I’m glad you asked! The truth is, staying motivated is very difficult for most actors. We deal with on-going rejection, slow results, stretches of time without paying work and more. What’s the difference between the actors who are able to stay motivated and those who don’t? It comes down to one primary factor…
It actually boils down to only three letters and one word: Why?
Many actors are unmotivated because they don’t have a why that resonates with them. They don’t have a REASON for being motivated. Yes, you’re talented and creative but so are many, many other people in the world who are not pursuing an acting career. When I ask many of my coaching clients the question why they want to be an actor for a living, they simply don’t have a good answer. At least not “good enough” to keep them motivated when times are tough.
The Law of Momentum states that a body in motion will tend to remain in motion and a body at rest will tend to remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.
This means you’ve got to get yourself moving in the direction you want! And that’s why you’ve got to have your why. You need to have your reason for why you want to do what you’re doing.
This can relate to not only your acting career but also your health, relationships, changing cities, and changing jobs; it could be about anything, but the bottom line is you’ve got to have a clarified why.
Jim Rohn once said, “The bigger the why, the easier the how”, meaning that if we have a good enough reason or a good enough purpose for doing something, the how will come. You’ll get it done and it doesn’t have to make sense.
Scientists have done research on this because of the extreme creative ability that we have to motivate ourselves in times of need – meaning the why or the reason.
Miracles can happen when you have a big enough why. You’ve heard those stories about people who have lifted the weight of an entire car off of a loved one by themselves? They were motivated! That’s a HUGE why. What’s yours?
Why is what you want important to you? Why is money important to you? Why is acting important to you? Why is making money acting important to you? I mean, after all, you could have a great income producing job in another sector and act in community theater, right?
People ask me this question all the time. They say, “Lisa, you’ve shared a lot of your early struggles and searches for more fulfillment, even once or twice saying you wanted to quit Act Outside the Box. Why didn’t you give up?”
The answer is because I had a bigger why than any struggle or obstacle that I could entertain or have come over me. My why, although not overly enlightened, was very simple back in the day: I had something to prove to someone, though won’t say who.
I needed to prove that they were wrong when they told me I’d never amount to anything and that I’d be broke and begging them for help, support and/or money. I was shamed by them and spoken to in ways that when I think about it today, still twist my gut in knots. So my WHY was huge. Success is the best revenge. I’d never give up.
Again, it wasn’t very enlightened because that why came from fear, even though it was a great motivator! Once I started getting an education in the Law of Attraction and awareness of what truly matters most to me in life, my why turned into something different.
I wanted to be able to do what I wanted with my time, my energy and my life. I didn’t want to have to be beholden to anyone or anything and I just wanted to be free. All I wanted was freedom to travel, create, contribute, be with family and friends on my schedule…so that became my new why.
Let me give you one more clue here about your why, because it’s one of the most important things you can ever do. First, your why should have two sides to it. First is you. What is this doing for you? Why for you? Second, your why has to be bigger than you.
It’s why for yourself and then why for something bigger than you, whether it’s your community, your family, your team, your country or a charity or a wellness situation.
If you have those two why’s, one for yourself and one to help others or the world, you’ll be motivated.
Without a why, you will be unmotivated. It’s as simple as that.
So I’ll ask you again: what is your why? Why do you do what you do? Why do you want to be successful? Why do you want a great relationship with your family, friends, or significant other? Why do you want freedom? Why do you act? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you!