I found out yesterday morning that I didn’t get picked for an opportunity that I really wanted. I’ve been pretty good at letting things go right away lately, but 24 hours later, I still feel somewhat uneasy. As actors, we deal with rejection everyday. It’s part of what we signed up for, but it doesn’t mean we’re desensitised to it. No matter what career path you are pursuing, rejection will come knocking on your door more often than not. In this post, I would love to share what helps me make the emotional process a little easier when dealing with rejection.
Give yourself time to mourn
First things first, allow yourself to grieve (I usually give myself a 48 hours). You don’t have to brush it aside. You can cry about it. Of course you can! & that doesn’t mean you’re weak or petty. It means that you’re human, & you care. It’s a given you’re going to be sad if you worked really hard on/for something & it not turning out the way you expected. From experience, if you allow your mind & body react the way it naturally wants to (without suppressing any urges), you will get over it quicker.
Confirmation that you love what you do
When you feel upset about not getting what you wanted, find comfort in that fact that you’re reacting emotionally. This boils down to the fact that you love what you do. It serves as confirmation that you are still passionate about it, because if you weren’t, you wouldn’t even care.
Rejection is protection
A friend of mine once told me that “rejection is protection” & I’ve kept going back to this phrase when necessary. Even when an opportunity felt so right, rejection protects you from what wasn’t meant to be. It could simply mean that perhaps that the opportunity you thought was so ‘right’ would not have served you in any way had you been exposed to it.
What’s meant for you will not pass you
Whether you’re a person of spirituality, religion or neither, it’s comforting to think about this quote in the face of rejection. I whole-heartedly believe that the universe does not throw things at you that you cannot handle. Things happen for you, not to you. Only time will give you clarity on why certain things unfolded the way it did.
It’s not about you
A big part of rejection is separating it from your ego. The ego that tells you “you’re not good enough to be in this business” whenever you don’t get the job or callback that you wanted. The ego that relies on results for validation. The ego that knew you could’ve really brought something special to the table had they chosen you for the job. Rejection has nothing to do with your abilities. Rejection does not take away your talents or skill or mean you are less capable than you are.
When you keep crossing paths with a possible opportunity but don’t get it…
What if every time you auditioned or interviewed for your dream ‘job’ you failed? But the opportunity to keep going in for it keeps arising? Is this a sign that you should give up because ‘the constant rejection just confirms that you’re not right for this job’ or ‘if it was supposed to happen it would’ve happened already’? Absolutely not! There is no such thing as ‘you’re not right for ____;’ there’s only ‘you’re not right for ____ at this moment in time.’ If anything, I think being brought back to the same thing (may it be a show, a person, a theatre, a company) over & over again means that it is already in your direct reality. If it’s already in your direct reality, you just need to give it some time for the stars to align to manifest it into your existing/current reality. So let go of the pressure you put on yourself. Keep showing up. Keep being prepared. & it’ll happen.
Take care of yourself
My favourite thing to do after crying my eyes out is usually a yummy treat. I treat myself with something I love to eat. & then a face mask pampering session when I get home. I also like to take an acting/singing/dance class because I feel like the best way to counter rejection is by being productive. Taking class reminds me of the undying passion I have & why I chose this career in the first place. When I work on my craft as an actor, I feel the betterment & honing of my skills. Learning in a supportive environment inspires me & my growth as an artist. & just like that, I get refueled – I’m ready to kick some butt again & know that I will have the tools to do a better job next time.
The magic happens outside of your comfort zone
The reason why rejection happens in the first place is because you’re brave enough to let yourself be vulnerable & embrace the possibility of rejection. You’re challenging yourself by stepping outside of your comfort zone, & this is where the magic happens. I’m going to say it once again: You. Are. So. Brave.
Don’t let rejection allow you to focus on what you don’t have
When you focus on what you don’t have, you are focusing on the ‘lack of.’ When you do that, you are attracting more of the ‘lack’, & allowing it to be your reality. It’s the same when you’re so laser focused on something you really want & give yourself a time pressure. For example, “I want to accomplish *this* before I’m 25.” The more you put pressure on it happening in a certain time frame, the more you’re repelling it from actually happening – because again, you’re emphasising on the lack of having it. Be certain & trust that it’ll happen when you put in the work. When you’re sure about something in your life, you will naturally be led to where you need to go for it to happen.
You already have so much
Negativity & feeling negative often makes us forget about what we already have since we’re so concentrated on what we don’t have/didn’t get. Please don’t think that I think that you’re ‘ungrateful,’ I’m just saying that we could all be a little more mindful. Try this: say everything you have currently out loud & thank it – anything you have or are in possession of. “Thank you for my couch. Thank you for my hair. Thank you for money for coffee this morning. Thank you for my eyes…etc.” You would be surprised how many things you can list. & once you don’t have anything else to list, know that a lot of what you possess came from your hard work. Maybe you bought that nice TV you have with the money you earned at your last job, or maybe, you knew someone who gifted you a cute mug for you to drink your coffee in, because they appreciate the kind human being that you are. Everything you already have came from you or your efforts, whether you’re aware of it or not.
Keep fighting, my warriors
The last thing I wanted to share with you guys is that rejection only has the meaning you give to it. Anything that happens in your life only has meaning when you give meaning to it. So make the meaning a motivating one, & not a destructive one. The best days of your life haven’t happened yet.8 I Love This! ♡