Feeling Rejected? Adopt a Mantra

I know you have been in a situation where you wanted something to happen and it didn’t. Maybe it was an audition for a summer program, or a role you really wanted, or getting into certain school. You practiced, you did your best, but you weren’t accepted. This happens to a lot of dance students. It happened to me a lot even as a professional.

Rejection can’t be avoided, but the important question is how do we deal with it?

There are a number of strategies to deal with rejection. Recently I found a new one that has been very helpful to me. It came from one of my teachers. She suggested that I adopt a positive mantra.

A positive mantra is a short phrase that you can say to yourself when you start to think negative thoughts about yourself or your abilities. Negative talk in your mind leads to all sorts of problems.  Briefly said, what you think is what you do. (See associated post for more.)

Remember, the mind is powerful. As an artist, it is crucial to stay positive. So, instead of going to a negative place, find a positive saying that speaks to you and make it your mantra.

Choosing a Mantra

In my case, my teacher’s words became my mantra. “There’s no rejection, there’s only selection.”

I like this mantra because it replaced rejection with selection. Just because we aren’t right for every role we’d like or for every school we select, that doesn’t mean that we’ve been rejected. It just means we haven’t been selected for that particular thing. And although that disappointment can be painful, other better opportunities will come along. They always do. So that mantra speaks to me.

Mantra for Stress Reduction

We can use mantras to calm our minds in times of stress, like during an audition or before a performance. Having a positive thought to focus on keeps us from getting distracted by fear or self-doubt.

Repeating it while practicing mindful breathing can also calm nerves. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose, and out through your mouth while saying your mantra. The one I’ve started using lately is, “You’ve got this.”

Your mantra should be

  • Short
  • Positive
  • Make you feel better emotionally
  • Set your mind at ease

Does this post give you any ideas? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Think of an audition as a performance: You know the saying that life is not a dress rehearsal, well neither is an audition! Take the same preparatory steps you’d take for performance, whether that’s having an extra set of shoes or getting an extra hour of sleep the night before. Also, have a mental fitness strategy: how will you stay focused? Relaxed? Recover from any mishaps or mistakes? Having a plan helps to keep the mind calm in the face of uncertainty and stress. (Check out some of my previous posts for ideas: Performance Preparation, Positive Mantras.) […]

  2. […] give this a try in class: try to tune out your analytical mind with some deep breaths or a focusing mantra. Try staying totally in your body and letting criticism, judgment, and analysis go. Check back in […]

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