7 Powerful Strategies to Overcome Being Embarrassed by Rejection in Your Freelance Career

Rejection is Part of a Freelancers Life

Embarrassed by RejectionThere’s a universal feeling that pervades the world of freelancing: being embarrassed by rejection. We’ve all been there. A piece of work that you’ve poured your heart and soul into is pushed back with a curt note of disapproval. The key, though, is not to wallow in this embarrassment but to learn from it and evolve.

In the realm of freelance writing rejection, understanding that rejection is more common than acceptance can help. It can be challenging to avoid feeling embarrassed by rejection, but it’s essential to remember that every piece of criticism is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Rejection – A Constant Companion

As a freelance writer, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with clients rejecting my work. It’s an unavoidable part of the job. In these moments, feeling embarrassed by rejection is natural. What truly makes a difference, however, is how we respond to this rejection.

Being able to handle criticism constructively is the key to growing as a writer. Each instance of criticism is a lesson that can guide our future work and help us improve. By transforming feelings of embarrassment into a drive for betterment, we can turn rejection into an essential part of our growth process. It’s important not to let your fear of being embarrassed by rejection get in the way.

When it comes to freelance writing, most clients aren’t out to hurt your feelings; they just want the best possible outcome for their project. So, instead of being embarrassed by rejection, we must learn to view criticism objectively and improve accordingly.

Accepting Rejection as Part of the Process

The first truth that any freelancer must accept is that rejection is a constant companion in our line of work. As a freelance writer, I have come across clients who outright reject my work, sometimes, albeit rarely, labeling it as horrible. Such instances, although hurtful, often end up being learning experiences. They push me to enhance my interviewing skills, strive for more accuracy in understanding clients’ goals, and ultimately, improve my writing.

As a freelancer, irrespective of your specific field – whether its writing, application development, costume designing, or event planning – rejection is an integral part of your professional journey. Drawing a parallel with the realm of costume design, a poorly received outfit could trigger a heated dispute just as a rejected piece of writing might prompt self-doubt. The critical aspect here is recognizing that rejection doesn’t denote incompetence; instead, it’s an inherent part of the process.

In this digital era where remote freelance opportunities are abundant, dealing with rejection has become an even more essential skill. Given the competitive nature of online freelance platforms, where a vast pool of talent vies for the same projects, facing rejection can become a more frequent occurrence. In such a scenario, treating rejection as feedback for improvement rather than a personal failing can provide a healthier perspective and lessen the embarrassment associated with rejection.

Overcoming the Fear of Rejection

Feeling embarrassed by rejection can be a potent motivational tool. The natural human response to embarrassment is to avoid the situation that caused it. In freelance writing, this means refining our skills and augmenting our efforts to prevent future rejections. Over time, I have realized that the revisions needed to please a dissatisfied client are usually minor. More often than not, it’s a misworded phrase or an unliked term, not a reflection of the whole piece.

When your freelance proposal gets rejected, it can evoke a feeling of embarrassment and doubt. However, viewing these rejections from a constructive lens can help. Rather than perceiving them as a personal critique, treat them as steppingstones to hone your craft and improve your future proposals. This shift in perspective can significantly reduce the fear and embarrassment associated with rejection.

The feeling of being embarrassed by rejection can sometimes stem from a perceived gap between your expectations and your client’s response. As a freelance writer, for instance, you might create content aligning with a client’s brief, only to have it rejected due to a misunderstanding or a shift in their requirements. In such cases, refining your communication skills and ensuring you have a clear understanding of the client’s expectations can mitigate the potential for rejection.

Building Resilience Amidst Rejection

Building resilience is a key factor in overcoming the fear of being embarrassed by rejection. In freelancing, it’s not about if you’ll face rejection, but when. Building resilience involves developing a mental toughness that allows you to maintain a positive attitude and keep moving forward, even in the face of rejection. This is essential for mitigating the feelings of embarrassment that might arise when a project does not pan out as expected.

Developing a growth mindset, where you view challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, can significantly bolster your resilience. This mindset fosters an ability to see beyond the immediate setback of a rejection and focus on the long-term perspective of skill and career development. When you embrace this perspective, the embarrassment of rejection begins to dissipate, replaced by a renewed focus on personal and professional growth.

