Dealing with rejection and self-doubt

We all have it. That pesky voice inside our head that sometimes tells us “You’re not good enough” or “You really think you can do this?” and my personal favorite “You’re too old. If you had only done this 10 years ago, you might have had a chance”. Sometimes I feel people think I am an endless ball of positivity. Truth be told, I try to be, but I certainly have my share of self-doubting moments, negative thoughts and lots of rejection that makes me analyse everything in my life over and over. I just don’t talk about it very much because I don’t think it’s productive. Now you know.

I have so much respect for artists – it is SOO incredibly difficult to put yourself out there time and time again to be judged; not only by audiences, fans and people in the business, but by family, friends and people who feel they need to ‘help’ you by giving you feedback. Perseverance in my humble opinion is VERY important.  I keep reading articles where the ability to pick yourself up and get back on the horse after a bad audition, performance or something negative in your personal life will ultimately set you apart from most people. We all get discouraged, and want to be loved and to succeed…. it is human nature.

Auditioning is tough. But the more I do it for the sake of the art, to improve my skills and when I have no expectations out of it other than getting auditioning experience, it is actually really fun! I have found that it also helps immensely when you stop comparing yourself to others, and focus on how you have improved yourself over time.  I sing and act with lots of really talented people and I have heard the following from experienced artists:  ‘1 in maybe 20-30 auditions might pan out; you might have auditions that go really well and you don’t get anything and have an audition that is terrible and gets you a leading role’. This is still taking me some time to get used to. Having no expectations is helpful… but being a competitive person and someone who doesn’t like to be rejected (does anyone really?), I’m finding this aspect of the business pretty challenging. Especially when it is so subjective!


The Monster is so wise….

Here’s some advice that I’ve been given that has helped me a lot: be your own best friend. Bat away negative thoughts and instead think about how to learn from frustrating or disappointing situations and move on. Let go of anger and hate. Re-inforce positive thoughts. Get in the habit of loving yourself for who you are… all of your quirks, your uniqueness. Find your inner circle of trusted friends and colleagues who will support you when you need it and give you honest feedback in a constructive way. And when you have rejection, doubts and bad days, accept that this is OK and tomorrow is a new day! Workout, cook, spend time with a friend, write or do whatever makes you happy and allows you to process your thoughts and feelings.

On the reinforcing positive thoughts piece, one of my awesome cousins recently posted about 100 happy days and I thought it was a really cool idea. If you seek out 1 thing per day that makes you happy for 100 days, you get in the habit of seeing the positive things in life.  Maybe it is worth a try? 🙂

About Melanie Anderson

Singer, basketball player, scotch enthusiast, Canadian.
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7 Responses to Dealing with rejection and self-doubt

  1. Amanda says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. You have great advice to follow to keep looking forward and not back.


  2. Norma says:

    I think you should add writing to your list of talents!


  3. Liana says:

    Melanie, I loved your post… I would add to the title: and the importance of perseverance. You may know Baz Luhrmann’s – Everybody’s Free… “Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind, The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself”.


  4. Peter says:

    Great post Melanie! You’ve got a great message to share. Plus I like any blog post where Cookie Monster makes an appearance! 🙂


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