I love the idea of reframing something. In a literal sense, a new frame can make an old picture seem new. In a figurative sense, it involves looking at something in a new way. This is so important as you venture toward taking more creative risks, because failure is inevitable. Recently I entered a writing and performance contest in which we had to write a five minute monologue about our mothers and perform it in an audition. I hadn’t auditioned in a long time, because I have busy raising kids for a number of years. But I decided that I needed to take more creative risks, while I encourage my coaching clients to do the same. The audition went beautifully, because I felt alive and present and happy, and I noticed that the women auditioning me loved the piece, based on their laughter and feedback.
The next day, however, I found out that I was not chosen to be in the performance. At first, no matter how I spun it, it felt lousy to be rejected, particularly after auditioning for the first time in years. I let myself feel bad for one day, and then I woke up the next day and decided to reframe the experience. What was good about this? How could I view this differently? I decided that my rejection didn’t take away from the positive experience and that I had written a strong performance piece I could use elsewhere. I reminded myself that each new rejection was leading me closer to success.
When Madeleine L’Engle sent A Wrinkle In Time out, she was rejected by 26 publishing houses until she got a yes. The book went on to be a huge success, but not without controversy. Some saw the book as too religious and some thought it not religious enough. At first, Ms. L’Engle was bothered by the criticism, but then she realized the upside by reframing it: “’It seems people are willing to damn the book without reading it. Nonsense about witchcraft and fantasy. First I felt horror, then anger, and finally I said, ‘Ah, the hell with it.’ It’s great publicity, really.”
What is the upside to rejection? How can you reframe failure? In order to find your world stage, the first step is to stop letting fear of rejection keep you from taking little steps toward your dream. What would you do if you didn’t have any fear? Now, go do it.