Jul 20, 2012

Getting Up From a Fall

As a creative it is par for the course to occasionally face rejection; a bad review or getting overlooked for a role, position or funding opportunity. Projects can too easily evaporate, events be cancelled. Critique can at times be inconsiderate and misjudged which may feel like a personal attack. Creatives often see their careers as their raison d'ĂȘtre and there is a danger that these set-backs become all-consuming. Managing disappointment is a learned skill. Developing an approach to re-claim self-esteem and keeping a healthy perspective is invaluable. 

The Tiny Hurdler
Treat yourself like a child.

I don’t suggest pretending to have a lowered mental capacity but to recognize that your pride has been given a bit of a bash. Nurture rather than rationalise. Dip your feet in the tide water, eat soup and crusty bread, borrow a puppy, fly a kite. Love bomb yourself. A giant hug and someone to say: “You’re brilliant I believe in you” is good medicine. If a willing giant can’t be found prescribe your own equivalent!


The diversion tactic.

Distraction can be just the ticket as the true merit of artistic endeavours prove largely incalculable, particularly discerning why some projects are favoured over others at the selection stage. It is not a mathematical puzzle; and there is no point knitting your mind into a knot. I would recommend exercise, redecorating (yep!) and alternative creative pursuits as excellent diversionary tactics. If all else fails go stand by the ocean and remember that every stone in sight has been here for millions of years before your worries existed.

Praise Be.

Rediscover your enthusiasm –undertake endeavours that guarantee praise. Fish out the good reviews, awards and achievements. If your objective is to succeed in whatever way you understand this word, recovering quickly is imperative to moving forward. If in need of positive re-programing –jump to it. You are your own horse

Get back on the horse.

It is important to get back working immediately and reclaim your creative identity. It need not necessarily be the same project, as for some a little recovery time is needed to gain a brighter perspective. “Work is its own cure” as the poet Marge Piercy would say.

Build a bridge and get over it. 

Accept the situation as it is, or the decision that has been made –fair or unfair. Don’t replay the tape or needlessly beat yourself up. Holding on to negative feelings in relation to the reception of your work is not helpful. Don’t impinge yourself by carrying grudges. In the vast majority of cases everyone involved in the the decision making process are doing their jobs to the best of their ability. 

On very rare occasions we may encounter more challenging situations; people who are ill-advised and might not have our best interests at heart. In these cases it is best to disengage from these individuals immediately and look for advice and support from others. If you feel it is necessary contact your union.

On a final note -remember the old adage “To double your chances of success double your chances of failure”. 

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Material belonging to The ahr-tis-tik mind can be shared via appropriate links to this site.

Ahr-tis-tik mind recommends:
Ten Things I Wish I'd Known About Acting
Top Tips on How to be Miserable
Be Not Obsessed


  1. good blog! good advice

  2. Thank you Martha!

  3. This post "Getting Up From a Fall" was mentioned in Spotlight's weekly round-up on Friday 26th of October 2012.