Rejection can be devastating. You work your heart out, you follow your dreams, you fall flat on your face. Someone in an a higher position may make a huge judgement on you based on a small amount of information. The truth is, they don’t know you. They don’t know what you are capable of. And they don’t know the will and determination you have to succeed. They make a simple judgement or decision that may halt you in your tracks… but don’t despair! Pick your self back up, regroup, work harder, keep moving forward. Climb, jump, run, or fly over that wall, because at the end of the day, it’s only one opinion. One opinion out of billions. For that one person who tells you that you can’t, there may be 100 people who believe that you can. And you need to be one of those people. For a little added inspiration… here’s a series of rejection letters given to celebrities before they became famous. If they had given up based on the opinions of others which were not their own, we would have missed out on these amazing people. The only opinion that matters is yours, and the only “approval” you need to keep following your dreams is your own.
1. U2 – In 1976 Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen, Jr. and Adam Clayton formed a band that would eventually come to be called U2. In 1979 they released a single and submitted it to RSO Records who rejected it with a simple statement saying “we feel it is not suitable for us at present.” A year later U2 signed with Island records and went on to become the number highest grossing, touring band in the world. I wonder what their opinion is now?
2. Andy Warhol – In October of 18, 1956, he sent a painting to the Museum of Modern Art as a gift, and it was politely declined by the museum collectors. He couldn’t give away his painting. Today, that very same museum houses 168 of his works of art. Thank you for the change of heart MoMA, we all make mistakes.
3. Sylvia Plath was given a hard time with her poetry submission to The New Yorker, when being asked to edit/cut half of it out. That didn’t stop her from writing countless poems, many novels and several children’s books and becoming one of the world’s most beloved writers.
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4. Madonna’s album was rejected, saying that the “Material Girl” lacked… material. This didn’t’ stop her from signing with a record label, releasing it anyway and selling more than 10 million copies. Oh, and then she went on to be one of the most iconic and ground breaking performance and recording artists of all time, changing the face of music and inspiring several generations.
5. Tim Burton – While in high school Tim Burton had submitted a children’s book called The Giant Zlig to Walt Disney. They deemed it too similar to Dr Seuss to be marketable and turned him down. If he had stopped then, we’d be missing one of the most extraordinary movie directors and writers of all time.
6. Jim Lee – His art work was rejected by Marvel Comics. They told him to come back when he had better ability to draw hands, and his work was more consistent. He decided to practice really hard, as an artist and a writer, and then become the co-publisher of Marvel’s largest rival, DC Comics.
Need a few more to inspire you to follow your dreams?
Walt Disney was fired from his job at a newspaper for not having any good ideas… he went on to build a movie and fairy tale franchise that has more good ideas in one mouse than most people have in a lifetime.
Oprah Winfrey – Fired as a news reporter because she couldn’t separate her emotions from her stories. She went on to be one of the most famous, powerful, and successful women in the media.
George Orwell – Was turned down by publishers for his novel Animal Farm with the remark, it is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA. This book is now read/taught in every classroom in the United States.
Jerry Seinfeld – Cut from a role on a sitcom. He had to reread the script to even realize he was fired because his part was missing. He went on to film arguably one of the most successful sitcoms of all time.
Elvis Presley – Was told in his early career that he should go back to being a truck driver. He went on to be one of the most iconic singers of all time.
Steve Jobs – Fired from Apple. The company started to fail and he bought it back in 1997. It is now one of the largest brands in the world.
Marilyn Monroe – Early in her career she was told that she was better off becoming a secretary. She went on to become one of the most iconic models and women of all time.
Abraham Lincoln – Demoted in the military. Lost his wife, failed many times in both business and political elections. So finally, he decided that he’d become President of the United States instead.
Michael Jordon – Came home from school and locked himself in his room and cried when he was cut from the high school basket ball team. He went on to become one of the most talented players in the NBA, and one of the most famous athletes of all time.
JK Rowling – Her books were rejected countless times by editors and publishing companies all over England, who believed that her books were too dark and not well suited for children. She eventually got published by a small company and went on to publish the most famous and successful series the world has ever seen. She went from not being able to get her book published in English, to now being published in 69 different languages, and turned into eight different movies.