Why i rejected myself and why you should too! electricity electricity lyrics


“Fear is your friend”. In an interview, inspirational author Elizabeth Gilbert light-heartedly explained: “I am afraid…almost every minute of my life. So, I haven’t conquered it and I am not interested in conquering it. Actually, what my relationship with fear begins with is a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation because fear is the reason I am still alive today…every single one of us can point to a moment in our lives that we survived because we were afraid…that’s its job and it does its job beautifully” [1].

Rejection is a very common phenomenon among writers and academics. The truth is that fear of rejection is one of the greatest of human fears. Just when we get comfortable touting public speaking as our number one fear, Glenn Croston Ph.D. interrupts with the notion that fear of rejection, not public speaking, is the true menace here [2]. It’s not that we really fear public speaking itself as much as being rejected by the audience we stand before. Croston’s revelation has a ring of truth to it; this is why Gilbert’s assurance will do little to calm the nerves of the anxious neophyte, for example, on the verge of making the brave decision to bid out of league.

My memories of my courageous 6-year-old self writing vampire stories still amaze me. Fast forward to today though, and my stomach slightly cowers at the thought of stepping over the limits of what I can and cannot do as a person of my age and educational status. I drank the Kool-Aid of ‘nothing is out of limit for you’ too long ago and it’s beginning to take effect: While I initially accepted the challenge I now found myself vacillating between ‘send’ and debilitating ‘self-doubt’. When the very act of vacillating became more torturous than the potential rejection I feared, on a whim I stopped and did one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. I rejected myself, literally! I grabbed my phone, pulled up its notepad and penned the most eloquent rejection letter you’ve ever seen, and in that moment, I felt the most relieved and empowered I had felt since I first toyed with the idea of submitting the piece. Later, my sister would remark that maybe said publication should hire me to write rejection letters for them.

Having your work rejected is a common thing. In a 2012 article for The Scientist, Ruth Williams quoted Vincent Calcagno, an evolutionary biologist and ecologist at the Institute for Agricultural Research in France, as saying “I went through the frustration as a PhD student of having a nice piece of research that I really liked rejected by five, six, maybe seven journals in a row before it was accepted,” [3] When he shared his dilemma with colleagues he discovered that he was not the only one. He quickly set about collecting all the life science papers published between 2006 and 2008 from 16 different fields of research and contacted more than 200,000 corresponding authors. The results spoke for themselves. Of the 80,000 respondents, 75% admitted to having a first-time submission of theirs rejected. This does not of course take into account the number of life time rejections their submissions had received.

My Rejection letter is merely a form of what John F. Evans describes as Transactional Writing [4]. Even though, he does not know or list it as one, it fits the bill perfectly. Transactional Writing is what he calls “writing to heal”. Evans names 5 kinds of Transactional Letters people may write: compassion, gratitude, empathy, asking for and granting forgiveness. Each of these serves to “complete an exchange of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings with someone else” or yourself, Evans writes in Psychology Today. In other words, create closure. Transactional Writing is effective in taking care of your emotional life and treating with new or unfinished business of the psychological variety. While such a letter follows the convention of letter writing, it requires a shift in your perspective. For instance, in the case of our Rejection Letter, you are writing, neither to your 15-year-old self nor to a deceased parent you wish to forgive, but rather in the voice of the receiving editor to whom you submit. The letter is therefore the editor’s response to you.

Rejection is a reality of the human experience and writing a rejection letter to yourself is majorly beneficial because it helps you practice coping with being rejected. The idea here, is to face your fears so that you become more confident and competent. When I wrote my eloquent rejection letter, it served as a vehicle for venting, ‘getting it out of my system’.

• Inventory– It allows you to realistically and objectively take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of your work and strengthen it (since a real rejection letter usually includes a compliment or two however, subtle). On the other hand, if you feel your work sucks, then doing this exercise will force you to justify why. If you cannot, then you were probably just being too hard on yourself. Here is the opportunity to separate truth from error.

Lleuella Morris successfully grew herself through adverse life situations and now helps liberate people and set them free by sharing knowledge and creating tools, techniques, systems, and frameworks to grow and develop them. She gifts people with the gift of self-knowledge and self-awareness and context to solve their difficult life situations. She enjoys bringing new perspective about God, godliness, Christianity, navigating life on this earth, people, and thorn-in-the-flesh issues.