20 Signs You’re Succeeding At Your Career (Even If It Doesn’t Feel Like It)

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 thinkthumbs-uping. 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 acceptesuccess-girl in grassd 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.No fail

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  

25 Questions. Your Answers May Be A Surprise.

qaWould you like to know a little more about who you are and what you truly believe? Well here’s a simple test that only
takes about 2 minutes. Just answer yes or no to each of the 25 “Do You Believe” questions. Your answers may surprise you!
1.      Do you believe that attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference?
2.      Do you believe that we miss 100% of the shots we don’t take?
3.      Do you believe that our aspirations are our possibilities?
4.      Do you believe that projects don’t succeed…people do?
5.      Do you believe that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give?
6.    Do you believe that those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves?
7.      Do you believe that many times… less can be more?
8.      Do you believe that in the middle of every difficulty comes opportunity?
9.     Do you believe that you’re always one choice away from changing your life?
10.   Do you believe that when you’ve done your best you can wait for the results in peace?
11.    Do you believe that sometimes in the winds of change we can find our true direction?
12.     Do you believe that laughter is sunshine in any life?
13.     Do you believe that the most important things in life aren’t things?
14.    Do you believe that a leader’s job is to look into the future and see things not as they are, but… as they can be?
15.   Do you believe if you throw your heart over the fence, the rest will follow?
16.   Do you believe that customer service is not a department… it’s an attitude?
17.     Do you believe that the price of leadership is responsibility?
18.     Do you believe if you change your thoughts you can change the world?
19.     Do you believe you can burn brightly without burning out?
20.    Do you believe that the greatest principal in the world is… the things that get rewarded and appreciated get done?
21.    Do you believe that after the verb to love… to help is the most beautiful verb in the world?
22.    Do you believe that whether you think you can, or you can’t… you’re right?
23.     Do you believe that gratitude can change your life?
24.    Do you believe that its not the things you get but the hearts you touch that will determine your success in life?
25.    Do you believe that if you teach your child the Golden Rule, you will have left an estate of incalculable value?

Your answers to these questions will help you determine what you truly believe. For me the answer to each of these questions is… YES. I believe it! My mission is to inspire people who share these beliefs, particularly creative artists.

As the founder of Act Outside the Box, I’ve created over twenty-five seminars/products/courses illustrating these beliefs. The content is about what you need to know about your acting career – the logistics.  The context is what you believe and how to persevere in a very lop-sided business arena.  If you’d like to find out more about what I offer, check it out here.

This Q&A test was derived from my friends at SimpleTruths.com – repurposed for our community.  Please feel free to share YOUR beliefs in the comment box below!

Your Success is in your Thinking

Positive-ThinkingWe live in a big universe full of possibilities, especially for creative people like you. If you stop to think about how vast this reality really is, you might go a little nuts … or maybe become fully enlightened, depending on the day of the week!

Figuring out how we rein all of this in to something tangible in our creative career can easily lead to complicated over thinking. I like to call this analysis paralysis. One of the only things you really need to know though, is that you’re not separate from anything or anyone out there.  Everything is connected, including you and me.

The Law of Attraction is real and I’m a big believer of it and if you’re reading this, I think you are too. It’s why you’re on my email list or website so I’m going to be talking a lot more about it from here on out.

It’s our thinking and subsequent actions that determine what comes into our lives, good and bad, and what sometimes seems bad at the start (I like to call this uncomfortable) could actually be good for us ultimately. This is growth and development, expansion and ACTing Outside the Box! (see how I did that, LOL?)

It’s all good, except for one little part: the condition that says “First I have to DO this or that.” That’s called waiting for life to occur. That’s called means-to-an-end thinking. “First I have to DO this, then I can have that.”
It really doesn’t work that way my friends. When you put conditions on what can come into your life and career, your mind will never let you feel like you’re doing enough. You don’t feel like you’re enough already, so that’s exactly what you’re going to get: not enough. Starving artist is based on this precept. NOT ENOUGH.

“When I’m better, then I can attract the right agent. The person I am right now is not enough.” Or “if I had done is Not Enoughthat way in the audition instead, I could have gotten the job.” Guess what, that’s a habitual mindset. That’s a mind pattern that will never leave you.

No matter where you go or who you’re with or how you do things, your mind will always tell you, “You’re not ready. You’re not enough. If I just have six more months of working on myself, my craft or when I get an audition with that casting director, then (fill in the blank here.)

“Can you imagine the kind of career I could have if I enroll in that MFA program?” “I’ll be unstoppable once I get an agent!” “Once I finish my summer program at this acting studio, then I’ll be ready to rock it.”

Here’s a fact: Life is now. Life is not, “When I’m perfect, that’s when I can have the right career.”

Stop waiting. Be open right now for the universe to unfold in front of you. Be open for the right situation to come your way. Just go with the flow.

