“Unfortunately, we selected another voice over talent for this project.”
“No, please do not call us back about upcoming voice over opportunities.”
“We already have a voice over talent on our talent agency roster with your sound.”
Ouch. Rejection hurts. Literally.
According to research from the University of Michigan, the same regions of the brain that become active in response to painful sensory experiences are activated during intense experiences of rejection (Nauert). Stubbing your toe and not being accepted by a voice over talent agency may seem like they trigger different types of pain, but this research shows that they trigger very similar neurological-level responses.
Jia Jiang experienced a very real and painful rejection when one of the biggest entrepreneurial endeavors of his life lost its major financial investor, forcing him to put his dream on hold. It was a hard loss and a very painful rejection. He realized then more than ever that in the business world, rejection is a way of life. Instead of fearing rejection, he decided to desensitize himself from rejection by facing it head on.
“I am going through 100 days of Rejection Therapy, aiming to have one rejection per day by making crazy requests. My goal is to desensitize myself from the pain of rejection and overcome my fear.” -Jia
After watching many of the videos myself, I can safely say that A LOT of them say no, but there is an occasional yes. In fact, one of the rare yes’s went viral (over 5 million views) when he asked a Krispy Kreme employee to make him a doughnut configuration modeled after the Olympic rings. Watch the amazing results here:
In the voice over world, rejection is also a way of life (auditions, talent agency submissions, cold-calling, etc.). You are an entrepreneur and performer. You signed up for rejection. Sometimes, it can really hurt. But you can learn a lot from it. That is why I reached out to Jia, a rejection expert, to find out what he has learned about rejection through his “Rejection Therapy.” Jia has been featured in Business Week, online publications all around the world, and has even given his own inspiring TED Talk.
You need “Rejection Therapy” too.
Apply the five most important things Jia has learned about rejection during his time in “Rejection Therapy” to your own voice over rejections:
1. Rejection therapy is a number.
The law of large numbers says no matter how absurd the request is, if you talk to enough people, you will get a yes, not to mention normal requests.
2. Rejection is nothing but an opinion.
It reflects as much about the rejection-giver as it does about the rejection taker. Rejection-takers should not take a rejection as an objection reflection on themselves.
3. Rejection can be a great tool to improve oneself.
Once rejected, always ask the question ‘why’ and try to understand the underlying reasons. They can provide great insight to one’s endeavors.
4. Start with “why” before any request.
Before making a request, it helps to start with a reason for that request. People care about ‘why’ far more than ‘what’.
5. Have fun with rejection.
Things will be much easier if you have this mind-set. Gamify your request, post your rejection letters on the wall, donate $5 to charity for every rejection… Do whatever it takes to have some fun.
I want to thank Jia once again for sharing his rejection insights with the voice over community. I especially like numbers 2 and 5.
Follow his “Rejection Therapy” journey:
Facebook: 100 Days Rejection
Blog: Hope From Nope
And will you please share these insights from Jia with others by using the social media buttons below? I can handle the rejection if you don’t.
**Have you heard about the Fake Voice Over Gossip Headlines? Read more by clicking that link. Share your own headlines on Twitter by using the hash tag #fakeVOgossipheadlines and tweeting @JohnLano. You can see other published, hilarious ones at http://pinterest.com/voiceovergenie/the-fake-vo-gossiper/.
Nauert PhD, R. (2011). Social Rejection Hurts Like Physical Pain. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 18, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/news/