All right then, let’s speak about everybody’s common concern – REJECTION. All of us have faced rejection at some point in life. It could be a rejection in a relationship, at the workplace, in the family, and so on. Since rejection is so common, it would not be wrong if we call it a fact of life.
However, it is not like any other fact. This is the one that causes a lot of trauma to a lot of us. The reason is that we don’t take this as a fact, we almost always personalize it and create a painful situation out of it and this is the seed of trouble.
My experience with rejection
I am also guilty of the same. Here, it is time to share my personal experiences. I have been an actor all my life and the two most important things that come along with this profession are rejection and waiting. Let’s keep our focus on rejection for the scope of this article.
The world of acting is a challenging and competitive one, and rejection is an inevitable part of the journey for all actors. Whether it be from auditions, casting calls, or even after landing a role, rejection is a common experience that all actors must face and overcome.
I have vivid memories of being sent back from the shooting location just because the female actor cast as my mother, felt that I was too good-looking to play her son, and that would divert the audience’s attention to me instead of her. It might sound funny now, but back then, I was devastated as there was hardly anything I could do to change the way I look. Also, the role meant a lot of financial stability which was essential during the initial phase of my career.
Rejection is an inevitable part of life, and it can be tough to handle. It’s normal to feel hurt, angry, or frustrated when things don’t go our way. However, it’s important to remember that rejection is just a temporary setback and not a reflection of our self-worth.
Today, when I look back and analyze my career I realize that rejection is not a reflection of your worth as an actor or a person. It’s simply a part of the process and a necessary one at that. I understand that rejection helped me grow as an actor and refined my skills, making me better equipped for future opportunities.
While it is not easy to handle rejection, here are some tips on how to handle rejection in a healthy and productive way.
Acknowledge your feelings
The first step in handling rejection is to acknowledge your emotions. It’s important to give yourself time to process your feelings and allow yourself to feel hurt, angry, or frustrated. Don’t try to suppress or ignore your emotions, as this will only prolong the healing process. Instead, try to accept your feelings and work through them in a healthy way.
How I dealt with it
Rejection always felt like a personal attack, and it still does. But it’s important to train your mind to take it as a learning opportunity. Whenever I don’t get a role that I want, I try to reflect upon the possible reasons for the rejection and try to improve on the same and this exercise has made me a much better actor.
A very important fact is that you might not always find a reason for rejection and there might not be an evident scope for improvement. The good news is that it is not YOU or your skills that have been rejected. It is just that a different skill set is required for that position at that time.
Take time for self-care
Having a supportive network of friends, family, and fellow actors who understand the ups and downs of your industry can be very helpful. They can offer encouragement and a listening ear when you need it.
Another rule which I have religiously followed all my life is – UPGRADE. Be in the habit of adding to your skill set and try to develop an attitude of acceptance.
Taking time for self-care is a great way to boost your mood and help you cope with rejection. This can include activities such as exercising, meditating, reading, or simply spending time with friends and family. Engaging in activities that bring you joy can help you forget about rejection and focus on positive things in your life.
It’s easy to get discouraged after multiple rejections, but it’s important to maintain a positive outlook. Focus on your strengths and what sets you apart.
Remember that every rejection is one step closer to finding the right opportunity for you.
Reframe the situation
In my opinion, one of the best ways to handle rejection is to reframe the situation. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, try to look at the rejection as an opportunity for growth.
It is important to introspect on what you can learn from the experience and how you can use it to improve in the future. Focusing on the positive aspects of the situation can help you move on and not dwell on the rejection.
I still motivate myself with self-talk,” Rejection is not a reason to give up on my dreams. I keep auditioning, keep honing my skills, and stay persistent”.
The more opportunities you give yourself, the higher the chances of finding success.
Surround yourself with supportive people
Surrounding yourself with supportive people can be a great way to handle rejection. Talking to friends and family about your feelings can help you process your emotions and feel better. It’s important to have people in your life who are supportive and understand what you’re going through.
Learn from your mistakes
Now, this might sound a bit harsh, but it is important to know that you could be wrong. Rejection can often be a result of our actions or mistakes. It’s important to take responsibility for our mistakes and learn from them.
Ask yourself what you could have done differently and what steps you can take to improve in the future. This can help you avoid making the same mistakes in the future and increase your chances of success.
Finally, it’s important to move forward and not let rejection hold you back. Focus on your goals and the things that are important to you. Don’t let rejection define who you are or dictate your future. Instead, use it as motivation to work harder and be better in the future.
This is what I tell myself,” Rejection is just a delay, it is not a denial”.
Rejection has been a normal part of my acting journey, so much so that it is no longer a discouragement. To an extent, I am actually having fun with it. I encourage you to pursue your passion. Embrace the learning opportunity, find support, stay positive, and keep persisting. With time and hard work, you will find success.
Remember, rejection is just a temporary setback and not a reflection of your self-worth.