REJECTION. Such a scary word. It’s probably one of the most painful feelings we can experience. Worthless, insignificant, abandoned, mediocre or miserable, are just a few words that can be related to being rejected. It leaves us with that empty feeling in our chest, like we have nothing there. It might feel like someone has pulled everything out from our interior and we’re left floating around, with no direction or goals anymore.
Nonetheless, for many reasons, we need it. We need to be rejected. And no, I’m not some kind of masochistic.
For many years I’ve been working as an actor/model. Always taking it as a hobby – both while I was studying or when work allows me these days – but intensely enough to being able to understand the industry quite accurately. And I can honestly say that it’s unpredictably awesome the things you get to do, amazing the people you happen to meet, and great the money you might earn. But what it’s also quite impressive, is the number of times you are rejected. As a matter of fact, being rejected becomes a habit you get used to.
An actor/model gets more NO’s in one year than anybody else in a lifetime.
I started acting and modeling more than 10 years ago.
Very soon I had my first casting for a TV commercial and I booked it. All I thought was – ‘Wow, this is going to be easy. Cool!’ Well, it took approximately 15 more castings for me to book a second job. That was a good slap on my face, but the most important part is that I actually went to all those castings seeking for a second job. And that’s the funny part – I ended up understanding that in most cases I wouldn’t book the job, but I’d still go to every single casting ready to bring the best of me.
What happens at some point, is that you have no other option than making the best of being rejected, otherwise you’d obviously be done very quickly in the industry. And in my opinion, making the best basically means turning the negative into positive and understanding and analyzing why you didn’t get the job, which eventually will make you stronger and more confident. Really, when you accept rejection, you become more confident.
So after all these NO’s I’ve received throughout the years, I’ve learnt a few things that enormously help me when it comes to handling rejection. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if that rejection comes from a casting director, a big or a small company or organization, or even the person you’re asking out to – I believe that the points I introduce below work in any possible case, and show that rejection comes with benefits:
Appreciate a YES.
It starts here, really. You better appreciate it and don’t take it for granted. Take it as a treasure – first of all, because you were seeking for it. Someone is giving you the chance you asked for, so make them feel like they’ve taken the best decision of their lives.
Understand a NO.
We need NO’s in our lives. They are the fuel that makes us evolve and improve. They shake up our pride, which turns into a challenge in which we think – ‘Really, you didn’t want me? I’m going to make you regret this.’ Take every single NO as a great opportunity to become better and stronger. Let NO’s motivate you instead of bringing you down. And show them wrong!
It’s not personal…
When we receive a NO, most times the easiest thing to do is to take it personal. That’s definitely not a healthy thing to do because it fills up our veins with regret, which is a feeling that for many reasons we better keep away from us. So instead of complaining, be autocritic and focus on providing yourself with some constructive criticism.
…And if it is, that’s good news.
Honestly, if someone given any context, gives you a NO due to personal issues they have with you ( jealousy, envy, regret, etc… ), that’s something you shouldn’t worry much about. First of all, you don’t want to hang out with anyone who’s got those feelings towards you anyways. It simply won’t be a beneficial relationship for you at any point. And secondly, that proves that you got something that’s definitely at a much higher level than the ones rejecting you, so keep it for yourself and share it with the ones that will believe in you.
NEVER give up.
This is one of my favorite stories to tell and one of the biggest life lessons I’ve taught myself. It happened during my last year as an Engineering student. I had a 4-hour programming final test on a Friday morning, and after I had to run to my afternoon internship at a multinational telecommunications company. By the end of my work day, my booker called me and asked me to please hurry up and go to a last minute casting for an international TV commercial on the other side of the city (in my case Barcelona, but the casting was also held in Madrid and London). Knowing the small chances of booking the job (and so the great chances of being rejected) and feeling so exhausted after such a long day, I only wanted to go home, lay down, and sleep. But, I convinced myself that I could just handle to sleep a little later, and so I went to the casting.
Long story short, I booked the job. And it was a good one – rights for several countries worldwide. What happened after, was that I could afford myself moving to the United States and study Marketing at UCLA. My dream came true. And just because I never let rejection bring me down.
Handling rejection is never easy, but from my own experience I truly believe that by considering and understanding the points explained above, things tend to evolve much more positively sooner than later.
If you have any insights that you’d like to share about your personal experience on this matter, please don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below. We all would love to hear from you!