Rejection Redemption / by Carolyn Wright

Rejection--used to be, no one wanted that!

Lately, it’s become popular, lucrative even.  

Accepted? Rejected? We’ll find out soon! Either way, it’s a win for me!

Accepted? Rejected? We’ll find out soon! Either way, it’s a win for me!

Just Google the word and you’ll find out about the man who determined to be rejected 100 days in a row, beginning by asking a perfect stranger to give him $100.  And then there is the woman who has made the concept of seeking after rejection part of a year-long coaching program. For them, and for others, the experience of being rejected has become a game-changer, a way to expand your life and livelihood.

Me, I’m still  stuck back on the playground at age eight, waiting to be picked for a kickball team when I think about rejection. Last to be picked, that’s one of my earliest and most painful rejection experiences.  Which set me up for attempting, thereafter, to avoid that pain by avoiding rejection.

Fast-forward to the present: as an artist, I want people to see my work, and I especially want them to see it in person, because no matter how wonder the latest iPhone display is, nothing compares with being there.  So how do people see my work?

In art exhibits.

And how do I get into art exhibits?  I have to apply--along with hundreds (yes, sometimes thousands, depending on the show) of other artists.  

Guess what?  

I get rejected.

Used to be, I would decide to enter  a show (or not!) based on whether I thought my work would be accepted.  As in, not rejected.

But this year, based on what I’ve read about all these people who have been using rejection for good in their lives, I’m striving for my own record number of rejections from art shows.  One hundred works of art rejected by the end of 2019 (Not 100 show rejections--at $40 or so a pop to enter, that gets too pricey).

So far, I’ve got three rejections--and one acceptance!  You can see the accepted piece in the TREE-mendous show at the Hill Center in Washington, DC, now through the end of April.  Eight more pieces are out there, waiting to be judged, and I’ll enter three more shows (another eight pieces) in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, I’m looking for more venues in which to be rejected.  Switching up the mindset totally switches up the energy and drive.  I’ll let you know how close I come to reaching the goal!