by Leslie Becker
Author of The Organized Actor®
Have you ever felt like you're on a treadmill that just keeps going, and even though you want to get off you just don't seem to know how to?
If you're human, I know that you've felt it. Everyone has. And let's be honest, "what am I doing with my life?" is a valid and scary question. But you know me, I'm never shy about asking tough questions, especially if they
will lead you to the answers you are looking for.
So what ARE you doing with your life?
Are you fulfilled? Are you happy? Are you living the life you've always dreamed of?
If so, congratulations!
If you are not, congratulations for admitting it! Knowing that your life is not really going in the direction you want it to can actually be an incredibly powerful motivation. The challenge with actors and artists is that often we want A LOT of things to be different. But through all my years of coaching, what I usually find is that all of those "not so great parts of your life" stem back to one key ingredient that if altered, will change everything. I'll bet you already know what yours is. It's usually pretty obvious even if you don't want to speak it out loud. And I'm not talking about outside factors like "if I were just in a Broadway show everything would be great." No, I'm talking about things you have complete control over.
Is it your self-image? Do you need to lose weight? Are you in a relationship you need to get out of? Do you need to get back to voice lessons? Do you need to get a job? Do you need to quit smoking? What is it? What is that one thing that would change everything if you took the step today?
Well guess what? All you have to do to change it is to take the first step. Whatever it is. Take it right now. Go on, do it. Be brave. Your life is waiting for you on the other side!
Here are 8 fabulous ways to take back your life!
1. "BE" WITH YOURSELF. As artists we are pulled in so many directions as we run to auditions, balance our day-jobs, families and friends. Before you can blink an eye, a year has gone by and you'll still running around like a chicken with your head cut of. Make a point to "be" with yourself everyday. Just you. The real you. You can do this by taking time daily to journal, meditate or walk with nature. Stop "doing" and start "being."
2. STOP THAT ONE BAD HABIT. You know which one I mean. It's that habit that is affecting every aspect of your life. It might be smoking, procrastinating, sleeping till noon, being late, jumping from relationship to relationship, complaining about the business, gossiping. Whatever. Stop it right now. Think highly enough of yourself to treat your mind and body with great respect and your life will transform almost immediately.
3. TACKLE THE BIG ISSUE. Yes, THAT big issue! Everyone has one. Many times we skirt around the issue and look for other "excuses" as to why something isn't going our way instead of really addressing the biggest thing holding us back. And quite honestly, usually the thing holding you back is YOU. Only you. You can pretend it is someone or something else, but it is only you.
4. STOP DOING WHAT YOU DON'T LIKE TO DO. I've written this one for myself because I am the queen of doing things I don't really like to do, simply because I CAN do them. But being good at something doesn't necessary mean that you LIKE doing it. So cut out at least one thing that you really don't like doing and give it to someone else. Even if you have to pay the person, find someone else or some other way to have that thing done for you.
5. TAKE A BREAK. Human beings always feel the need to push themselves so hard.especially goal-driven people (hello!). But taking a break and allowing yourself to breathe and get perspective will catapult you forward quicker than hard-nosing your way through whatever you are working on.
6. DO THAT THING YOU'VE BEEN TERRIFIED TO DO. If you're terrified to leave your agency, do it. If you're terrified to do a solo concert, do it. If you're terrified to break up with your spouse, do it. Trust me, the fear you've created "about" doing it is far greater than actually doing it. (Let me be clear, I am not instructing you to take these specific actions, but rather using these as examples to spark your own "do-it" actions)
7. STOP MAKING EXCUSES. There's nothing less empowering than blaming everything and everyone else for your own mistakes. Oh yes, it is much easier to say "the accompanist really screwed up" than it is to say "gosh, I really didn't prepare properly for that audition." Everyone can have a rough day, at an audition or otherwise, but as soon as you take responsibility for it, your world becomes an easier place to navigate.
8. ACCEPT THE TRUTH. Regardless of how difficult the truth might be, it IS the truth, and accepting it will truly set you free. I can't promise you that accepting the truth will be easy, but I can promise you that when you do, a new world awaits!
Apply even just ONE of these ideas above and your life will transform with ease.
Leslie Becker is an actress and author of The Organized Actor®, the #1 selling organizational tool for actors for 15 years. To subscribe to her free newsletter Work IT! Tips for Workin' Your Acting Career and Your Life, please visit http://www.OrganizedActor.com
The Organized Actor®