When you watch a movie or a television show, do you ever check an actor’s IMDB credits, biography or representation, compare it to your own and end up feeling bad about yourself?
Why compare + despair?
When you spend time wishing you had someone else’s career, you are depriving yourself of the beautiful life experiences that are actually happening to you right now. Comparing takes you out of being in the present moment. The past is over, the future is unknown, so all any of us have is this moment, right now. The good news is that ALL your power is in THIS moment. Here’s how to reclaim it and feel better!
Here are 4 simple steps to feeling good now:
1) Embrace What Is:
What if you could embrace that the path you are on right now is actually perfect? Imagine for a moment that there are no “I could have been or I should have been” statements in your life story. How would you feel without the burden of regret, worry or blame? Would you feel light and free? When you make peace with where you are and stop beating yourself up for where you are not, you will begin to feel a self-imposed weight lift off of your shoulders. Embracing what is gives you the gift of now and allows you more space and time for making the most of this very minute.
2) Release Shame + Guilt
You can choose to pause right now, and release any shame or guilt about where you are in your career. What if you simply let go of comparing yourself to what you think another actor’s life or career might be like. You might be surprised to find out that it’s not what it appears to be on the outside. Get still, go within, and ask yourself, what is underneath my shame and guilt? Could it be sadness, expectation, or perfectionism? What’s under those layers? Get quiet enough and go deep enough to find out and then release it all! At your core, know that you are LOVE. Yes, under all the layers that we have added to our story, we are pure love. Make the time to get back to that feeling, deep in your heart
3) Express Gratitude:
See your heart opening like a beautiful flower and feel gratitude for how far you have come and WHO you have become along the way. Notice that the seeming missteps or mistakes all added to your growth and expansion. Express gratitude for your path, as it has led you to where you are right now. All the lessons, relationships, experiences, and even the perceived failures have made you better. Express gratitude for it all.
4) Look For Inspiration:
Inspiration is all around you. Everywhere you go there are simple reminders for staying present and positive. Begin to look around with the intention of seeking inspiration. It’s all about noticing when you feel “off,” and then gently finding ways to uplift yourself again. It takes practice and mindfulness.
Where do I find my inspiration?
I seek out daily examples of possibility and perseverance and end up attracting uplifting stories all the time. (I love to share them on Actor Inspiration’s Facebook Page)
My children also inspire me every day. So often, as a parent, we think we are here to teach them, but I wholeheartedly believe that they are here to teach us. In fact, I was in my backyard tonight, eating dinner with my family at our outdoor patio table and enjoying the final days of California’s Indian summer. I have 2 young boys, ages 3 1/2 and 14 months old, and due to their attention spans (and need to run around before bath and bedtime), our dinners last about 12-17 minutes.
To make the most of this time, we’ve created a ritual of going around the table talking about what we are thankful for that day. It keeps the conversation going, my son loves this game and I know we all are better for it. My 3 1/2 year old always comes up with the best stuff like, “the moon that shines so bright and the pretty green grass, and mommy’s flowers.” He notices the details. Life is in the details. Acting is in the details.
After dinner, I noticed the green grass in a new way. I stopped a little bit longer to watch my 14 month-old baby frolic naked and revel with sheer delight at his own squishy, flexible body. I marveled at my 3 1/2 year old son, lying on the grass, tossing a ball to me, always inventing new ways to play.
I just became so present in the moment, that I could feel my heart well up with gratitude. The more I stopped and took in moments like this, the more I began to realize that all is really well in my world. This doesn’t mean that flipping through an US Weekly or a Hollywood Reporter doesn’t sometimes get me comparing or imaging how things could be different. But, this simple backyard moment, made me more present and instantly happy. It shifted my focus to the here and now. (The place children live in all day, every day!)
In fact, I wouldn’t change it for anything to be any different. As I tuck my oldest boy into bed, he says, “Mommy, the flowers on your dress are so pretty.” And, again I am reminded by this beautiful, divine teacher, that all is really well in my world.
I’d love to know what you do to feel good. Leave a comment below.~ Wendy Braun