Creative types (especially musicians, singers, writers, dancers, designers, and creative entrepreneurs) are intimately familiar with rejection. Every time we audition, apply for a gig, or submit a proposal, we hold our breath – and hope for the best.
If you’ve ever applied for jobs and sent a ton of resumes, you know this feeling. Sometimes you know the opportunity is a long shot so it’s not a big deal if you don’t get it. However, when you were a good fit or came really close, that’s a real heartbreaker. If you’re a creative and sensitive soul, this can affect you very deeply and here’s why.
Sense and sensitivity
Creative types have very sensitive central nervous systems and we can be highly intuitive and empathetic. This causes us to see and feel more than most people. Even though many of us may seem tough, some things affect us very deeply and it may take us some time to bounce back. When disappointments mount, it’s easy to let frustration, anger, and resentment get the better of you. Depression may even creep in. I know what doesn’t work:
– Obsessing and ruminating about what happened
– Playing the victim
– Assuming things that may or may not be true
– Trying to change to fit the mold
I used to organize and occasionally judge large Battle of the Bands events featuring teen and college rock bands. For a talented young band, not taking first place could be devastating. I told them not to worry. Their turn was coming. And often it did. Many of my top bands and musicians stuck with it and eventually got signed.
As I tell people, God isn’t a cosmic killjoy. Often, there is a reason why an opportunity didn’t work out. It may be because:
– It wasn’t the right time.
– It wasn’t the right place.
– You weren’t ready.
– God was working on something better for you.
Taking my own advice
Last week, I got yet another TED talk rejection email. When my eyes saw the word “unfortunately,” I thought: “Wait?! What? I thought I had this one! My talk totally fit the theme!” I began wondering if I should just chuck the whole idea. I’ve applied to 12 cities so far. Maybe being on a TED stage just wasn’t meant to be, I reasoned.
I took some time to regroup. I had a glass of wine and banged on some drums. I then decided to target musical cities who would appreciate a talk about the healing power of music, complete with an interactive exercise. And I applied to Nashville and Miami. Stay tuned!
How about you?
Have you ever missed out on an opportunity but found a better one waiting around the corner? Feel free to leave a comment below!
Dori Staehle, MBA lives in the Raleigh, NC area and is the Chief Encouragement Officer and Rhythm Maker at Rock the Next Stage. She is a drum therapist/therapeutic drumming facilitator, percussionist, business, career, and ADHD coach, and an inspirational speaker. She occasionally still books bands and solo artists. Dori is also the best-selling author of Find Your Divine Rhythm: A Creative’s Success Formula. For more information or to book Dori, click here.