Last night I saw the heart-breaking documentary EVERY LITTLE STEP, about dancers auditioning for roles in a revival of A CHORUS LINE, itself a play about dance auditions. The movie was terrific. The reason it's heart-breaking is that all these young dancers want the part so badly, and most will not get it. You see the pain of rejection on their faces, even as they bravely prepare for the next audition.
Writers, too, take rejection regularly (although we do have the advantage of not usually getting it in person, or as the result of one off day when your jete collapses you onto the floor). Rejection of a short story, rejection of a novel, rejection of an asked-for synopsis, rejection by reviewers who hated your work, sometimes even rejection by one's established publisher. And it always hurts. Over the years of teaching, I have had students, some of them quite good writers, who are so afraid of rejection that they never submit anything to editors at all.
I think what's called for in handling rejection is the same skill that's called for in successful revision. You have to become two people at once. With revision, you have to simultaneously be the writer making changes and the reader encountering the story for the first time, so that you can see what changes need to be made: Have I provided enough information here for anyone to understand why my character is behaving like that? Will the reader understand that this scene directly follow the previous one but in another location? And so forth.
With rejection, the mental pas de deux is even trickier. You must be both the person who believes in your talent enough to think "I can write, and this is a good story" AND the person who thinks "This editor/reviewer/instructor is, after all, knowledgeable -- is there anything to this criticism that I can use, either for further revision or for the next story?" It's not an easy balancing act, especially when it is your lifeblood you've invested in this story. But unless you can manage this balancing act, at least roughly, you risk becoming (pick one): (1) someone who loses faith in his ability and gives up, or (2) someone who cannot grow as a writer because you think you have nothing more to learn.
In EVERY LITTLE STEP, there is a painful interview with a dancer who did not get the part of Cassie. She ends by saying, "Maybe next time will be my big break." It's the only productive attitude for writers, too. You don't need to "grow a thick hide," as some advocate -- even if you could. You just need to patch up the bruised hide you have, and keep on dancing.