We just had an outstanding Committed Impulse workshop in Los Angeles last week.
Here is one of the many emails I received a few days ago.
I want to thank you for an amazing class and a new outlook on acting and life. You are phenomenal at what u do and how u do it.
We got out of class Sunday. I had an audition Wednesday. Just got the call from my agent that I booked it! No call back necessary. I had so much fun during the audition. I channeled the acting goddess. We played. You helped me realize we are allowed to do that. I chose my fantasy way of doing the character. Ahhhh. So fun
Thank you so so so much. See u in June!
Isn’t it so dang delicious to get a job you want, regardless of your field?
However, the majority of the time, we get rejected. This is nothing to complain about. It’s just how it is. If your career path leads you into the arts or other entrepreneurial professions, you will be rejected. Not always – but often. Law of the land. So what.
One thing the Committed Impulse weekend did for many of us was clear the slate so that we don’t go into our next meeting, interview, audition or job carrying past rejections as a buffer to the present moment.
If we don’t catch it we can build up armor from a series of rejections. This armor blocks our hearts, our bodies, and ultimately our creativity. Soon we go into situations where we must create spontaneously and we can’t offer our full brilliance because we are protecting ourselves from potentially even more rejection.
So, what do ya do???
Do these mantras work?
- “Fuck them.”
- “I am usually better, I just had a bad day, why don’t they see my brilliance. Fuck them.”
- “I am a golden light flowing forth into the universe. If they don’t give me the job – fuck them”
- “I didn’t really want it.”
I have studied these mantras.
I have practiced these mantras.
They don’t produce terrific results.
Here is what does work:
When you get rejected… Feel it.
Yes. Feel the sting of it. Breathe and feel where in your body the dart has landed.
THIS IS KEY!
DO NOT DRAMATIZE IN YOUR MIND!!!
SIMPLY FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL IN YOUR BODY.
And, yes it may be very uncomfortable. Maybe you’ll even cry for 30 seconds. (more than 45 seconds and you’re probably having a drama party – not allowed!)
AND THEN IT WILL BE OVER.
So, the game is not to stop feeling rejection. The game is, when it is there, experience it. By simply experiencing it you will burn it up. Throw gas on the fire, feel the flame, and then be done with it.
What I have seen with so many actors and heartbroken lovers, is they never let themselves feel the STING. Instead, they build up armor and rationalize how to go forward. But this rationalizing is at the expense of their creativity, aliveness, and ability to thrive in the present moment.
Feeling it = emotional colonic.
Not feeling it = caca build up.
As creators, it is our JOB to have bodies that are free of residue and armor. Being free of past rejections sets you up to do your best work and book the jobs that are right for you.
Do you have any examples of dramatizing a rejection – and how all it created was more drama?
What about examples of feeling it and cleaning house?
Let’s be open about this stuff so we don’t carry it around in secret 40-pound knapsacks.
And, just so ya know, there are 15 spots left in the Thursday Night Master Class starting March 24th, 2011 CLICK HERE FOR INFO This will be the last series of classes until October 2011 in NYC.
Leave a comment, otherwise I will feel rejected and will have to feel it.
Thanks for this.
Spent all day trying not to feel wonky, scared and angry.
Came to this blog in search of a little inspiration.
Exactly what I needed to hear.
Now I feel wonky scared and angry.
Now now not so much.
And now this, and now that, and now something else.
Thanks for this.
But what if I feel it and it still doesn’t go away…..
Are you feeling it and having a mental drama about it?
If you stay with the sensation without trying to make it stop it will burn up. Breathe deep – but no drama.
Beth Barany says
Half the time I’m running from rejection and I don’t even realize it. the other half: I turn and see that I’m afraid of them, the nameless them, saying NO. Then I focus in on the ones I want to have a conversation with and see that i don’t know what he or she will say. And my heart pounds. Maybe she’ll say NO THANKS. And my heart pounds. Maybe he’ll say YES. I hit the send button. And feel cleansed. I reached out. And my heart is pounding. On to the next thing…
All I have to say is
Ahhh Josh your post always come at the best time. Thank you 🙂
Josh, this is brilliant! Thank you!
Thank you for this article, Josh!
chicsinger simone says
Wow! Not just applicable in the world of theatre, either. Brilliant! Thank you.
