Taking Aim – What if You Miss?

Every actor has a dream for themselves and their career. And a goal, after all is a dream with a deadline.  I find it ironic how so many people on the “talent” side of the industry are full of hopes, wishes and dreams, but rarely set goals.  Like shooting an arrow at a target, you have to have something to aim for.

But what if you miss?  In my acting career of over 34 years and my business of show career as a consultant and seminar leader, I find THIS to be the most prolific part of what keeps actors treading water, standing still, and generally not getting as far as they’d like.  It’s got nothing to do with talent and everything to do with taking aim at something concrete and measurable.  You don’t want to miss (fail, fall short, etc) so you rarely set short-term, realistically achievable and measurable goals.

The thing that’s interesting about aims is that even though they’re not hard at all, many times we don’t stick to them 100%. To be totally candid here and call myself out, I grapple with this same issue.  An effective aim is intentionally designed to stretch you outside your comfort zone, and though Act Outside the Box as a company is completely designed intentionally for this purpose, heck…well, I’m only human too!

So I offer you a VERY important point about this concept:

There’s no way for an aim to “go wrong.” See, taking an aim is always a win-win situation.

Here’s why…

Let’s suppose you stick to your aim for the entire time you targeted. By doing this, you will have developed power around your intention. The result will be that you can achieve more, faster in your career (and life in general), including taking more challenging aims in the future. You’ll develop habits around taking action in the areas that mean the most to you and the payoffs can be sweeeeet!

But what if you’re like me and are “hit and miss” with sticking with your aims?

How can that be a good thing?

Here’s how…

When you take an aim, your conscious and subconscious mind go on “hyper alert.” You become significantly more aware of this particular intention you’ve set forth. And when you declare it publicly (like I do and recommend), you’re paying even more attention.

When I work with my AAP clients, we set weekly goals and make promises around actions.  Very few of my actor clients accomplish all of the weekly tasks designed to move them forward, but that’s OK…they are AIMING, hitting some, missing others and
their increased state of awareness enables them to notice things they wouldn’t normally notice.  Lessons are learned, corrections are made, and in general, the actors I work with are HAPPIER with the process of attaining their dreams because they are on purpose and on track to realizing them.  All because they’ve set smaller specific and measurable goals.

When you begin to notice your aim more clearly, your own awareness extends to all aspects of your life, not just your acting career. You’ll notice a lot of things more fully and frequently.

And when you don’t stick to an aim, you’ll notice it too…

You’ll eventually (with practice) become naturally curious and question why you were unable to stick to such a “simple” and “easy” goal that you know is possible for you to attain. That curiosity will lead you deeper into yourself, and ultimately, enable you to uncover whatever blockages were preventing you from sticking to that aim.

For every aim I’ve missed, I’m deeply grateful…

Each aim I’ve missed has shown me aspects of myself I would have not seen otherwise…

Each aim I’ve missed has helped me take one step closer towards living my ideal life…

And each aim I’ve missed has helped me become more of the person I am.

Since I like me, I see that as a good thing. 🙂

One of the most powerful practices I know for changing your career is when we take aim at something. I’ve often said “most actors don’t get what they want, because they don’t know what they want.” Simply put, choosing a short-term, realistically achievable goal with an end date can be a challenge in and of itself.

As many actors as there are in this business, there are even more possible aims that can be taken. Remember though, it is imperative that an aim be realistically achievable. The intention is not to create a huge challenge, but rather, a challenge that is just slightly outside your comfort zone.

It’s also important to put an end-date on your aim. This kind of specificity will help ensure your success.

So with that in mind, here’s an exercise for you to try…

  1. Write down 5 aspects of your career you’d like to see improvement in.
  2. Next, prioritize them in order of importance.
  3. Pick the most important one and decide what you will do, how frequently you will do it, and for how many days or weeks you’ll take that aim.
  4. Lastly, declare your aim to at least one other person.

My recommendation is actually to declare it to as many people as is realistically possible. If you’re feeling courageous, or you really want to get moral support to achieve your aim, consider posting it on Facebook or by commenting on this blog.

If you’re really out to achieve some magnificent goals in the coming year, I’m available to support you via my AAP program.  To your success, Lisa

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