Courage to Grow: The art of rejection

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are” –e.e. Cummings

Each week we share a piece of us on our photographic journey. We have titled this series, “Courage to Grow”. We hope that our own soul searching will inspire similar introspection in our readers and that together we can make our best art and live our best lives

This morning I woke up to a rejection email. It read, " We love your work but it doesn't suit our style". Thanks, but no thanks. Gah! Rejection served before my morning coffee. I felt a sense of sadness and disappointment. There are no other words, but to say,  "Rejection sucks". 

We don't share our rejections. We normally only share this with our partner or close friends. We don't go on to our social media, and post, " Got rejected today. Yippee!". We share our wins and  our joy. We share the highs and not the lows.  Many marketing gurus tell you not to share your lows. It is bad for your brand and business. However to be real and authentic, like my heroes Elizabeth and Brene, we need to be vulnerable. We need to share the lows, and this is why I tell you now.  

All of these positive posts are a fabricated joy. If I was to go by people's post, then I see celebrations about features  in magazines, and I see  corporate client contracts. I see photographers who are so busy they can't think. I see images that are loved by many and featured on all of the photography blogs. I see lots of highs and very little lows. 

It can leave you feeling like  you are the only one to enjoy rejection. I know this is not true, but all these positive posts can make you feel like you are alone. It can lead you down the path of self loathing. You can walk hand in hand with Mr Low Self Esteem while he chats about your failures. You begin to question your work, and wonder how you can be a better photographer. 

I am not doing this. I have been down this path too many times, and I know it leads to tears. I have sat wondering why they are rejecting my art, and why they don't like me. It is easy to take rejection as a personal insult. If I put my work out there, if I am creative, then I will also be rejected. I will have wins, and I will have loses. Simple as that! Rejection is not the monster we fear.

I am not sharing my rejection for sympathy but so you know that you are not alone when rejections visits you. I know I will survive this rejection, as will you. We will live another day. The contents of the email could be so much, and this is what I focus on. I know this is part of my artistic journey. I will learn a lesson from the rejection some point down the path of my artist journey. For today, I will learn to enjoy my coffee before I check my emails. Rejection served before my morning coffee leaves a serious aftertaste. 

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My name is Cindy Cavanagh, and I  live in Sydney, Australia. I am a Lifestyle photographer of real moments and I love the language of light and of colour.  I am  a storyteller, an artist, and a photographer. I'm also   Co-Editor of the Long Way Home Magazine. I am  a Mum to 5 gorgeous and crazy children.  I enjoy baking, a good coffee, and escaping with a good historical fiction novel. Yes, I am blessed. 

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