What Beyonce Taught Me About Rejection

This is her performing at Stevie Wonder's tribute earlier this year. I was screaming so loud and dancing so hard, I know my neighbors thought I was crazy!
Queen Bey herself performing at Stevie Wonder’s tribute earlier this year. I was screaming so loud and dancing so hard, I know my neighbors thought I was crazy!

Sooo…. Everyone who knows me knows how much I loves me some Beyonce. Obviously she’s one of the most beautiful women in the world, and can sing her head off.  But I think I love  her so much because she’s so inspiring. I mean her work ethic is more than out of this world. I mean who can secretly record an album, secretly produce a short film for EVERY song on said album, and with no promotion or marketing release said album overnight and  then have that album debut at #1 and sell almost a million copies in 3 days? Beyonce. That’s who.  And its been amazing to watch her career and personal life evolve and grow over the past 20 years.

I am an official card carrying member of the Beyhive, honey! And I’m not ashamed of it.

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I think Beyonce is truly at her best in the “The Love on Top” video. I love EVERYTHING about it.  I love the song, which is so upbeat and fun and catchy and shows off her vocal skills.  It has an old school feel, which I love. I love the choreographed dancing, which will make me break an ankle, if I don’t acknowledge my limits. I love the unexpected wardrobe changes. I love the homage to New Edition, and the Temptations and other famous R&B male groups. I love the simple beauty of the setting and the beginning of the video. And I love how she ends the video by calling “cut” and walking off the set like a boss! And did I mention she was PREGNANT doing all those moves?  Whenever I’m in a sad or bad mood, this video improves my mood almost IMMEDIATELY. Its part of my coping toolkit. Check it out below if you’ve never seen it:

But as fabulous as I think Beyonce is, I’m sure she just doesn’t “do” it for some of you reading this. In fact, I didn’t like her all that much about 15 years ago. It took me awhile to get on the Beyonce bandwagon, but once I did there was no looking back!

If, for example, you watch this same video that I am head over heels crazy for on Youtube, you will find that of 181,153,005 people who watched it, “only” 641,870 (including me!) took the time to actually “like” it and an astounding (to me) 24,285 expressly disliked it.

Let me repeat that. 24,285 people disliked the same video that I think is better than sliced bread. What?? Are these people blind? Do that not get Queen Bey’s excellence??

In short. The answer is no. This video and song are simply not for them. End of story. Does Beyonce stop being her fabulous self, because there are thousands (and probably millions) of people out there who don’t like her? Does she stop being beautiful? Does she stop recording? Does she stop being the highest paid female artist of all time? Does she stop being the highest paid Black artist of all time? Does she lose any of her magnificence?

NO.

Her brilliance and people’s rejection of her brilliance can and do exist in the same world at the same moment. This was a huge revelation to me. Just because people dislike or reject something, doesn’t mean that it loses inherent value. It’s simply not for them. They value something different.

Being rejected and disliked is not fun. And we’ve all been there.  We’ve all been rejected in some form, whether by a job, or a lover, or a friend and it hurts like hell. We agonize over what we might have done wrong. We obsess over it and think that there is something fundamentally wrong with us, or that we are unlovable. Its interesting because we can accept when someone dislikes food that we love. We can easily understand when someone says they don’t like the sushi or oxtail stew we offer them, because they do not like the taste. We still go on loving it because we still enjoy the taste. We don’t question its tastiness.  But when someone says they don’t like us, we take that very personally and it makes us question ourselves.

Well, Lovebug, I think Beyonce- with her infinite fierceness- can teach us something about rejection. Here goes:

1. It’s not about you

dont_take_anything_personallyI think Don Miguel Ruiz says it best in his book The Four Agreements. When people don’t like you it’s because of what they value and their reality. And that’s ok. It does not mean that you are defective. Or that you are wrong. It simply means that you are not their cup of tea. Like the 24,000 people who disliked the video. The video is still fabulous. Remember that more than 640,000 did like that same video. And the same is true for you. There will always be people who will dislike and reject you. But there will always be people who like you too.