Furthermore, freelancers need to cultivate a strong support network. This can consist of friends, family, and other freelancers who can empathize with your experiences, provide fresh perspectives, and offer encouragement during challenging times. A strong support network can act as a buffer against the negative emotional impact of rejection and help alleviate associated feelings of BEING embarrassed by rejection.

Harnessing Communication to Reduce Rejection

In the realm of freelancing, effective communication is the linchpin for success. A common cause of rejection is a misalignment between a freelancer’s understanding of a project and the client’s expectations. This gap can often lead to feelings of embarrassment when the delivered work fails to meet the client’s requirements.

One strategy to minimize such scenarios is to ask comprehensive, clarifying questions at the project’s outset. This will not only display your commitment to understanding the client’s needs but also enable you to deliver work that aligns more closely with their expectations, thereby reducing the potential for rejection.

Furthermore, maintaining open and regular communication throughout the project can also help prevent misunderstandings and misconceptions. This proactive approach can help you receive early feedback and make necessary adjustments, preventing significant revisions or outright rejection at a later stage. In turn, this can significantly reduce the embarrassment associated with rejection, as your work is more likely to meet the client’s expectations.

Embarrassment – A Motivational Tool

The sting of being embarrassed by rejection can actually be a potent motivational tool. It’s human nature to avoid situations that cause discomfort or embarrassment. In the context of freelance writing, this means honing our skills and putting in extra effort to minimize future instances of rejection.

Each time I’ve felt embarrassed by rejection, I’ve used it as fuel to better myself. These moments push us to improve our interviewing skills, ensure that we fully understand our clients’ goals and audience, and motivate us to hone our writing further.

The next time you’re feeling embarrassed by rejection, try to see it as an opportunity for self-improvement. Remember, with every rejection comes the chance to grow, learn, and evolve.

Reevaluating Your Worth Post-Rejection

Freelancers often fall into the trap of equating their professional worth with the approval of their clients. However, rejection of a project does not equate to a rejection of you as a professional. It’s crucial to separate your self-worth from your work and understand that a client’s feedback is directed at a specific project and not your overall abilities.

In moments of rejection, it can be beneficial to remind yourself of your past successes and strengths. Consider maintaining a portfolio or a ‘brag file’ that houses positive feedback, testimonials, and successful projects. This file can serve as a tangible reminder of your abilities and achievements when facing rejection, helping you combat feelings of embarrassment and reinforcing your belief in your skills.

Lastly, remember that every professional, regardless of their level of success, experiences rejection. Do not let a few instances of rejection diminish your enthusiasm or overshadow your accomplishments, and, most of all, don’t be embarrassed by rejection. Instead, use them as catalysts to improve and as steppingstones to your next success.

Creating a Positive Narrative Around Rejection

Finally, it’s important to shift the narrative around rejection. Rather than viewing it as a negative event that evokes embarrassment, start seeing it as a regular part of freelancing, an opportunity for growth, and even a badge of honor. After all, it takes courage to put oneself and one’s work out there, vulnerable to critique.

Creating a positive narrative around rejection involves reshaping your thinking and reactions. Rather than focusing on the embarrassment of the moment, concentrate on the opportunities it presents for learning and growth. Cultivating a mindset of perseverance and resilience in the face of rejection can transform these experiences from sources of embarrassment to occasions for personal and professional growth.

At the end of the day, rejection is simply an indicator that something needs to be adjusted. It’s an opportunity to reflect, learn, and improve. By embracing rejection as a part of the freelancing journey and focusing on the positives it can bring, you can effectively overcome being embarrassed by rejection and continue progressing in your career.

The Power of Trying: From Automatic No to Potential Yes

In the world of freelancing, the importance of trying can’t be overstated. Fear or being afraid to be embarrassed by rejection often holds us back from trying new things or reaching out to potential clients. Yet, the fact remains that if you never try, the answer is always an automatic ‘no’. Venturing beyond your comfort zone is critical to unlocking new opportunities and propelling your freelance career forward.

