I recently read a celebrity interview with actress Jessica Biel in which she was asked about her job. Her response was, “You’ve got to love this business. You have to be able to take rejection.” Sure, that’s true about acting but it’s also true for so many of us. Whether you’re a writer seeking publication, a model hoping to get cast in a photo shoot, a musician auditioning for a gig, an athlete training to go pro, or a salesperson laboring to close a sale, you have to be able to take rejection.
The fear of rejection is a common fear that many dream chasers struggle with. Like the fear of failure, the fear of rejection can be debilitating. It robs people of their authenticity by forcing them to go to great lengths to avoid rejection. The result is work that’s executed in a manner that’s more appealing to the decision maker (the agent, casting director, coach, etc.), rather than letting the authentic work speak for itself.
So much is lost when authenticity is sacrificed. Think about all of the one-of-a-kind people out there: Jim Carrey, J.K. Rowling, Michael Jordan, Madonna and many others. Their work wasn’t always loved and widely embraced. They faced, and overcame, rejection. Like failure, rejection will find you. If you’re setting out to follow a dream, be prepared to be rejected at some point. But also be prepared to move on to the next opportunity until you are able to find that agent/casting director/coach/customer/etc. that is able to appreciate you.
Lance Armstrong on rejection:
“Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought: Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody’s going down.”
Are you a dream chaser facing a particular fear? If so, I’d love to hear from you! Please e-mail me at: erika (at) erikaliodice (dot) com