Failure Should Be An Option: How Rejection Leads To Creativity

The biggest triumphs in 21st century film will likely NOT come from filmmakers working to please the gatekeepers of 20th century film.

David Burkus, a professor of management at Oral Roberts University, has written persuasively about the important role that rejection might serve in creativity. Citing work by Sharon Kim of Johns Hopkins University, that sought to examine the impact of rejection on individuals' creative output, Prof. Burkus writes that "feelings of rejection can actually help us access our more creative selves. Free from the expectations of group norms, we can push the limits of novelty. Moreover, we can enhance that ability by changing the way we respond to rejection. Instead of dwelling too much on the pain of being turned down or turned aside, consider the freedom you now have to explore new possibilities and less mainstream options."

If Professor Burkus is right, and there is an inherent bias against creativity, rejection by a conservative group (like the teachers in your film school or the executives at an Old World studio) might be a very good sign and just the motivation you need to push forward: "While the group or client may not believe they need you right away, the world probably does. If you're too far from the mainstream, you could be the one pushing progress forward."

Thanks to the inspiring Sheri Candler, co-author of Selling You Film Without Selling You Soul, for the link.

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