Taking the initiative to try means converting the ‘automatic no’ into a ‘potential yes’. When you submit a proposal, pitch a project, or apply for a job, you give yourself a chance to succeed. Yes, rejection might still come, but there’s also the potential for acceptance, opportunity, and success. The truth is, you never know where an opportunity may lead until you take the leap and try.

In fact, embracing a mindset of trying can make rejections easier to handle over time. When you view each attempt not just as an all-or-nothing shot at success but as a learning experience, rejections become less about personal failure and more about growth and improvement. This mindset can help diminish feelings of embarrassment associated with rejection.

Remember, every successful freelancer has faced numerous rejections along their journey. The difference between those who succeed and those who don’t often lies in their willingness to try, to put themselves out there, and to see opportunities for growth in every outcome. So, banish the automatic ‘no’ by taking the leap, embracing the possibility of ‘yes’, and remembering that every attempt, regardless of its immediate outcome, is a step forward in your freelancing career.

Handling Rejection – The Client’s Perspective

In my years as a freelancer, I’ve found that sometimes clients themselves can feel embarrassed by rejection. They may feel uncomfortable or guilty about having to reject a piece of work, forgetting that there’s a human being on the other end of the email.

Understanding this perspective can help us handle rejection better. Instead of taking it personally and feeling embarrassed by rejection, it’s beneficial to maintain open communication lines and work with the client to improve the deliverable.

Remember, we’re all humans, and we all experience moments of discomfort and embarrassment. Recognizing this can ease feelings of embarrassment and help us approach the situation more objectively.

The Psychology of Confidence: A Cornerstone for Freelance Success

In the dynamic world of freelancing, confidence is more than just a desirable trait—it’s a prerequisite for success. Confidence not only affects how you perceive yourself but also how others perceive you. It shapes your interactions, influences your decisions, and can be the deciding factor between securing a new client or facing rejection. Confidence is about transforming rejection into motivation, replacing embarrassment with determination.

From a psychological perspective, confidence plays a critical role in overcoming the inherent uncertainties of freelance work. The more confidence you have in your abilities and the value you bring, the more resilient you become in the face of rejection or criticism. Moreover, confidence can foster a growth mindset, motivating you to continuously learn, adapt, and improve, which are essential elements for sustained success in freelancing.

Moreover, confidence is contagious. When you project a strong, assured demeanor, potential clients are more likely to trust in your abilities and see you as competent and reliable. It’s a positive feedback loop: the more confidence you exude, the more positive responses you’ll receive, which in turn boosts your self-confidence even more.

However, it’s important to remember that confidence shouldn’t devolve into overconfidence or arrogance. Clients appreciate freelancers who are not only skilled but also humble and willing to learn. Striking a balance between being self-assured and being open to feedback and growth is key.

As a freelancer, nurturing your confidence is just as important as honing your technical skills. When you believe in yourself and what you have to offer, you can navigate the freelance landscape with increased resilience, adaptability, and overall success. Confidence can transform an automatic ‘no’ into a resounding ‘yes’, serving as a key factor in propelling your freelance career to greater heights.

Ghostwriting: Weathering the Storm of Rejection with Resilience

Ghostwriting, like any form of freelancing, comes with its unique set of challenges, chief among them being the frequent face-off with rejection. Ghostwriters are often hidden behind the scenes, investing their creativity, time, and energy into a piece, only to face the possibility of it not aligning with the client’s vision. This constant threat of rejection can be disheartening, but seasoned ghostwriters know it’s all part of the journey; however, feeling embarrassed by rejection doesn’t have to be a norm for ghostwriters.

Similar to the broader freelancing landscape, rejection in ghostwriting is not always a reflection of the quality of your work. It’s often more about differing expectations or a mismatch between your writing style and the client’s voice. This is where the importance of communication shines through. Clear, open dialogues about the project’s requirements, style, tone, and deadlines can significantly reduce the chances of rejection.

Resilience and adaptability are crucial traits for ghostwriters. Resilience helps maintain confidence in your capabilities, even in the face of rejection. It’s about understanding that a ‘no’ is not an indictment of your skills, but rather an invitation to refine your approach, gather more information, and try again. Adaptability, on the other hand, allows you to adjust your writing style to better fit the client’s vision, which can reduce instances of rejection.

