Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Be Thankful for Rejection, and Keep Moving Forward

Let’s get one thing straight – rejection is not failure. I will say it again. Rejection is NOT failure.  Failure, by definition, is a lack of success. It is the condition or fact of not achieving a desired end or effect. In other words, failure occurs at the end of a process, and it reflects the inability to achieve what was sought out by that process. Rejection, on the other hand, is the dismissal or refusing of a proposal. It does not necessarily mean the death (or ultimate failure) of the process. The reality is that that you will most likely have several proposals rejected before your desired end or effect, whatever that may be, is finally achieved. And you should be thankful for each and every rejection along the way. Here’s why.

So far as I can tell, rejection occurs primarily for two reasons. Either, (1) there is something wrong with your proposal that needs improvement, or (2) the party to whom you are making the proposal just isn’t interested and isn’t, therefore, the right match for whatever you were offering. If there is something wrong with your proposal, you should find out what that is. Ask questions, get feedback. This type of rejection can only be constructive and allow you to improve upon your proposal. You may even find that the feedback you get, although constructive, results in you realizing that the party to whom you were making your proposal just was not the right fit. There actually wasn’t anything wrong with your proposal, it’s just that you and the person to whom you were making your proposal have a different vision, and that’s okay. Which brings me to the second reason you should be thankful for rejection – finding the right match.

Whether in life or in business, finding a partner or someone to accept your proposal is not about just finding any one, it’s about finding the right one. Whether you are looking for love, trying to find an investor for your business, or trying to get your film made, finding the right partner is key. The last thing you want is to spend your life trying to love, work with, or create an artistic vision with someone who just doesn’t get you. So, if there is nothing “wrong” with your proposal, be thankful for all of the rejection you find along the way. After all, you are basically eliminating a bunch of wrong partners.

Rejection is a big part of life, and embracing it is critical to achieving your success. Just remember, rejection will either make you improve upon your proposal or make you realize you were in front of the wrong person. Your desired end or effect still awaits you, so long as you keep trying and allow your process, or journey, to continue. So, be thankful for rejection, and keep moving forward.

On the film side, here is a list of screenplays that were initially rejected, but went on to become huge successes.

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