“A lot of people ask me, ‘How did you have the courage to walk up to record labels when you were 12 or 13 and jump right into the music industry?’
It’s because I knew I could never feel the kind of rejection that I felt in middle school. Because in the music industry, if they’re gonna say no to you, at least they’re gonna be polite about it.”
– Taylor Swift
Jeez, it feel like crap, right? You put in a ton of time and effort and all you get is a blank stare, sigh and the good old “Yeah, we’ll get back to you.”
That’s if you’re lucky. Sometimes they’ll start screaming obscenities and throwing shit across the room because they feel you’ve just wasted their time.
Last Friday I got a question about shitting yourself at work. Most likely a joke but it’s an interesting thought. What do we do at the moment of ultimate social embarrassment?
Do we try to find a way out of it? Do we fess up and say: “Alright, just letting you guys know I just shat my pants. I apologize for the stink and I’m gonna go take care of it.”
If we choose the latter we’re really putting ourselves out there. It’s one of those vulnerable moments. Almost like telling someone you love them and having that moment of silence not knowing how they’ll reply.
Will we do anything to gain acceptance from others? Maybe we can build ourselves up to have the confidence that we can handle the rejection?
There are good news and bad news. Bad news first!
You’ve got absolutely no way of controlling how other people will react and behave. You could try hypnosis and social techniques to influence them, to a certain point, but either they will accept or reject you and/or your ideas. That’s it.
The good news?
That’s right. Plenty of fish in the sea. But know this, the more picky you are the smaller the pool.
What most people do is to look for a perfect fit. Whether it’s business, friendship, education or love. Well, it’s never been easier!
We should all be looking to collect great people to surround ourselves with. That also means having people around you that are your complete opposite. They have things to contribute as well. Just make sure that the thing you have in common are the same core values.
If they reject you then it’s usually a good indicator that you don’t. Sure, it might be that they need more information before making a decision.
This is where you really need to take a look at what you brought to the table. Was it just that you couldn’t express yourself in a way that made them feel secure?
If there’s nothing you really could’ve improved without compromising your integrity then it clearly wasn’t the right fit. Move on to the next one.
Well, if it’s so damn easy. Why does it feel so hard?
Hey, I don’t handle it all perfectly either. But I’ve gotten a lot better.
Last week I received some sharp criticism for something I said. What made it “worse” is that it was from somebody far more accomplished so it felt a lot more legitimate in some way.
I looked back at it thinking about what I could’ve done differently, luckily I snapped out of it quite quickly. The reason?
When I thought back I’d actually gotten praise and messages from 20 other people who liked it. Sure, they might’ve not been “accomplished” like that guy, but look at it this way, the ratio was 20/1.
Why the hell was I worrying about it?
It’s probably something quite primitive. We yearn to be part of a tribe. I felt some kind of kinship to this fellow writer and having him reject my work was like him saying: “You’re not a part of our tribe. Get the fuck out.”
That stings you know? Way back when in our evolution being rejected by our tribe meant facing insecurity and going it alone until you, hopefully, found another tribe.
This instinct is deeply rooted in our lives and while it’s definitely not fun we’ve never had more opportunity to both face and survive rejection.
While writing this I was listening to Tori Kelly’s new album “Unbreakable Smile” and got distracted. I wondered if she’d had to face a lot of rejection. So, after doing some reading up on her I found she’d actually auditioned for “American Idol”.
Now, that’s a very public way of being rejected. Not many people would’ve been able to pick themselves up after facing something like that. Especially being 16 years old. That shit stings.
They might’ve settled for working at a “lower level” in the music industry, there’s no shame in that.
But she did something different. She kept grinding. That way she also got extremely lucky. She had support from people like Scooter Braun, the guy who “discovered” Justin Bieber.
After years of work it’s finally paying off big time for Tori. Here’s what she had to say about her dismissal from “Idol” in an interview with Ryan Seacrest.
“It was a blessing in disguise, I was bummed when I got cut, of course. I was 16 — all of my life was just in that bubble. I was bummed, but it was kind of awesome because I think by getting cut from the show, something stirred up in me to want to write.
It made me write songs and I was thankful for it because if that didn’t happen, then I would be a completely different person.”
– Tori Kelly
I guess the moral of this is that you don’t stop. You might need to take a step back, cry just a little and evaluate yourself. But once you’ve had that moment it’s back to the grind.
Who are some of your heroes? How much rejection did they have to face? How could you do the same?
Let me know in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!