Handling Rejection

By Grantley Morris
© Copyright, 1991, 1996

This Page in Chinese Simplified Characters, Chinese Traditional Characters

Rejected reject hit by rejection

Laughs and inspiration
from the lives of famous people

An hilariously helpful look at life’s devastating blows

When hit by rejection, it is uplifting to know you are not alone. Let’s begin by exploring this thought and follow it up with other insights to empower you to spring back to effectiveness after a major blow.

    Rejection 1 A teenager’s low popularity convinced her that she was not attractive. She became a top fashion model, hailed by many as the most beautiful woman in the world. All those who had ignored her are now boasting that they had gone to school with Claudia Schiffer!

    Rejection 2 Rejected as too awkward and clumsy to be a ball boy in a Davis Cup tennis match, Stan Smith went on to become the officially ranked number one tennis player in the world (1972-1973).

    Rejection 3 Would-be crime novelist John Creasey received an unbroken succession of 743 rejection slips. Over sixty million of his books have now been published.

    Rejection 4 ‘What will they send me next!’ said Edmund Hillary’s gym instructor of the puny school boy now known as the man who conquered Mount Everest.

    Rejection 5‘Balding, skinny, can dance a little,’ they said of Fred Astaire at his first audition.

    Rejection 6 Beethoven’s music teacher declared him ‘hopeless’ at composing.

    Rejection 7 Albert Einstein’s parents feared he was sub-normal.

    Rejection 8 Mentally backward Max Raffler loved to paint. Over the years, as his paintings piled ever higher, his sisters would burn them to make room for more. Finally, when an old man, his artistic ability was recognized. The well-meaning sisters had destroyed paintings that would have sold for tens of millions of dollars.

    Rejection 9 It was the dead of night. A shadow slunk down the street. It was Charles with the dickens of a problem. He was off to mail his manuscript, huddling his guilty secret, petrified lest friends find out and ridicule him. The manuscript was rejected. More rejections pierced him before he won the hearts of millions with such classics as Oliver Twist.

    Rejection 10 As Billy Graham preached, a missionary’s daughter battled an almost uncontrollable urge to run out of the meeting. It was his future wife, and it wasn’t conviction that made her squirm. It was her response to what she considered appalling preaching.

    Rejection 11 Said Professor Erasmus Wilson of Oxford University, ‘I think I may say without contradiction that when the Paris Exhibition closes, electric light will close with it, and no more will be heard of it.’

    Rejection 12 An invitation was extended to witness one of humanity’s most historic moments – the Wright brothers’ first flight in their heavier-than-air machine. Five people turned up.

    Rejection 13 H. B. Warner of Warner Brothers fame scoffed at the notion of ‘talkies.’ No one would want to hear movie actors talk.

    Rejection 14 Television, too, was once written off. It would never appeal to the average American family, pronounced the New York Times.

    Rejection 15 To these could be added a gaggle of other instances, too humorous to mention.

    (See Rejection . . . Rejection . . . Rejection! for still more examples)

    Coping with rejection If only we could laugh in the midst of our trial. Coping with rejection and apparent failure is a serious matter. The tragic death of John Kennedy Toole screams this truth at anyone lucky enough to need an explanation. No publisher would touch Toole’s book. In a vain attempt to kill the pain, he suicided. Posthumously, his book was published. It won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

    But don’t scoff at the scoffers. In its early stages, virtually every great achievement has seemed pathetically insignificant.

    The critics

    Many of us have stifled our life by heeding some misguided critic who implied we were not good enough.

    Few things in life are certain. But criticism is.

    Though spineless people-pleasers try hard, no one totally avoids criticism. Being right doesn’t help. Neither does loving everyone, or being perfect. The world crucified the only One with these qualities. Everything he did upset someone. He was criticized even by friends, family and religious leaders. Twenty centuries later, with the advantage of hindsight, he is still slandered.

    Did you know ???

    Pirate * Most actors wanting the role of Long John Silver are hopelessly inadequate. They have too many legs.

    fighting rejection * Most people look like ridiculously overdressed, non-Japanese, anorexic sumo wrestlers.

    * When I was younger I could run faster than Carl Lewis. Over the years my superiority gradually waned, especially after baby Carl learned to walk.

    I know what you’re thinking: I’ve finally blown a fuse upstairs. Before you start sending get-well cards, however, let me assure you I’m as sane as anyone else here in the psychiatric ward.

    My point is this: whether you see yourself as gifted or queer, indispensable or inadequate, depends entirely on the frame of reference you choose. From God’s frame of reference – the life’s work he has chosen for you – no one is as perfectly endowed as you.

    If that seems like soppy idealism, you have not thought it through. Do so, and it will become a treasured source of strength and inspiration. You could choose any person and fill volumes with what he or she cannot do or is hopeless at, but that’s of no more concern than the fact that a DVD player cannot fly, quench thirst, tie shoelaces, and prevent tooth decay. Besides the endless list of things a DVD player cannot do, many of the things it can do, it does poorly. It’s an inferior paperweight, straightedge, and bookend. You could use it as a fly-swatter – once. Such lists miss the critical point: anything skillfully designed is ideally equipped – and usually solely equipped – for the specific and commendable purpose for which it was made.

    Turning rejection upside down Of course you cannot do everything. That was never your Designer’s intention. But to imagine that your Creator will not fashion you with perfection for your reason for existence, is to accuse your Maker of impotence and incompetence. Face facts: everything God does is impressive. For the exact role that he created you, you are superbly endowed. All you need do is yield to him.

    You Can Find Love With the right approach you can find the perfect lover without risking rejection

    Rejected by God! Coping with what seems the ultimate rejection

    I’ve Gotta be Me! For those devastating times when you feel useless

    Afraid? Help and Inspiration When Gripped by Fear

    How to Boost Self-Esteem

    Coping with Criticism and Slander When slanderously criticized, you stand in holy company

    Revenge! Satisfying the lust for revenge

    Don’t reject me, e-mail Me!  cope@net-burst.net

    It Costs Too Much to Become a Christian                 Issues That Make Christians Squirm                 I hate ‘God’


    Briner, Bob Lambs Among Wolves Zondervan Publishing House Grand Rapids Michigan, 1995

    Hanks, Kurt and Parry, Jay A. Wake Up Your Creative Genius William Kaufmann, Inc., Los Altos, CA, 1983.

    Health Yourself Newsletter, Nov 1994, p 3

    Knight, Peter Positively No: The Book of Rejection Unwin Paperbacks, London, 1985.

    Mackenzie, Norman and Jeanne Dickens: A Life Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, 1979.

    Norfolk, Donald Farewell to Fatigue Michael Joseph, London, 1985.

    Petersen, William J Catherine Marshall Had a husband Living Books, Wheaton, Illinois 1986.

    Petersen, William J Martin Luther Had a Wife Bridge Publishing, Chepstow, UK, 1984.

    Renwick, A. W. The Story of the Church Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester, England, 1958.

    Taylor, Dr. and Mrs. Howard Biography of James Hudson Taylor Hodder and Stroughton, Kent, 1965.

    Tucker, Ruth A From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1983.

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