One of the most important practices for any creative is mindset management. According to principles of Generative Coaching and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), humans have the power to master their thoughts, emotions and behaviours. We don’t have to be at the mercy of negative self-talk or limiting beliefs.

When you receive a rejection, be vigilant about not letting it spark a spiral of self-doubt. Refuse to ruminate or dwell on discouraging thoughts like “I’m not talented enough” or “I’ll never make it.” Your mind believes what you tell it, so feed it empowering thoughts instead: “This feedback will help me get better. My dreams are worth persisting for. One person’s opinion does not define me.”

As a creative, rejection is something you’ll inevitably face at various points in your career. Whether it’s a piece of writing getting turned down, a painting not being accepted into a gallery, or a performance getting poor reviews – rejection can sting. However, the way you respond to rejection can make all the difference in your creative journey.

What Rejection Is and Isn’t

 

First, let’s get clear on what rejection actually is. Rejection is feedback – an opinion from someone else about your creative work. It’s not a statement about your worth as a human being or even as an artist overall. Too often, creatives mistakenly take rejections as deep personal condemnations when they are simply preferences and opinions that differ from your own.

Rejections also frequently have more to do with factors outside of your control rather than a critique of your skills. A literary agent may love your novel but already have a similar book they represent. A music producer may dig your songs but not have the right connections for your genre. An art gallery may have limited space for new artists that year. Remember, these “no’s” don’t necessarily mean your work isn’t good enough.

The Feedback Is the Gift

 

While rejection doesn’t feel great in the moment, the feedback can be an invaluable gift for helping you grow. Identify any constructive critique within the rejection and use it to hone your craft. What did the reviewer or decision maker not connect with? What areas could be improved? Take the feedback as an opportunity rather than a finality.

At the same time, not all feedback will resonate or be valid for your creative vision. Use your intuition to filter out criticisms that don’t align with your authentic voice and intentions. Some rejections will simply be differences in subjective taste rather than an objective critique requiring revision.

 

Mastering Your Mindset

 

One of the most important practices for any creative is mindset management. According to principles of Generative Coaching and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), humans have the power to master their thoughts, emotions and behaviours. We don’t have to be at the mercy of negative self-talk or limiting beliefs.

When you receive a rejection, be vigilant about not letting it spark a spiral of self-doubt. Refuse to ruminate or dwell on discouraging thoughts like “I’m not talented enough” or “I’ll never make it.” Your mind believes what you tell it, so feed it empowering thoughts instead: “This feedback will help me get better. My dreams are worth persisting for. One person’s opinion does not define me.”

 

The Path of Perseverance

 

Ultimately, rejection is an inevitable part of any creative’s journey – but it doesn’t have to derail your dreams. See each “no” as a redirection towards your next opportunity rather than a full stop. Remind yourself how many famous creatives persevered through rounds of rejection before their work found its audience. Each rejection is another step towards becoming the artist you want to be.

As you submit your work, develop the mindset that a “no” has minimal permanence while your creative passion is forever. Expect rejections and have a strategy for quickly refocusing your energy when they come. Immerse yourself in your craft, trust your artistic instincts, and keep putting your work out there. The more you practice facing rejection with resilience, the more power you’ll have to keep sharing your unique creative gifts with the world.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

If you need support in this area, including practical strategies to manage your state of mind, I invite you to book a free Discovery Call.

 

 

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Monica O’Brien is a professionally trained and accredited Coach and founder of Creative Edge Coaching www.creativeedgecoaching.com.au. She blogs on issues about creativity and small business development for conscious artists and business entrepreneurs. 

 

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