Coby Shimabukuro

You never heard from me last week because I had a bad case of the Don’t-Want-Tos.

What I didn’t want to do was create, add my voice, be generous, walk my talk, triumph over failure, be passionate, be remarkable, express myself, show up, lead a tribe, collaborate, live on purpose, take action, educate.

How about I just hesitate, I thought.

Then I could drown in the fog of miffed-ness* that surrounds that crushing feeling of failure, which precipitated my Don’t Want To flu.

* According to autocorrect, miffed-ness isn’t a real word. But it’s a real problem.

Look, I know you want to know what happened but I’m not getting into it. What matters here is that I was rejected and it stung.

So I did what any self-respecting speaker-in-training does when she’s mauled and left for dead, I trawled Google, looking for the online equivalent of a ginger shot, a hot water bottle and a darkened room.

Here’s what I found.

Rejection is not about you

It’s hard to swallow but when you’re rejected, whether it’s for a role in a movie, an offering for a client, or ouch, an inability to make an impact on your audience, it’s not about you. It’s not proof of your value, but rather proof that what you have doesn’t fit what they need.

The idea that really helped me was this one: Rejection is something that affects you, not defines you.

You’re braver than you think

It takes a lot of spirit to put yourself out there, poised for potshots. Reframe the situation and congratulate yourself on having the nerve to do what you did.

And then pluck up the courage to do it again.

Receive it graciously

Without meaning to sound corny, I learn a lot from my husband. With a career in film he knows what it feels like to take criticism. It’s hard. Yet it’s the ginger shot he swallows to become a better performer, writer and director.

Saying ‘yes’ to rejection means it’s not the end of the story. It’s the fuel for the journey.

Is what I tell myself. And my hottie.

Now you

Have you ever been rejected? What did you do?