Genius! I spent all day yesterday upset about one job, I may or may not have booked, because I was really nervous about a job I start tomorrow – it has been a spectacular mind-fuck of a defense mechanism… Your post has come just in time – yay! Now I’m gonna go feel scared for a few seconds (7-12)… And that’s okay 😉
Josh! You’re always the best, and I agree with the above comment about this coming at the perfect time! I have 3 auditions in 2 weeks coming up and now I know… I mean I kind of always knew, but, it’s always nice to be reminded. Let’s go out there and FEEL! WOOHOO!
Go have fun in those auditions!
Naomi Colb says
My committed impulse is to immediately share this on my FB page:) Brilliant, as usual!
Thx for spreading the impulse
Julie Millett says
This is so great. The part I especially want as a tattoo is “Do not dramatize what you feel in your mind! Simply feel what you feel in your body!” That’s so right, and I think, at this moment, I just finally *got it* — thank you for the virtual 2×4 to the head. 🙂
Bummed my timing didn’t work to take your LA workshop this time – I’m looking forward to a future opportunity.
Send us a pic of your upcoming tattoo.
We’ll be rocking it out in LA in the first weekend in June.
(not yet officially announced yet)
See ya next time
Conor Tansey says
Thank you for this! I fall into this trap all too often! I swear just reading your emails help me get back in my body and booking work. Hope your having a kick ass New Year!
We all fall into it – but it’s so easy to pop out of it!
I have to agree: this came at just the right time! I was having major angst over an audition tomorrow, so I decided to just feel the fear and let go of the mental drama. The fear lingered for about 5 seconds and then transformed into something else, which actually felt very empowering. Interesting, eh!
And that “armor” you talk about, Josh? Oh yeah, I’ve put that on before, and it’s not just auditions, it can be anything. And all it does is “deaden” things. F that! I want to be alive! I want to feel! I want to be in touch with my creative self.
So yeah! I’m back! And I’m breathing it in and seeing what’s in front of me and feeling what’s going on in my body, and it’s an awesome ride.
Erin C says
I swear I’m going to start printing out your blogs and taping them to the walls.
Thank you for the constant reminders of how to make the most out of every moment of your life! Too short to waste on drama, that’s for sure. Feeling is scary because we feel raw and vulnerable. However, when it passes, the freedom is endless!!!!
Love how you saw the freedom is endless.
Have fun in your new gig!
I just forwarded this to my mom, dude. Inspiring stuff! I like the idea of a buffer of CI type activities in between “real jobs” to keep the doors open and free from the rejection “residue”. Cool! Thanks!!!
Jeffrey Marcus says
I feel you, Josh.
Stephanie W. says
FUCK YEAH!!! This is a great post Josh. And it inspired me to share this experience with y’all…
I had a very emotionally exhausting and difficult experience when getting out of my last relationship. After the break up finally happened, I remember consciously deciding NOT to go out and party with my friends, NOT to drink the whole bottle of pinot, NOT to watch depressing movies on repeat , NOT to eat my weight in cheez-it’s…but simply to just BE. To be with the fear, the pain, the loss, the sadness. Just be with it. I cried and cried some more and within 2 weeks (yes, there was some pitty party stuff happenin’)…I was over it. I was done. It felt so freeing and I felt truly alive for the first time in a long time.
I’ve taken that spirit of presence onward into my life and over the past several years my life has manifested such amazing awesomeness (from the right relationship to pursuing my passions in life), that I just had to post and share my experience with you.
In other words…the shit WORKS!!
Thank you Josh for the work you do and for sharing it with the world.
Cheers to you (and that amazing lady of yours)! 🙂
Liz DiAlto says
I freakin’ love this. You talked about this at RHH Live and whenever I need to “feel” something, I like to close my eyes and pretend I’m watching myself feel it like, “oh hey, there I am, feeling overwhelmed, I should take a couple deep breaths and relax now…” it’ goes away so much quicker that way! Thanks Josh 🙂
Cheryl Hardacre says
BRILLIANT STUFF! I spent 9 years studying psychology to come to, in a complicated way, what you speak of here. But you put it so simply and directly Josh, it’s fantastic.