Importantly, the psychology of confidence plays a vital role in ghostwriting. A confident ghostwriter can better sell their skills, manage expectations, and negotiate terms. This confidence can also shield you from the adverse effects of rejection, reminding you not to take it personally but as an opportunity for growth.

Ghostwriting involves frequent encounters with rejection. Still, by maintaining a confident, resilient, and adaptable mindset, these rejections can transform into steppingstones towards becoming a more skilled and successful ghostwriter. Always remember, each ‘no’ brings you one step closer to the next ‘yes’.

Coping With Rejection: 12 Powerful Strategies

Navigating the turbulent waters of the freelancing world often entails dealing with a fair share of rejection. While it’s natural to feel embarrassed by rejection, it’s crucial to handle this feeling constructively and learn from it. To help you in this endeavor, here are 12 powerful strategies to cope with rejection:

  1. Stay professional: Don’t let rejection take a toll on your professionalism. Maintain decorum and respond to criticism with grace.
  2. Accept and internalize: Rejection is an integral part of growth. Accept it, internalize it, and learn from it.
  3. Constructive criticism is your friend: Don’t view criticism as a personal attack but a tool for learning and betterment.
  4. Don’t dwell on it: It’s easy to dwell on rejection, but it’s not productive. Instead, focus on improving and moving forward.
  5. Understand the client’s perspective: Remember, clients just want the best for their project. Try to understand their perspective.
  6. Open communication: Communicate openly with the client. Understand their needs and address them in your revisions.
  7. Improvement is key: Use rejection as a motivational tool to improve your skills and deliver better work.
  8. Be persistent: Persistence is key in the freelancing world. Don’t let one rejection discourage you from pursuing future opportunities.
  9. Develop resilience: Learn to bounce back from rejection. Resilience will help you stay grounded and focused, even in the face of criticism.
  10. Believe in your abilities: Confidence is the antidote to feeling “embarrassed by rejection.” Believe in your abilities and deliver your work with conviction.
  11. Maintain a positive outlook: Stay positive and look at the bigger picture. Every rejection is a step closer to acceptance.
  12. Seek support and advice: Reach out to fellow freelancers for support and advice. Their experiences and insights can provide you with a fresh perspective on handling rejection.

Remember that feeling embarrassed by rejection is a normal part of any freelancer’s journey, but how you choose to handle it can make all the difference. By incorporating these strategies into your freelance routine, you can turn rejection into a potent tool for growth and improvement. In doing so, we can turn rejection from a cause for embarrassment into a steppingstone towards success.


Feeling embarrassed by rejection is a normal part of any freelancer’s journey. However, it’s not the rejection itself, but how we respond to it, that truly matters. So, the next time you face a rejection, remember to see it as a steppingstone towards growth and improvement. In doing so, we can turn embarrassment into enlightenment, and rejection into a pathway to success.

Richard Lowe
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Fransic verso

I’ve had some rejections in my blogging freelancer jounry and it was not pleasnet to say the least haha. However, I do remid myself and keep myself together and fix it or improve if needed to reach the qualifications or standard. This is a great reminder.


Absolutely. Rejection is something all freelancers encounter at some point. It’s important to remember that it’s not the rejection itself that defines us, but how we handle it and grow from it. Viewing rejection as an opportunity for improvement and learning is key to turning it into a positive experience. It’s all about shifting our perspective and using rejection as a stepping stone towards success.

Catherine Kay

This article on overcoming embarrassment from rejection in a freelance career is exactly what I needed! The seven strategies you outlined are practical and empowering.


Constructive criticism has already been really hard for me to take. The older I get the more I realize how I can grow from it.


I think any newbie should read this! I have never had a fear of rejection, but I have a friend who’s just getting started, and it’s a big roadblock for her.

Kimberley Asante

Your piece on dealing with rejection is so relatable and comforting. I love how you offer practical advice and a positive perspective to help readers overcome their fears.

Dawn McAlexander

Constructive criticism is definitely your friend. We can’t expect to start out perfect. We have to learn and grow.