We’ve all had days, weeks, months and — for some — even years of dark times, stagnation and even depression over the state of our career. (There’s that TIME thing again!) Whether we fall into ruts of self-sabotage, loneliness, insecurity, or waning belief in our future, leading a happy, joyful life as an actor can sometimes feel like a fairy tale. However, I’m here to let you know that just like dreams, fairy tales do come true! Here’s how…
I often tell my ‘business of show’ students and coaching clients they’re doing soooo much better than they give themselves credit for. I can see it even if they can’t. It’s the old “can’t see the forest for the trees” analogy.
Most of us are so busy trying to dodge the bullets, grasping for any signs of progress, and looking for those outward results, that we forget to stop and appreciate the little victories along the way to our goals and dreams. More on goals and goal setting in my next posts…
But for now, consider for a moment that you’re already doing a tremendous job. Living a life as an actor isn’t always an easy thing to do, but it can be most enjoyable when we start to see the good instead of focusing on the bad. (There’s that Law of Attracting thing again!)
You are actually living your career dreams already by recognizing these 20 signs:
1. Your relationships are less dramatic than they use to be. The drama is now mostly on the stage/set where it ought to be.
2. You may not have as much money as you want but you know and believe more is on the way. However, you’re not waiting to live a rich and abundant life NOW.
3. You’re no longer afraid to ask for help and support, thinking it is a sign of weakness. Instead you realize the juice of this business and you’re open to allowing someone to be a contribution on your journey.
4. Where you live feels like home. This means your actual living home and in your skin.
5. You’ve raised your standards. The bar is presently high and you’re setting it higher as you move forward.
6. You let go of things that don’t make you feel good. This could extend to people, experiences, and negative thinking. Feeling good is your top priority.
7. You have moments where you appreciate who you see in the mirror. Hey, it may not be all the time but when you recognize those moments, you grin from ear to ear with a pleasant knowingness.
8. You’re working on limiting your inner critic and consciously disavowing outer critics who are not out to serve your best interests. Bad reviews have nothing to do with you. Opinions are like…(you know what goes here!)
9. You’ve learned that setbacks and failure are part of career growth as well as self-growth. Fail your way to success. Correct and continue. There is no such thing as perfect.
10. You have a support system that includes people who would do anything for you. And that’s not by chance.
11. You hear “I love it”, “great job”, “wonderful effort” and “I love you” often, from family, friends, partners, and industry professionals.
12. You’ve accepted what you can’t change, but are changing what you can’t accept. This tricky balancing act has become the norm.
13. You don’t complain as much, but instead focus on solutions. You recognize that you can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it and search for a different approach. You’ve also limited the complaints you’re willing to listen to. (Take special note if you work background…a breeding ground for complaints.)
14. You don’t blame your parents, and accept them for who they are. OK, though I’m not a therapist, this is the big one!
15. You’ve stopped caring about what others think of you. Ahem, I meant THIS is the big one. By not care, I mean you understand that what other’s think about you is none of your business. (For “how to” do that, check out an excellent book written by Terry Cole Whittaker that I highly recommend called “What You Think of Me is None of my Business.”)
16. You can celebrate other actor’s successes and really be happy for them.
17. You have a true passion that you are pursuing. It’s not the fame, money or your ego that is driving you. You feel this passion more often than not.
18. You’re able to accept compliments without deflecting. When acknowledged for your acting prowess, singing skill, or for the way you’ve inspired someone through your artistic expression, you simply smile and say “thank you”.
19. You feel connected to your work both on and off the stage. Every part of your career, not just the actual craft of acting, is part of your passion.
20. You have many goals that have come true. Finishing that acting program, having fresh new headshots to distribute and making that notoriously scowling casting director smile during your audition are things you had on your never ending “to do” list and they got DONE! Up next, getting an agent, a co-star role on a series, a big check…You don’t discount the previously met goals as insufficient to the ones not yet realized.
Look to this list of 20 in times of doubt and when you’re just not feelin’ it. Sometimes a few reminders of just how absolutely awesome your career IS going can make a huge difference.
Tweaked and significantly added to by Lisa Gold. Original base content from Shannon Kaiser of www.the-open-mind.com