Brush Off & Rise Up: Reframing Rejection as an Artist

Let’s talk about something that’s as common in the art world as paint on a canvas – REJECTION. Even the word sounds a bit harsh, doesn’t it? But here's the deal: rejection is like those pesky sidekicks we never asked for, but they still tag along. So, how do you as an artist can dodge the daggers of rejection without losing your motivation? Buckle up, because we’re going on a roller coaster ride of emotions and learning how to get off feeling unbeaten!

1. First things first: It’s not YOU! ❣️

Listen up. A rejection doesn’t mean you're the human equivalent of a wilted flower. It just means that your piece wasn’t the right fit for that particular opportunity. Maybe the timing was off, or perhaps they were looking for something else. Don't tie your self-worth to acceptance or rejection. You are more than that - don't forget that! 

2. Build Your Tribe 🌟

Do you know what makes dealing with rejection easier? Having a bunch of cool cats around who get what you’re going through. Surround yourself with a community of artists, mentors, and friends. When you face rejection, they'll be there to support you for trying and pour you a cup of coffee, hot cocoa, or a glass of wine.

3. Learn, Grow, Evolve 🌱

Okay, let’s put on our detective hats for a moment. 🕵️‍♀️ Take rejection as an opportunity to analyze what went down. Was there something you could have done differently? Is there room for improvement? This isn't about beating yourself up; it's about improving and feeding your brain for next time.

4. Celebrate the Small Wins 🎉

Who said you need a red carpet to celebrate? Did you finish a piece? Awesome! Did you apply for a show? Fantastic! Create your own little milestones and give yourself a pat on the back for them. These little moments build up the resilience and strength you need to face bigger challenges. 

5. Reframe Your Narrative 🌟

This point is so crucial that I’m going to hit the brakes and take some time to unpack it. When you face rejection, it's natural to start telling yourself a story about what happened, and often, this story is not very kind. You might think, "I’m not good enough," or "I always mess things up." This kind of negative self-talk can really take a toll on your emotional well-being.

Now, let's get into the magic of reframing.

Instead of getting stuck in this negative narrative, challenge yourself to rewrite the story in a more positive or constructive light. For instance, instead of thinking, "I’m not good enough," you could reframe it as, "This particular attempt didn’t work out, but it doesn't define my worth. I can learn from this experience and try again."

By reframing, you are not denying the pain of rejection, but you're choosing to view it in a way that empowers you and encourages personal growth. You're also distancing yourself from the situation - and this is essential in maintaining your mental well-being! This shift in perspective can be incredibly healing and liberating at an emotional level. It's like giving yourself a mental hug and a pep talk at the same time.

Remember, the stories we tell ourselves shape our emotions and actions, so let’s make them stories of resilience, growth, and hope!

Rejection might not taste great, but they don’t have to leave a lasting bitter flavor. Use them as your secret ingredients to spice up your journey and grow stronger, wiser, and more resilient.

Exploring Your Inner Landscape…

I invite you to take a moment to dive into these two questions. Giving them some thought could really open up new perspectives and be quite enlightening.

1. What Story Am I Telling Myself?

Take a moment to pause and reflect on the narratives you have been telling yourself lately, especially regarding your art and rejections. Are these stories empowering or limiting? Ask yourself if the story aligns with your values and the artist you aspire to be. If not, what elements can you start altering to make it a story that fuels your growth and resilience?

2. How Can I Turn Today’s Challenge Into Tomorrow’s Growth?

Reflect on a recent challenge or rejection you faced. How did it make you feel? Instead of dwelling on the negatives, consider the possibilities it opens up. What new skills or insights can you gain from this experience? How can you use this knowledge as a stepping stone for future endeavors? This question helps in shifting focus from the setback to the potential for personal development and future success.

Now, go out there and create your story with all the colors and emotions - and don't forget to share it with the world!  

Post your thoughts in the comments section! I would love to hear what you have to say! 💕


About Dr. Yanina:

She’s a psychologist, author, speaker specializing in mindset & emotional wellness and educational psychology, and co-founder of the Art NXT Level Academy. Dr. Yanina is the lead author of the acclaimed book Crush Self-Sabotage and Live Fully! The Artist's Wellness Journey to Confidence and Success, as well as the author of Moms Don’t Quit! How to Influence, Empower and Stay Connected with Your Tween or Teen in a Noisy World. With a deep understanding of the impact and influence of one's emotions and mental states, she has developed practical resources to support artists in their mindset and emotional wellness. She firmly believes that a holistic approach to life, incorporating the mind, body, and soul, empowers artists to lead healthier lives and make a profound impact through their art. Dr. Yanina actively engages with contemporary artists, offering workshops, retreats, and resources that address their emotional well-being and career development. 

Connect with Dr. Yanina:

IG. @dryaninagomez


Resources for Artists:


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