• Shahlaa Tahira

Accept that, it’s the journey that counts.

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

I apply for over 1000 presenter gigs a year and I probably get about 100. Let that sink in. 

I remember the week before, what I considered to be the biggest casting of my life. 

I had spent the last 7 days shopping for a new outfit, rehearsing what I was going to say, editing archived footage, getting my nails and eyebrows done. I even got a massage to ‘help’ me relax. And then the day arrived! I was so nervous I arrived an hour earlier than I was supposed to. Which didn’t end up being a bad thing but still. I left the casting thinking, ok Shah you’ve done the best you could and I think they genuinely liked me.

Weeks later and still no news, but no news is good news right.

Then the answer came, I was sitting at my desk, checking my emails as I always do and I felt my heart sink. This was the dream gig, the game changer, the boost I needed, but once again I got rejected.

A rejection to a presenter is like rain in London, common and predictable. But I really tried everything, for this to be the perfect casting. I even used the ‘laws of attraction’ stating that ‘I would be the next … Presenter’. Well, the law of attraction didn’t work for me. 

The irony is that 5 months after that rejection, I decided that the brand I was so desperate to present for, doesn't even represent who I am. And this isn’t the first time I’ve been rejected by a brand who down the line I’ve realised ‘was a lucky escape’. There have been multiple radio stations that at the time I thought I would have done anything to be on. All of which have shown sides to their company that I don’t respect or want to support.

So did I miss out on my dream gig, or did I have a few lucky escapes of compromising who I am to suit a brand?

The real is, when you feel desperate for an opportunity sometimes you will compromise yourself. But unless it's life and death, what's the point? I chose to present because I didn’t want to feel like my job was work, but it is work if I’m doing something I don’t want to do.

When you miss out on the ‘dream opportunity’ remember if you took away the cheque, would it really be what you want to be doing. Or are you excited because of what others might think. If it is genuinely the ‘dream opportunity’ then maybe you’re not ready, or that brand isn’t ready for you. You need to figure out was it your skills and talent, or are we a mismatch.

Either way if you don’t learn from your rejections and use the feedback to push forward, ultimately you will give up quickly. And if this is your biggest passion and you’re in this for the long haul, giving up is not an option. 

So next time you get rejection from a gig, just be proud that you made it into the room to begin with and make sure you prove to that brand why they missed out. 



#creativejourney #PublicSpeaking

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