A weird post to write I hear you cry (does anyone cry anymore or shriek for that matter or do we now just insert emoticons and move on with our lives?!)- I digress, for those who don’t know (where’ve you been people)-I just won the double at the BritMums in Brilliance Awards and am literally walking on air…
Because winning awards, being told you are outstanding and getting the gold from those you respect and admire, well that’s all rather flipping amazing, of course it is- but I wanted to get real and be honest (obvs) and remind you that success is how you learn to improve.
While it can hurt, rejection is part and parcel of growth, of learning and GETTING THERE EVENTUALLY- and while I sound like Miss Honey right now (I LOVED her btw) and you might probably want to punch me in the face right now, bear with me because you rarely read or hear about the failures of someone deemed successful and that’s where life can get a little bit warped.
Success can feel relentless for some and I know it can seem that way for me, that I go from one super exciting project to the next.
Well I fail, we all flipping fail. For every success and commission, someone says ‘no’.
But here’s what happens to those who get a bit brave:
They push themselves out of their comfort zone, they make mistakes, they learn, they triumph often first in small ways, they take tiny steps which build greater confidence to push further and for bigger things and the risks don’t feel as huge, the rejections don’t matter so much and just like that, domino-like, success leads to success.
It doesn’t mean you don’t get knocked down, that you reach some untouchable level of success, you just become better at getting back up again. At looking GOALS straight in the face, shouting ‘I’m coming to get you, move out of my way obstacles’-please don’t ever say that aloud if you still want friends though.
YOU SIMPLY GO FOR IT, WHATEVER IT MAY BE.
You believe in you. That your voice matters. That someone, at somepoint will ‘get you’. That you will not stop truckin’.
Let me share a short story with you (I know, I already written more here that my MA coursework assignment back in 2003) but- living in Westbourne Grove after uni with a group of mates, I taped up a motivational sign (a badly scribbled sign) up in the flat (Pinterest wasn’t invented then so it was the next best thing) which read ‘Failure is not an option’.
The girls I lived with were all embarking on the first and critical post-uni next stage of their professional lives, I in the film industry, others in medicine, another doing a pupillage to become a barrister, another a ballerina.
It was a BIG OLD YEAR for us. I needed a visual reminder we would get through it. We would flipping shine.
That year was a turning point for us all.
It was a year where all odds were raised, a year we couldn’t fail at, we needed to reach our end goal so we could stay in London, we needed to succeed at work and do OK.
It was the classic film narrative you know and love. Girl must conquer the real world despite being a fish out of water and newbie and make a success of herself.
Yes adversity hit in every way imaginable: bad boyfriends, crazy work hours, massive projects (one where I was developing a documentary about a world famous singer for the film company I worked at while simultaneously writing a feature screenplay and getting my boss his Nandos) but I had to survive it. I had to thrive.
And here’s the thing, when you are determined, tenacious and have a clear vision, you can achieve anything.
Because it doesn’t matter how many times you fail (in fact it’s the failing that teaches you), you will get there. And there might change from the start to end goal as you will. Life is fluid so is desire.
It might not be the path you imagined as a child, it might be in a new country, career or time in your life…
I’d pinned myself down for my first feature film by now, but instead I have a career I deeply love, one that allows me to self-publish, create, film, be on camera and connect in way I could never have foreseen. Technology wasn’t even there when I wrote my wishlist for life at the age of 22. So you never know what could happen.
You never know how the world will change to accommodate and make your dreams a reality.
The only difference between someone successful and someone not is the former keeps cracking on. The former hones their confidence, starts believing in themselves and doesn’t take no for an answer.
The successful person takes knock after knock and they keep pushing on. Not in an unkind ruthless way, they are simply proactive in the creating and designing the life they want.
They are what screenwriters call an active not passive protagonist in their own narrative. Be un-apologetically you, don’t change, for it is what makes you unique, which matters.
I have been a finalist in various blogging awards I believe 7 times before last Saturday. In fact the wonderful BritMums made me a Finalist in the Fresh Voice category 4 weeks after starting this blog. It was that award that gave me back my broken confidence after a traumatic birth and gt me back on set again and eventually blogging full time.
I didn’t need to win, to win then.
Not winning is not rejection but some feel it is. I was honoured to make it to the finals.
Of course to win on Saturday was a beautiful, moving feeling, to know thousands of people had voted for me in Social Media and then a panel of esteemed judges in the Outstanding category.
The journey to that point was long. It needed to be long. The lessons were learnt -and I’m ready for many more (lessons and hopefully awards).
Rejection can hurt, of course it can but the more you’re rejected, the easier it becomes. It merely spurs me on now, to be better, be better and define success in what makes me happy, what makes my soul shine (please don’t punch me)!
Only last week I was up for something for telly I wasn’t right for. So much is subjective, you can’t be right for everything and rejection keeps you humble. It keeps you truckin’.
For every pitch as a writer/director I made that got greenlit, two did not. That’s the way of the arts. Actor friends of mine are rejected every single day. Brilliant oscar-worthy actors.
I personally take a mathematical approach to my career, the more I do, write, create and promote (which nourishes me), the more opportunities will come my way. It’s science. You can’t argue with science.
Know that technology is on your side, people. For the first time in forever, we in the arts are in control. How freaking empowering is that?
That the democratic internet you’re using right now to read my post and flip to Facebook straight after-well, this screen is your stage. Your window to shine. To be whomever you want to be. To make your dreams a reality. To win, to lose, to learn.