What the Color Pink Can Teach You About Rejection
Earlier this week, I stumbled on early reviews for Choose Wonder Over Worry that I didn’t know existed. As I discovered, the book was given for free in exchange for honest reviews.
When I read things like, “I had a hard time finishing this book” and “I encourage Ms. Rae to continue to write, maybe fiction,” my heart started pounding, my knees became weak, and I felt like I was going to faint… or vomit.
My worst nightmare was coming true: people hating something I poured so much of myself into.
Even though I’ve received other early reviews like, “I feel like you were speaking directly to me,” and “This is one of the best books I’ve ever read,” I couldn’t shake the sensation of rejection and fear erupting through my body.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar scenario?
After taking a few deep breaths, I reached out to Ash Ambirge — a dear writer friend — spilling to her what happened, and asking for perspective.
Her reply was so good that I had to share it with you.
She likened rejection to the color pink, saying:
“You are either a person who loves the color pink, or you cannot stand the color pink. This doesn’t mean anything is wrong with the color pink. It’s just our preferences that makes us love it or hate it. How sad would it be if pink didn’t exist because one person didn’t like it, or it tried to be a faded version of itself?”
When we speak our truth and create things that reflect our preferences, it will be polarizing. Some people will hate it. Others will love it. And that’s actually a good thing.
It reminds me of what I learned from Seth Godin when I worked with him years ago. He taught me that what you create shouldn’t be for everyone. If you try to please all, you’ll make something average. Instead, seek to wow and delight those who want to go on a journey with you.
Some people will love my occasional use of the word “fuck," for example. Others will find this offensive. Some will see themselves in the raw and honest stories of relationship turbulence, struggles with addiction, and failures in business. Others will not. And that’s fine. It’s glorious and useful, actually, because rejection helps us redirect our energy toward those who are most aligned with our work.
As always, we have a choice: we can play it safe and try to win over everyone, or we can dare to speak our truth and let our life be a reflection of it.
Which will you choose?