Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Rejection - My Worst Fear
Gotta love J-Law.
It's a part of human nature to have fears, to know that there's something out there that could possibly harm you, or upset you, or anger you - and to not want to associate with it. You could be scared of practically anything - whether it's arachnophobia (fear of spiders) or triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) - but the one thing that's same across all fears is that horrible feeling you experience when you know you have to face your fears. Your legs go weak, your mouth goes dry, you shiver and sweat at the same time... the emotion of fear is in itself fearful!
Let's be honest. Everybody is scared of something or the other; you are, too - don't deny it! In that sense, the word 'fearless' doesn't seem to make sense. Fearless means without 'fear'. People take it literally, to describe someone who is scared of nothing in the world. I disagree.
Being fearless, being brave... it doesn't mean you're not scared of anything. It means you have fears, but you know how to control them. You know how to deal with being scared.
This was such a good movie! :')
Well, I can't say I'm fearless. I'll be honest, I haven't actually experienced all of my fears, and I have a lot of them. Spiders, fire, drowning, and pain are only a few of them. I don't even know if I fear them or simply dislike them. I've never burnt my hand, or been in horrible pain. I simply don't want to experience any of it.
But I do know that there is something I am terribly scared of - Rejection. But I know now that I can control it, to an extent, and even understand myself better through it.
I remember the first time I was 'rejected'. I was probably twelve or thirteen, excited about the fact that I had finished typing out my entire novel on MS Word. And what was the next step? Becoming a published writer, of course!
I printed the first few chapters, wrote a plot summary and attached my biodata. And then I sent it to Penguin India via courier, wondering when they would reply and tell me they loved it.
Days passed, even months, maybe - I'm not sure. But one day I came home from school, and there it was, waiting for me. They hadn't sent back my manuscript - just a flimsy envelope. So I ripped it open and scanned the letter quickly. Then I reread it again to make sure I wasn't mistaken. And then I realised what had just happened - I'd been rejected.
I still remember how much I'd cried, even thought that I was the worst writer in the world, that I would never get anything other than a rejection letter. It took me weeks to recover, to finally get the courage to start writing again. I read through my novel and found plot errors everywhere. My characters were one-dimensional. My grammar was poor; my writing skills were blunt.
I made corrections, changed parts of the story, even, and resent the manuscript to more publishers, two or three at the same time. They all sent me the same letter, with the same excuse - 'We have too many manuscripts at hand and will be unable to accept yours'. I knew it was false; they were just being nice. I was upset again, of course, but it was easier getting over these rejection letters as compared to my first one.
I realise now that it's alright to be rejected, to fail at something, for someone to remind you that you aren't as good as you thought you were. What's more important is how you deal with it. It's still difficult for me to take criticism - I curse, I shout, I swear in my mind - but after clearing my head, I understand that not everybody is going to like what I say, or do, or write. What matters is that I do the best that I can achieve.
Forget the haters, 'cause somebody loves ya!
I still worry sometimes before publishing my blog posts, before approaching a new person, before giving suggestions in class - what if I get rejected? But then I remember that rejection is good. It's scary, but good.
You just have to understand that you're either rejected when you're wrong, or when the other person is wrong.
If you think the other person has made the mistake, you can't do anything about it. Maybe that person doesn't realise what a great friend you could be, or maybe that person is too authoritative to accept new ideas. Let it go. It isn't your fault and you can't do anything about it. There's no point worrying. :)
But when you reflect on the situation and realise that it is your fault, you just have to learn from your mistakes, like I did. Using 'big' words for no reason in every sentence didn't make my writing seem mature, it just made me seem like a pretentious pre-teen.
Another thing to remember is that once you're rejected, it isn't the end of life. It doesn't mean you've failed. Then again, even failing doesn't mean you'll never succeed. Every fear has to be conquered - and the only way to do so is to try again.
Like with spiders - the first few times one crawls up your arm, you scream. Even after it's off your body, or not even on you, in the first place, the tingling sensation remains. The next few times, you're afraid, but you shake it off. Finally, when you're ready to be free from your fear, you look closely at the spiders and realise that they're pretty cool, actually, what with the web-spinning, wall-crawling action! :D
It's the same with rejection. First you cry, then you're disappointed and upset, and then you realise that you have to get over it. You look back, understand what you did wrong and what you did right, and you grow as a person.
That's life. :)
Well, I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Let me know - what are you scared of, and how did you get over your fears? Do tell me in the comments below.
Until next time!