The deeper you get into your work, the harder it is to separate your self from what you’re working on.

You’ll notice that the more passionate, the more involved you are, the more the deep dark stuff of your unconscious seeps out.

It’s easier to live life on the surface. That way when rejection happens, it doesn’t hurt as much. You failed, but you didn’t care anyway.

But what happens when what you’re failing at means the world to you?

It hits at your core, purpose, and sense of self-worth.

If you’re writing about a company, it stings a little when you mess up. When you write an essay about your kids or submit a manuscript and receive a rejection, it feels a hell of a lot worse.

We will inevitably fail at some point on the path toward doing the work that matters to us. If you are in the creative field, you’ll fail more than others because art is subjective. Not only does what you write have to be good, it has to matter to the person reading it. In other words, it has to be marketable. You could write the baddest, coolest, on point piece there ever was, but if you don’t have an audience for it, that publisher just won’t touch it. That’s the reality of publishing. It will break hearts. Just make sure it doesn’t break your spirit.

How do you survive rejection?

You practice the art of self-compassion. You realize what you write has something to do with who you are, but it’s not everything. You remember you are still a worthy person. You tell yourself habitually that what that publisher or editor says has nothing to do with your sense of self. And every author, heck every successful person has gone through what you’ve gone through. It doesn’t mean you suck. It doesn’t mean you are a loser or failure.

This is only another lesson in learning to deal with your stuff. Getting a book deal is not the end of rejection. It doesn’t end when you published your book or even when it hits the New York Times bestseller’s list. There will always be the potential for outside feedback to destroy you. That’s why the first task is to work on yourself.

Do it now while the challenges are still small. Tell yourself every day you’re getting better, it’s okay to be where you are, and eventually you will get there.

Success doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not just based on your finances and especially not on fame. It’s determined by resilience, happiness and your ability to know that who you are is more important than what you’ve achieved.

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