How does the fear of rejection impact your life as an actor or other artist?
“She is desperate to be an actress.
“I’ll send her to theater camp and the best acting classes, but there’s no way I’m going to put this kid in the movies, because of the rejection.
“It’s so hard as an adult, so why set her up to feel that bad as a child?”
Those quotes are by Rosanna Arquette, in a 2003 interview referring to her then 9-year-old daughter Zoë Bleu Sidel.
Jon Hamm has talked about the kind of critical inner voice actors may experience before even attempting to get cast for a role.
This inner critic can show up when we try to get a music gig, a book deal, magazine writing assignment – there are different sorts of auditions for creative people.
Hamm said “I knew that I had some sort of baseline of talent, ability, and chutzpah and confidence.
“But then knowing how to get anyone to pay attention is the big mystery.
“So I just kept auditioning. I kept showing up and I kept trying.
“And I kept trying to push down the voice that was saying, ‘You’re terrible. Someone’s better than you.”
See more quotes by Sandra Oh, Jessica Chastain and others in article Actors coping with rejection.
Psychologist Mihaela Ivan Holtz works with creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts.
She also writes about the emotional and creative pleasures and challenges of their inner lives on her site Creative Minds Psychotherapy.
Here is an excerpt from one of her articles on this topic of rejection:
Rejection lurks around every corner in the arts world.
In fact, for you, the creative or the performer, knowing how to tolerate, be with, and work with rejection is almost a career requirement!
Even if rejection hurts, you can learn how to turn in your favor.
Rejection can actually guide you to find your true place in the world and in your art.
When you are aware of your fear of rejection, you can use it to create your life and career.
You can embrace it as a normal part of your life and work. You can let it guide you and take you to the places where you belong.
Despite being a nuisance, your fear of rejection, can help you discover your unique path as a creative.
You can turn it into a a beneficial transformational challenge.
As an artist you need an open heart.
Being vulnerable, in touch with your feelings, and ready to respond from that open and vulnerable place is so important to your creativity.
And, at the same time, you must be strong and resilient.
Keeping yourself emotionally present and open while riding the rejection waves and without sinking into your insecurities… it’s a fine balance, but it’s key to riding and maintaining your creative flow.
When you open yourself to be with and tolerate the difficult feelings that come with rejection – disconnection, loneliness, fear, shame, doubt – you can also become aware of the beauty that lies within the layers of rejection.
When you experience rejection, your yearnings for connection, love, to be seen, valued, felt, and desired are revealed.
When you make space for both the challenging and the beautiful feelings, you can find that special place where vulnerability and resilience become one.
This is the emotional space, from which you can find your true place in the world.
But what about if your fear of rejection lurks in your unconscious mind and you’re not even aware of it?
Unfortunately, if you have a fear of rejection that operates in your unconscious, you may not be able to turn it into a beneficial transformational challenge.
That unconscious fear will most likely control and interfere with your creativity, your intimate connections, and your professional relationships.
Without your awareness, you will put blocks between you and your creativity.
You will create walls between you and people that you need to see you, discover you, and support your creative journey.
You want to touch your audience and they want to be inspired by your art, but you won’t be able to reach their hearts if you’re unawarely worried about being dismissed or ignored.
How would you know if your unconscious fear of rejection is interfering with your creative life?
If you find yourself unhappy and unfulfilled in your career, your intimate connections, and professional relationships, it may be a clue that your unconscious is getting in the way.
An unconscious fear of rejection is like the dark shadow that follows you wherever you are…
Here are four clues that you’re being sabotaged by your own unconscious fears:
You feel like something may be wrong with you. Something is interfering with your ability to connect and express your creativity. Something is keeping you from making the authentic connections with the people who you most need to acknowledge you and your art.
You find yourself trying to please others much of the time. Instead of being the artist that you really are, you’re trying to be someone else and trying to fit in where you don’t belong. Finding approval is one of your main motivations. And, even when you get the approval that you crave, it leaves you empty and dissatisfied.
You feel lost and you can’t trust yourself. You’re confused about who you really are, and about your opinions, likes, and dislikes. You often feel unreal and inauthentic. You find yourself alone – unseen, misunderstood, and disconnected.
Despite having big dreams, you play small. You have dreams of what you want to become, but you avoid putting your efforts toward these aspirations. You find it hard to get the motivation or have the discipline to turn your ideas into accomplishments. You avoid showing up, taking on opportunities, or healthy risks. You live in a fantasy world of your dreams instead of really finding a way to make them happen.
An unconscious fear of rejection can hold you back from finding and expressing your creative energy.
It can interfere with you connecting with your talents and skills to transform your inspiration into your art.
You can’t seem to find the courage to take what you create into the world.
Creative blocks can indeed cover an unconscious fear of rejection.
Continued in her article: