Did you know that JK Rowling was turned down by the twelve largest publishers when she presented her first Harry Potter draft to them? It was a small publisher called Bloomsbury who eventually accepted it, but only printed 1 000 copies. Today, Rowling has sold more than 400 million copies of her books, and is considered to be the most successful female author in the United Kingdom.
Imagine how much less colourful the imaginations of millions of children (and adults) would have been had JK Rowling accepted these dozen rejections. Had she believed these twelve No thank yous and given up on getting her manuscript published, we would never have known her or the magical world she had to share.
My question to you is: Do you have a Harry Potter-story you’ve kept from the world?
Reconcile with your right to succeed
Last week, South Africans celebrated Human Rights Day—a day of reconciliation following the tragic events of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre. Over the years, this particular day has become an important reminder for South Africans; one that reminds us to continue advocating human rights and educating one another on what our human rights are. And although there are important, well-known human rights we tend to remember, I want to draw your attention to a right you might not be aware of.
The right to succeed in life.
Apart from JK Rowling, there are many other famous celebrities that faced adversity before they made it big. Oprah Winfrey, for example, apparently got fired because she couldn’t sever her emotions from her stories. Her biggest strength as an interviewer today? Making real connections with her audience.
Another great example is Albert Einstein, one of the greatest minds of our time. Einstein only started speaking when he was four years old and reading when he was seven. The list goes on and on.
From being told you’ll never amount to anything, or that it would be better to “just be friends” or that you’re not talented enough to make a living from your passion, almost all of us has faced a situation where we had a choice to make: Believe someone’s opinion about us, or believe that we deserve success.
The key to many of these celebrities and historical figures is that they used that rejection to their advantage.
Yes, our feelings get hurt, our self-esteem takes a hit, and it unsettles our feeling of belonging, but this is the pivotal moment. Choose to believe that this is an opportunity to grow. The saying goes that rejection is simply a necessary step towards success.
Set yourself up for success
The trick is to respond to rejection in a constructive way that, instead of killing a dream, cultivates it. Remember, every person has the human right to succeed, and only you can choose to believe it or not.
So, make the choice today: will you give in to other people’s negative remarks, or will you rise to success? If you choose the latter, I can help you hone those natural leadership and growth skills that are ready to come out. Join me in one of my Leadership Programmes, Emotional Intelligence Growth Workshops, or Strengths in Action Programmes today, and find out what your true value is.
To get in contact with me, pop an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can figure out exactly what you need to fulfil your human right as a successful person.
By Tricia Jones, founder of Capacity Builder