How to shift your thinking about rejection

I recently got back from 3 weeks on Oahu, which is where I grew up.

My childhood home is about 100 yards from Kailua Beach, and one of my favorite activities is to get up early and amble down the lane to watch the sunrise over the ocean.

On my first morning, I got down to the beach extra early and dutifully watched for the sun behind a cluster of clouds on the horizon.  

It was the weirdest thing, though. The sky kept getting brighter and brighter, but still no sun.

Hmm.  

Turns out, I was looking in the wrong place.

I was watching for the sun to rise over the Mokulua Islands where it rises in the spring instead of looking sliiiightly more north to where it rises in the summer.  

I mean, come on.  

First of all, it’s the SUN. It’s kinda hard to miss, right?  

I tried to convince myself it wasn’t that big of a deal because we’re pretty much trained from childhood NOT to look at the sun. You know, the whole make you go blind thing.  

But that was just an excuse.

I was sitting RIGHT THERE and actively looking for it. But I still missed it.  

This is embarrassing to admit, considering I grew up on that beach, but it got me thinking about your acting career.  

You don’t give up after one mediocre audition or because you don’t get a callback, right?

Right.  Either do I.  And it was the same with a missed sunrise.  I went back to the beach almost every morning after that to watch the sun come up.  

Perseverance baby.  

And that’s not all.

Not only did I show up consistently, but I literally had to shift my perspective.  

It’s pretty much like how you keep tackling this exhilarating career despite rejection after rejection after rejection.  

And as long as we’re talking about shifting perspectives, can we all just agree to stop calling it rejection and call it a growth experience instead?

Because if you take away just one sunny golden nugget from every audition you don’t book, that means you’re growing, changing and sharpening your skills.  That's pretty awesome if you think about it; It’s kinda like a free masterclass.

The audition room is your playground, and you raise your hand to risk ‘not booking’ every day because it’s worth it.  

And I promise you all the Kailua Beach sunrises were worth it, too.

As for your acting career, I believe there’s a sunrise at the end of "the tunnel" for you.  

It may not be that you'll book your dream role or that you'll ever be able to quit your day job, but it will mean that you're not giving up on yourself, your passions or your dreams.  

That alone is worth everything. Who wouldn’t want to wake up every morning to that kind of inspirational high five?  

Your passions are something you never have to apologize for. And no one can take them away from you.      

You just have to keep showing up and be willing to look for the sun.

 
 

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This article was originally published by Backstage