HEALTH – JANUARY 2014

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From the TINY BUDDAH.COM  some wisdom to help you when you experience rejection..

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald

I spent years training as a psychologist, waiting for the day I would graduate and finally have time to explore my second passion—writing.

When I opened a private practice I left my mornings free, and over the next fourteen years I wrote six screenplays, two novels, and a children’s book. But mostly I wrote letters, thousands of them, to agents, editors, and producers, asking them to read my work.

They rejected every manuscript I sent them.

After fourteen years of rejection, my mood, my confidence, my motivation, and my hope of ever being published or produced were fading. I felt too drained, too wounded to continue writing. I knew I needed to heal.

Since I was a psychologist, my first move was to check out the latest research on rejection.

I found that the same areas of the brain become activated when we experience rejection as when we experience physical pain. In other words, rejections hurt because they literally mimic physical pain in our brain.

I also discovered there are five things we can do to sooth the emotional pain rejections elicit, as well as to speed our psychological recovery:

 

1. Stop the bleeding. Stop being sefl -critical and stop believing you somehow deserve it.

2. Revive your self-worth. The best way to restore confidence, motivation, and especially self-esteem after a bruising rejection is to use self affirmation exercise. First, make a list of qualities you have you know have value, and second, write a brief essay about one of them. Third, connect to those who appreciate and love you.

3. Connect to those who appreciate and love you. One way to settle ourselves after a rejection is to reach out to our core group—be they friends, colleagues, or family members—to get emotional support from them and remind ourselves we’re valued, loved and wanted.

4. Assess potential changes. At times we might need to reassess our strategy, especially after multiple rejections (or in my case, many hundreds).

5. Try again soon. Another common reaction to rejection is to avoid any situation that might  expose us to additional pain. But that’s an impulse we have to fight. Avoiding situations only makes us more fearful of them. I did a few months of research and started writing again. This time, it was a non-fiction proposal for a psychology/self-help book.

I held my breath and sent it to an agent. She liked it and submitted it to several publishing houses.

They did not reject it.

Rejection is a form of psychological injury, one that can and should be treated. The next time your feelings hurt after a rejection, take action, treat your emotional wounds, and heal.

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