Your success is in your thinking.

There’s a hidden payoff in sabotaging yourself like this: not succeeding at something. What a great excuse you’ve given yourself. What a great reason for not being able to have the career of your dreams.

In fact, it’s the GOLD medal of reasons, pun intended! It keeps you stuck even though that reason is painful because deep down inside you know you’re ready for the success you’re looking for.

Success is in your thinking.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t continue striving to be better because that’s the juice of life, right? But for goodness sake don’t beat yourself up for every little flaw, or even the big ones for that matter!

Let go of all that. You don’t need to completely structure every second of how this is going to work for you. Be open. Smile and relax. Chill out.

Lisa pointing and looking rightYou’re the right person, right now. You’re good enough as you are. Can you improve? Of course. We can always improve. Once you really get this, you’ll understand forward progress without making your happiness depend upon it. I love to learn and I love to teach because there’s always something more out there to add to your already AWESOMENESS!

The most important thing you can learn is that dwelling on the “if I” and “when I” and “it would be better if” or “if I had that, then I would” takes you out of the present moment.
Thinking about the perfect future is what stops you from having the perfect present. It’s the only thing that stops you.

To your success, Lisa (remember, it’s in your thinking!)

Create a Powerfully Effective Vision Board for Your Career

visionboardFor those of you that truly know me well, you know that I’m a huge believer in the Law of Attraction.  One of my favorite tools to attract what I desire is though creating vision boards. Vision boards can and do work for those that do them right. But what does it take to create the ultimate collage of images that evokes the positive changes you want in life? Well, for one thing it takes a positive mind and for another, it takes a certain kind of technique.

When you get it right, a vision board will help you attract anything you desire as a result of the Law of Attraction. An audition, a great agent, that certain kind of resume building role…let’s take a look at how you can make your dreams come true with a vision board that inspires through evoking images.

Before You Begin Cutting and Pasting:

A vision board that is done right should include images that matter to you personally, not some general opinion of what people want for themselves. To get yourself in the right frame of mind for your search, do a little visualizing first. Think about how you your career to look EXACTLY.  Who are you with, what you want to have, where in the world are you and all of the things you want to accomplish. Write anything that really stands out on a notepad, creating a list of what matters to you. Dream big and don’t be doubtful. Realize that everything you want can come to you with the right attitude and serious focus.

Once you have finished your list, it’s time to find out what is missing. There will be pieces of your life that you left out without realizing it. In order to have a complete vision board that really says who you want to be regarding your career, don’t ever forget that acting is a part of your life…not your whole life.  What else you want also takes some serious soul searching. Think about every aspect of your life and be VERY specific.

Be Sure to Include:

  1. Acting career and other business goals
  2. Your idea of wealth and abundance
  3. Who you want in your life
  4. Where you want to live
  5. The things you want to do
  6. Your health and fitness goals
  7. The things you want to have most

When you have finalized your idea of the life of your dreams, it’s time to start looking for the images that match each desire. The images should make you go “awwwwww!” and “oooooooh!” and make you feel something strong emotionally. Don’t include images of things that don’t make you feel completely captivated as they won’t produce the right vibrational energy to attract the life of your dreams. You need images that will really power you up and create a positive energy that you feel in every cell of your body.

There are Two Main Ways to Find the Right Images:

Online – This is the best resource for finding those awe inspiring images that will kick your Law of Attraction journey into high gear. Simply type in the search what you are looking for and select from the entire results for your perfect image. A great way to do this is by using Google images to narrow down the results to pictures alone. It makes the treasure hunt a lot easier than clicking through links. Save all of your images to a folder and then print them out. Make sure you have color ink to get the most visual appeal out of your images.

In Magazines – If you have a wide selection of magazines to choose from and don’t mind cutting them into pieces, this can be a great way to find exactly what you are looking for. It might take a little more time, but it is a lot of fun. Bring out the collection of dusty magazines or ask for the old copies that others are throwing away. For those that have the cash to spare, try investing in a few specific types of magazines based on the images you want. Travel and automotive magazines are always a great place to start.

Add Positive Affirmations to Boost Effectiveness:

When you finish getting all of your images together for everything on your list, it’s time to boost their effectiveness with positive affirmations. For each image you want to include on your vision board, write down something short and to the point. You want it to affirm those things you want are on their way to you. Use the present tense as if they are already becoming part of your life.

Some Examples of Positive Affirmations Include:

  1. I travel to Los Angeles and enjoy a career in film and television
  2. The person of my dreams is coming into my life
  3. I am excited about getting my dream car
  4. I easily attract money like a magnet
  5. I am more physically fit and attractive with each passing day
  6. Every step I take brings me more success in my acting career

Each positive affirmation can be catered to your own personality. Get creative with it and add some humor, spirituality or inspiring quotes. Whatever makes you feel like nothing is stopping you from achieving all of your goals is what you should include. You can print the words out on paper and cut them out or get in touch with your artistic side and do your own bubble letters – whatever works best for you.

