More on your deepest fear today.
Last time, we identified it as almost universal.
This time, I want you to face it and kill it.
I can’t wait to help you with it.
I submit that your deepest fear is the fear of being powerful.
And as I look around, there are lots of actors and VO talent that I can see have this same fear.
Because a lot of things would have to change around here if you’re going to be all that.
But it’s more than that. This fear is not only destructive to you, but to your peers, the VO and acting community and your audience.
You know that Marianne Williamson quote I shared with you in the previous article? Well, I didn’t give the whole thing to you. Here’s what I said last time:
Our deepest fear is not that we are weak. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
But here’s the full quote:
Our deepest fear is not that we are weak. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? … Your playing small does not serve the world … As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Notice that the words she (and Nelson Mandela at the end) are saying speak directly to your performance career.
What I am hearing when I read her words is:
“How dare you even consider not getting what you want? How dare you not share your best self with others? How dare you not reach for the stars? You’re cheating everyone else by remaining a struggling actor, an aspirational VO talent, a silent storyteller. Go grab your greatness, and enjoy it with gusto and pleasure. And, in the process, become a hero to the world.”
I talked last time about the rules of living your life that you currently struggle to rely on, mostly, because it’s all you currently know.
What would you have to leave behind, to live your life in that new, successful and spectacular way?
If you remember, that was a huge question for me at one point in my life. And it’s one that I’d like to help you discover the answer to: the rules that feed that fear have to be changed. New rules, rules that allow you to enjoy your life, not struggle with it, have to be created and followed. Rules that allow you to manage success, not manage failure. That allow you to manage satisfaction, not, constant disappointment. That allow you to manage acceptance and popularity, not rejection. And that allow you to manage and extend personal authenticity, not a feeling of fraudulence.
So, please consider the following:
Ask yourself as you wake up for the day, “What am I going to do today that moves me closer to the success I want to be?”
The list doesn’t have to be long. But it has to be concrete, and in some cases, daring and audacious. Here are just some samples to get started:
“I’m going to finally put up those skill clips on Now Casting and Actors’ Access.”
“I’m going to start treating my talent representation like peers and team members instead of parents or guardians.”
“I’m going to treat my career as a career and not an art course.”
“I’m going to try to meet someone that I can learn something new from to make me a better artist/businessperson/storyteller.”
“I’m going to set aside twice the time for each of my auditions, and I’m going to work toward booking the room, not the job.”
“I’m going to design my marketing materials to be effective for the intended audience, not as an exercise in bad typography.”
Look at what you’re doing now that you’re dissatisfied with, and find an expert to help you. Or find a peer to strategize with. Or find a mentor to work with you.
Look at the archetypes of who you want to be when you grow up, and find out the systems they have in place that moved them from a wannabe to a gottahave performer.
Don’t fall prey to the “I’m an artist, I’ll do things creatively!” trap, especially when creative approaches aren’t well received.
I could go on and on, and I will. I’m going to be finding some great resources that offer paths to success and sharing them with you here in upcoming articles.
You can break the cycle of struggle, and you can look at your life in a whole new light.
It’s making more better choices than bad ones. (If I can help you make better choices with some private coaching, I’m happy to do so.)
And let me give you something that I try to follow every day. My definition of success, glorious, inevitable, profitable, satisfying success, boils down to this:
Do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.
If the rules you’re living your life by now aren’t helping you face and kill your deepest fear, then find new rules, and follow less of the old ones.
Thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.
Hope this helps!