It’s true that emotions that are not FELT stay stored in the body and build up, blocking other feeling states around them (that is, also the GOOD ones). Why do you think the Italians are so bloody happy? Because they’re SPONTANEOUS….when they’re angry they show it, when they are happy they show it…and they are over the anger pronto! Why? Because it is released and not stored!!
But it is hard to remember this, and the way you put it, Josh, makes it all so easy to do and accessible.
And I’m an author, not an actor, and I have to say I admire all you guys who undertake such an ego-threatening profession…all that being assessed and scrutinized by panels from top to toe…I could not do it! Thank god you’ve got Josh!! 🙂
Best to all!
PS I am in Sydney, Australia, and live right by the harbour. It is Australia Day here and there are lots of decorated ferries (having a race) and tall ships, and jets flying over…and it is really, REALLY hot (thought I’d rub that in as I know NY is a bit chilly 🙂 Sorry!!!
PPS My most recent book, THE ACCIDENTAL PROPHET, is actually a humorous book about a woman who meets her adolescent self and needs to sort out her life, and part of that is her clearing of all the energetic emotional loadings that have been stored…so there is a tie-in here!
Melody Granger says
I’m a pyromaniac and an analogy lover, so when you said to throw gas on the fire, let it burn out, then its over…I sooooo got it!
Not a drama queen, so I don’t have much to share.
Oh wait, I did shed a tear once over rejection. (more to it than that, but it doesn’t matter) When I immediately made a phone call to a friend and tried to tell her what happened is when I couldn’t speak because of the tear that was trying to get out.
I got it out and my words out. Then I moved on!
.-= Melody Granger´s last blog ..Miraculous Changes Rarely Happen When You’re Living With Clutter =-.
Andy Sydow says
I am not an actress & your post came right on time. Sting-party today!
.-= Andy Sydow´s last blog ..Luces & Sombras =-.
Laura Baran says
I love this, thank you Josh. Love the idea that creators have a responsibility to feel things in the moment in order to burn them up and be available for the next sensation. I think it might be really good for our physical health too. I will be thinking about this for a while, remembering it. thank you!
molly mcdowell says
Thanks, Josh, for this thought-provoking blog — it made me think that rejection is not so much a solid brick wall (which I, um, sometimes avoid by not submitting or auditioning — weirdly thus actually letting rejection mess with me even when it doesn’t really happen!) as it is a fluid….that just flows on through you –
Really excited to be in the on-camera class in March — it’s been a year since I was in the room — too long!
I LOVE this quote:
“Let’s be open about this stuff so we don’t carry it around in secret 40 pound knapsacks.”
Awesome – I’m going to post that on my wall. Thank you!
Greg Sadler says
An actress friend of mine posted this on Facebook. I read it, enjoyed it, and am presently writing a blog entry myself riffing off of it. I’m a philosophy prof, and one of my specialties is theories of anger, so this was right up my alley, and in my view, right on. We academics have to deal with similar issues of how to process rejection, so this is quite a useful post. I’ll add the blog link once my piece is published
Greg Sadler says
Finally got to it: http://gbsadler.blogspot.com/2011/01/rejection-anger-and-productive.html
nicky moran says
Such wise words – thank you. I always use this advice when I’m with coaching clients as I know how the stuck and buried emotion can lead people to feel disconnected with others – being with their emotions makes people more alive, vital and so much more engaging to be with. I think we should be teaching this stuff in school along with helping people to use their rational brains. Love it!
Nicky Moran x
I totally agree – this should be basic training in high schools everywhere.
Anyone with ideas on how to do this – please let me know.
Greg Sadler says
I think you could start by talking with school counselors and social studies teachers (since they sometimes offer psychology as a course) about coming in and doing a day’s lecture. It could also be very useful to tie this into the Emotional Intelligence material that’s out there — I don’t buy all of it myself, but it does fit well with what you’re talking about, and it provides a fairly well-known common vocabulary for people to hang things on.
I’ve been thinking about a similar matter — how to get Critical Thinking into high school curricula — so I’d be quite happy to work with you in thinking out strategies how to get these sorts of materials and subjects into high schools
Denise Duffield-Thomas says
I’m not an actor, but a life coach, speaker and writer – so I definitely understand the rejection fear. I don’t even care when I get a rejection because I know that means I’ve done the work and I’m one step closer to a YES.
BTW – your comment luv needs upgrading. It’s telling me to tell you 🙂