October 21

Rejection of Work and Worth

Creative work is subjective. You can labor for weeks on a project and deliver something that you fully believe in only to have it rejected by the stakeholders for some nebulous, maybe even undefined, reason. In those moments, it’s easy to take the rejection personally and feel it deeply. After all, it was your idea, your execution, your risk. It stings, and rightly so.

While it’s perfectly fine to feel the pain of rejection when it occurs, it’s important to be mindful of what happens next. Sometimes that moment of rejection can morph into a season of feeling like a reject. The temporary moment of rejection turns into a nametag bearing the name “Reject,” and you begin to wonder if you’ve lost a step and if you’ll ever be as good as you once were.

A rejection of your work is not a rejection of your worth. Yes, it’s nat- ural to feel the sting when your work isn’t chosen, but that is not a state- ment about the value that you inherently carry as a human being, nor is it a statement about your capabilities as a creative pro. It’s a statement about one moment in time, with one project, in one specific situation, with one set of stakeholders.

The rejection of your work is not a rejection of your worth. The best path beyond rejection is to throw yourself into the next project.


Are you allowing the rejection of your work to define you?

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