I spend a lot of time advising writers not to let rejection get them down. But today, I am offering a difference bit of advice on the same subject. Instead of thinking of ways to ignore the sting is failure, let's try learning how to celebrate successes-- no matter how small.
Have you noticed the way that we tend to take negativity to heart, no matter what the source? For example, if a deranged stranger on the subway insults you-- says you're fat or something-- you may spend the whole day thinking back on it, being angry or hurt. But if that same person were to give you a compliment, you wouldn't be on cloud 9 all day. Instead you would consider the source-- he was just some nut on the train... and how come I can never get any attention from XYZ person, etc. How many times have you heard a friend or even yourself respond to positive feedback by saying, "Well, that doesn't count because....."
A couple years ago, I realised that I had a bad case of this disorder. I noticed that I could quote negative reviews chapter and verse. (And truthfully, they weren't all that negative. They just weren't raves.) But when I got a rave, I explained it away. "Well, that was just because I am a local girl." or something like that.
I was doing this in every aspect of my life. At the time I was trying to lose weight. When I would get on the scale and had gained half a pound-- so frustrated, in the wrong direction a half pound was a LOT. If I lost half a pound-- why wasn't it a full pound!!-- still frustrated.
The remedy, is that I started keeping a little "love list." At night when I got through plaiting up my crazy hair, I would jot down every nice thing that was said to me that day, every positive thing I had done toward my goals. I wrote down everything-- no matter how small. (When the lady at the Thai restaurant brought me a free taste of coconut ice-cream, I wrote that down. Kind emails from readers, printed them out. When a dude sleeping on a bench said, "You are one good looking lady," I put that on the list. The next day when he said, "I may be homeless, girl, but I ain't blind!" I put that down, too.) Then, the next morning when I drank my coffee, I read the list from the day before.
I know it sounds kooky but it really improved my outlook on life. And kookier still, when I opened my eyes to the affirmation I received, it seemed that the list each day just kept getting longer and longer.