This is from our August MENTALCOACH Newsletter for 2008. The question was submitted by Acting Coach Mary Anna Dennard
Dear Mental Management Team,
College auditions are extremely stressful not just while you are auditioning but when the rejection and acceptance letters start to arrive. When you are rejected by the school you most want to attend, how do you keep that from affecting your self image? Do you have any advice I can pass onto my students to help them handle rejection?
Everyone has some rejection in life. It could be through a rejection letter like your students, could be not getting the job, being dumped by the love of your life or losing an important tournament. I think when faced with rejection we must first ask ourselves a very important question:
Is the reason I was rejected within my control?
Most of the time the decision is subjective; in the case of an audition for a role, job interview, etc. If that is the case then you were not rejected, they simply selected someone else that fit their needs. This does not mean you are not a worthy candidate for the position. I believe that everything we go through in life acts as preparation for the future. What is learned in that audition, whether through getting the job or not, should strengthen the candidate and the reason for auditioning in the first place was not only to land the job but also to lay the foundation for the future.
I also believe that how you handle rejection or loss is the true test of a champion!
Are you inspired to improve and move forward with drive and determination or do you allow the rejection to affect your self-image in a negative way? You do have control over the way you view life's challenges. You can view them as set backs or you can believe that everything has a purpose in life and something good is on the horizon.
Every time in my life, when I have really wanted something and it didn't happen, I've realized there was something better in my future that I just couldn't see. Sometimes the challenges I have gone through were very necessary to teach me something or change me in some way to make my next journey easier and doable. In my seminars I talk about my story in much more detail than I do in my book to show that I was presented with many challenges in my journey to the Olympic Gold but what changed inside me, because of these struggles, help me grow into the person I needed to be to succeed at the level I was striving for.
We learn more on the struggle up the mountain than we do standing on the summit. If life is not tough then your goals are set too darn low.
The only way you can deal with rejection and stay sane is to think, "What's best for me is just around the corner - not the door that just closed".
When life closes a door, look for the open window - you will find it!
Question answered by Lanny Bassham