On Fighting Back

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

In her book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do, psychotherapist Amy Morin shares the following inspiring anecdote:

In 2008, Barbara Corcoran landed one of the highly coveted spots as a shark on the ABC series Shark Tank. But shortly after she signed the contract accepting the position, she received a call from producers saying they had changed their minds. They had decided to cast another woman in the role.

Rather than walk away with her head down, Barbara fought back. She wrote an email to the show’s producer, Mark Burnett. She didn’t demand the job, though. Instead, she asked for a chance to prove herself. She also didn’t complain or play the role of a victim. She painted herself as someone who was able to bounce back and beat the odds. And she outlined the reasons why she was the best person for the job.

In the message, she gave him three reasons why he should consider inviting her and the other woman to audition:

1. I do my best when my back is against the wall.

2. If you have both ladies in L.A., you can mix it up a bit and see which personalities make the best combination for your show.

3. Last, I’ve known from the get-go the shark role is a perfect fit for me.
Barbara went on to say she’d booked her ticket to L.A. already, and she hoped to be headed to an audition.

Her email worked. She was given an opportunity to prove herself, and she landed the job. She’s gone on to become a fan favorite.

While begging for an opportunity will make you come across as desperate, telling someone you would like a chance to prove yourself shows you feel confident. Of course, you might want to think twice about calling someone who rejected you for a job or someone who rejected you for a date. But there may be times in life where it’s worth saying, “Even though you don’t believe in me now, I’d like a chance to show you I’m up for the job.”

Source: 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do by Amy Morin,
pp. 211-212


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