2. Build your own Beyhive

Beyonce has a strong following of supporters, that she lovingly calls her Beyhive.  And if people say negative things about Beyonce… Honey, watch out! Cuz the Beyhive is coming after you!! They will make you sorry you ever uttered a bad word about their queen.

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Poor Garcelle Beauvais! She had to retract her statement about Beyonce after the Beyhive came after her. The Beyhive is always ready to protect their queen.

Well, we all need support. And we all need people who see our value and never make us question our worth. We all need people who back us up and can point out our wonderful qualities, even when we don’t see them. This is how we have the courage to continue being ourselves and finding opportunities to grow after a rejection. Our support team helps us process defeat or rejection, helps us dust ourselves off, and provide us with the support to live our lives. So get busy building your support team, if you don’t already have one! You can’t do it alone. And even if you could, it wouldn’t be as fun.

3. Be You Anyway!

So Beyonce got the word “bootylicious” added to Webster’s dictionary 10 years ago. She is probably the first mainstream crossover success that sang about having a full and curvy body. She started a trend at a time when mainstream only saw beauty in thin body types.

Also, the current entertainment world is characterized by its “all access” look into celebrity lives. Nowadays, everybody has a reality show or constant twitter feed filled with all their personal business. Not Beyonce. It took her forever to even join twitter and she finally did about 6 years ago. In those 6 years she has tweeted out a whopping 8 tweets, all of which are about humanitarianism and activist causes not her personal life. Beyonce also  kept her relationship with her boyfriend/husband private for many many years before she publicly said anything about their relationship. Privacy is kind of unheard of in the entertainment world where everybody wants to promote themselves.

Basically she does what feels comfortable to her. And you should too.  Rejection is much easier to accept when you know that you are being true to yourself. Because then you will know that the outcome will have always been the same.

4. Don’t let other people’s opinion of you matter so much

And this even goes for good things people say and feel about you, as well as bad things, because when you…

0e17fe2fccd85665b57060f14fd95f2cAnd as Ms. Beyonce says herself:

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I couldn’t have said it better myself, Bey!

You must know that you are beautiful and wonderful and special just as you are right now, regardless of what other people think. And if knowing this is a struggle for you, seek out people (like me!) who can help you work through the issues that keep you from believing you are fabulous you are.

So as always, I’d love to hear from you. You have more tips on how to handle and process rejection? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Or it you’d just like to talk about why you think Beyonce is fabulous too, you can leave a comment about that as well.

I’ll leave you with this…

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Drops mic…

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4 Replies to “What Beyonce Taught Me About Rejection”

  1. Unfortunately, I’m not a Beyonce fan so I’ll just have to stick to the topic of rejection.

    YES! Rejection really does hurts! Especially when you are rejected without someone really getting to know you personally.

    They take one look at you and rejection is written all over you.

    I am guilty of this myself. I’m not only talking about a romantic relationship but a friendship relationship as well. I automatically glance at someone and think their not friend material. But once I’ve had a chance to honestly have a conversation with them, I find out how amazing they are.

    I fully understand what you’re saying about Beyonce. But strip Beyonce of her Beauty and Fame, will people still love her for her personality? Okay, I know that her Beyhives will love her no matter what.

    Sometimes I feel some of us get rejected without anyone getting to know our unique personality. And that’s what hurts the most.

    P.S. Before you Beyhives get a little unnerved about what I mentioned about your girl, I think Beyonce is a very beautiful person, I’m just not a music fan.

    1. Hey Kim, I’m trying to point out that when people reject you without getting to know you, that is not about you at all. It’s about what they value and their projection of reality, not you. Yes, Beyonce is very beautiful and famous, but there are millions of people who don’t like her even with her beauty and fame. And that has nothing to do with her, but with what those other people value and like. Just like Beyonce does not stop being Beyonce because there are people will never be her fans, I am suggesting to you that you still see your value even when other people don’t like you. As always, thanks for reading!

  2. I totally understand your point. And as always it was very inspiring and motivational for me. I still must value myself in spite of rejection.

    So thank you so much, Jennifer.

    1. Yes, that’s exactly the point, Kim! People will always reject us in one shape or form. And EVERYONE experiences rejection. But we must not allow rejection to make us lose sight of our value. Glad it was helpful.

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