that way. The thing is, as creative people, we sometimes have to be our own #1 fan. There will be times that, even the people who are closest to us, will have trouble believing in what we dream our future will be. With that in mind, all we can do in this interim between the mundanity of today and the ultimate success of tomorrow is trust that our ultimate goals will be reached. That our lives will eventually be satisfied.

Words of Wisdom from Joy: You May have failed but you’re not a failure.

Now, let’s talk a bit about goals. Goals are what keep me and Joy super excited when rejection or just everyday life are getting in the way of creative space of just happiness. What I like about goals is that, for the most part, you are the only one who is responsible for achieving them. More than that, having longterm goals (and short term goals that feed into them) are a way to keep life moving when you’re in a rut and need a jumpstart. For example: If I set a goal to fit into the clothes I wore before having two babies (this is definitely a longterm one for me), I should also set a short term goal so that I’m not overwhelmed. For me, that short term goal is making sure I’m exercising for the next 30 days so that I can restart good habits.

I bring up goals because, in my opinion, setting goals is the best remedy for feeling rejected. Let’s have another example: I mentioned that I recently was rejected for publication. Instead of wallowing in it, I made writing goals to make sure I don’t stop exercising that muscle because I want to be prepared when my time actually comes. Does that make sense? Setting goals (and reaching them) fuels feelings of accomplishment instead of failure.

Challenge: Try setting two goals. One longterm goal, and one short term goal that can help push the longterm one along. Let me know how it goes! And listen to us (The Some Adulting Required Podcast) on apple podcasts!

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