The Finishing Touches:

After you have finished cutting everything out, arrange everything so that the most important things are at the focal point, then place everything else around those. This can be done on a piece of poster board, magnetic surface or on a cork board. For a more permanent vision board use the poster board. If you are the kind of person that changes their mind often, use the magnetic surface or cork board. That way you can easily replace things as they are achieved or if you decide you want something else.

Glue, magnetize, or pin each image in place and take a step back to admire your masterpiece. It might not sound like much at this moment, but when you have it all finished and you are looking at it, you’ll know the great power it truly has over your positive energy level. With every look you will automatically recharge that motivation for maximum Law of Attraction magnetism.

How to Get the Most Out of Your New Vision Board:

Your vision board is complete and it looks amazing. However, if you don’t know how to use it you might as well have done it all for nothing. So though this is the very last step to creating a powerfully effective vision board, it is the most important step of all. You’ll need to make it work for you.

Here’s How:

1. Place it somewhere that you will see it daily. Make it a priority to just look at it without distractions for 5 minutes or so throughout the day. Set an alarm or work it into your break time. Just make sure you set aside at least 15 minutes daily.

2. Believe that every single thing on your vision board is a part of your life and that it is all on the way right now.

3. Imagine yourself as if you already have everything you see. Let the details of having what you want fill your mind and really feel what it’s like to live that life. Think about how grateful you feel for each and every one of those things.

4. Carry this feeling of certainty and happiness with you throughout each situation on a daily basis and watch as your reality transforms to match that of your vision board.

It’s amazing, it works and I have experienced this many times myself!  When all of your dreams have come true, be sure to practice gratitude for everything you have. If you feel really ambitious, set new goals with another vision board to lead the way!

Take it Easy

There’s a book out there called “Life Was Never Meant to be a Struggle” by Stuart Wilde. The title pretty much says it all, yes?

You sure wouldn’t know it by the way actors live and work at their career. The fact is many actors suffer through the journey of reaching their dreams.  They do what they do because they were taught (incorrectly) they have to, because they think or heard they should, or quite simply have NO IDEA what to do to have their hopes and wishes come true—BUT they blindly keep on keepin’ on even in the face of personal unhappiness or financial struggle.

And that’s exactly what a lot of actors’ biggest struggle is when it comes to getting acting work. We don’t do what we love because we’re not clear about what we want.

When I coach or lead certain goal oriented seminars, I usually start out by asking actors to share their big dream, then their plan to attain it.  I get a lot of blank stares.  And instead I get a laundry list of hopes, wishes and desires, but no measurable, attainable results and any INSPIRED actions to get there.

The first place to look, of course, is at your natural talents. Natural talents are gifts from the Universe, gifts from spirit, or whatever you want to call your creator. These are things that you do well, that you didn’t have to learn to do. You’re basically born with this skill. It comes easy to you. It’s something that people look at you and go, “You’re natural at that.” And most importantly, you like doing it!  That’s the GIFT of talent you are offering the world.

But how do you get to offer your gifts and make a great living? The most obvious reason a lot of actors never do is fairly simple and not at all a spectacular revelation.  They haven’t created loving what they do OFF the stage or set or class—and struggle through life because of it—oh yeah, and the fear: fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of rejection, fear of looking foolish, fear of disapproval and even fear of success!

I believe the acting business is not meant to be a struggle.  While acknowledging that struggles do happen in the form of detaching yourself from some of what your acting teachers sold you..(i.e. you’re talented, now all you need is an agent) growth is hard in areas you don’t have a lot of experience in, but once we get through it and become more AWARE of just how easy this stuff is, the struggle lightens.

We have to unlearn what we believe in order to escape the struggles that the illusion of becoming an overnight success and not having that happen.  Once you get it straight in your head that a BIG BREAK doesn’t come out of no where and caused by something you just started last Tuesday, it’ll make things easier.

Not to get TOO woo woo, but I BELIEVE we are part of a divine source of unlimited power—creators of our own experiences. That’s the reason we chose to be actors…who after all are the ultimate creators.  Actors with a strong spiritual connection tend to find that life is easier, living life knowing who they really are and that what they really want is to fully express their art rather than playing a role in a show for a few weeks.  Heck yeah, we WANT the gigs, but that’s just pleasure with a paycheck!

When you “take it easy” then everything begins to open up and flow easily too—work, relationships, finances, etc. Life really shouldn’t be that hard. Unlearn, discover, apply, and for goodness sake, take it easy!

Now it’s your turn- I’d love to hear from you! Do you utilize your natural talents in your life as well as your career? Is your pursuit of your dreams a struggle, a joy, a connection to your inner creator?  Share your opinion and experiences with me by making a comment.  Thanks, Lisa