Every experience is a learning experience. Whether that means attending a workshop or residency that enriches your artistic practice, or landing a grant that advances your career and allows you to broaden your scope, there is something to be learned no matter what. But how about when the answer is no? Those opportunities for which you simply don’t match up – is there anything to be learned from the dreaded three syllable word that haunts artists everywhere? Can rejection actually teach us anything?
The answer is a resounding YES! Praxis student Stede found this out recently and wrote to tell us all about it. In her own words:
“Wonderful experience today…I had applied for, but was not accepted into, a program of accelerated business learning for artists. As Brainard suggested, I wrote and politely asked for feedback so that I might learn and improve, and received a wonderful, informative response with excellent guidance! I have never followed up like this before, and it gave me excellent insight into next steps, as well as into the value and ethics of the organization and people from this program. Thank you, Brainard for your guidance on follow-up!“
As you can see from this experience, Stede had the presence of mind to accept things the way they are and the courage to reach back out and ask what she could learn from the experience.
The thing to remember is that rejection isn’t personal. Even though it can feel that way – after all this is someone saying no to your work or participation – more often than not a no response is simply a misalignment somewhere. This does not make you fundamentally flawed and it presents a fantastic opportunity to learn how you can adapt for the future.
At Praxis Center we instill in our students the important knowledge that there is something to be learned from every experience. We know well that you won’t get a yes every time but we don’t want that to hinder your journey. Use those rejections to make yourself a stronger and more informed artist! When you enroll with Praxis for just $40/month, you immediately connect with the tools you need to seek out and apply for all manner of opportunity. But what’s more, you gain access to a supportive community of experts and peers waiting to remind you that the answer no isn’t the end, it’s just another kind of beginning.