I have mixed feelings whenever I submit, to be honest. It's a pretty refreshing feeling to do that, knowing that you've taken your work and let it fly away to God knows what. The chances are that it'll be rejected but still, I allow myself to hope.
This is the only way for a writer to succeed really. In order to become a writer with any hope of recognition, you have to release the writings into the world. And as awesome as it would be for everyone to accept your work with open arms, that just won't happen. Even if your work is the next classic, someone will dislike it or perhaps simply find it unremarkable in some way or just good enough. It's just the way that it is.
The first rejection hurts the most. Your writing is your baby and you just offered it for slaughter even if you had the best intentions. You probably knew then you might be rejected but you thought you had a real chance. Nope. Then it hits you that wasn't good enough for those mean editors. Surely, that's enough to make you feel not good enough, low down, inferior. You yourself feel hurt and rejected.
You might receive a rejection notice. That at least provides closure especially if they give reasons for your rejection. But the worst thing is when you find out you're rejected by no notice at all, when silence and the passage of time provide you your answer.
Ideally, you'll take this logically. Know the editor is only doing his job and rejection is a part of life. But deep down (or maybe not so deep), you always take it personally. You feel like it was cruel and unfair and you want to beg the editors to give you a second chance.
It makes submitting again even harder. Some people just aren't able to do it again. To keep submitting so relentlessly is hard. Ultimately, your love of writing has to outweigh your pride. So if you really are committed to your writing and want to go somewhere, you'll do it again. It hurts so bad when you click that button or send away that piece. You only feel dread, not excitement, because you almost always know the results are going to be already.
Eventually, you become numb to it as the rejection piles up. Become resigned. You expect rejection and it becomes a way of life for you. You only submit for the hell of it but learn to just expect rejection. Opening rejection slips becomes monotonous and uneventful.
Yet it's when that final acceptance piece comes in that you finally break through that numbness. You got accepted! You got an in! That's enough to give you hope to keep going band go with more gusto this time. And with that, the next rejection doesn't hurt as bad since you got accepted.
The next acceptances aren't as exciting usually. But they're still enough to dull the pain of other rejections and give you motivation to keep submitting. They give you hope, a feeling that you really have a chance.
Just because your one piece isn't accepted, that doesn't mean you should despair and give up. Maybe your one piece wasn't polished enough or just wasn't what they were looking for. Your next piece might do it. You just have to get up, cross your fingers and keep submitting.