REJECTION - How to Deal
“Waste no time to worry about a closed door. Search for a new door to open.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita
Years ago I was in the middle of a particularly insane audition season in NYC. I was going out to 2-4 auditions almost daily for a few weeks. I was also in callbacks for big Broadway shows, getting called in for big directors and creative teams. It was an exciting time but each ounce of excitement was worth twice the disappointment when I wouldn’t book the job.
I have said before, AUDITIONING IS THE JOB! But, that is only part of it. Accepting the outcome is also part of the job. And often...that outcome is the dreaded REJECTION.
In life, you will not get a YES to every opportunity. It’s just not possible! But, how you choose to deal with the rejection is paramount.
Back to that crazy audition season...I was getting so down in the dumps over all of the “almosts” that the rejection stung so badly. My mom made a “Things that Make Erin Great” sheet for me to keep in my audition folder. At first, I hated that list, but I grew to see and accept all of the wonderful things she saw in me. I read it recently and smiled because it was just the right thing at the right time.
My worth as a performer and certainly as a person is not connected to how many shows I book. I have value just the same. But honestly, that list kept me sane for a time! Here are some other ways to keep your head above the water when YES isn’t in the cards:
My worth isn’t tied to this job. I am worthy just because I am.
I am a great performer. (full stop!)
I am worthy of dreaming big!
I am at peace.
I will only speak to myself with kindness.
I am open and receptive to constructive criticism.
I have qualities/skills/talents that are custom-made and tailored just for me.
I have everything I need within me to build a life I love.
What’s meant to be is already mine.
I trust the process and embrace my journey. Regardless of what I see right now in this present moment, I know that the best is yet to come.
I am full of gratitude.
REDIRECT the ENERGY
After every BIG audition, I took myself on a date to the movies. It was the only place I couldn’t overthink everything and over-analyze every single detail. It was my way of turning off my phone and zoning out. This way I couldn’t go home and stare at my email or wait for a phone call. I went on living and doing something I enjoyed! What might be a good place for you to redirect the energy?
LIST YOUR STRENGTHS
Just like the list my Mom made for me, write down all of the things that make you wonderful, that make you, you. Be generous here. You do not win quicker by being hard and overanalytical about yourself. There is strength in softness with oneself.
ACCEPT the REJECTION
You don’t need to say all of the horrible things to yourself, but maybe you can be honest and say, I did my best and I wasn’t the first choice. And that is ok. Remember, rejection is REDIRECTION! For every job I didn’t book I did eventually book a job that was meaningful to me in ways that I couldn’t even comprehend. Or you can look at your work and see where you can focus your practice. Remember...old ways won't open new doors. Use the rejection positively and you will see exponential growth!
I dare say learning to deal with rejection in a healthy way made me a better person. Yet, there were definitely times I had to step back and take breaks. It’s not easy putting yourself out there all of the time. But, the more you do it the easier it does get! Never forget, you have it within you to do the hard things.