3 Valuable Lessons From The Olympics That You Can Apply To Your Acting Career

Whether you love or hate figure skating, there are so many lessons to be learned from watching the Olympics and athletes, like gold-medalist Nathan Chen, who are performing at the top of their game.

Nathan’s story in particular inspired me so much that I wanted to dig deeper and understand what shifted within him to win a gold medal this year.

After a heartbreaking fall that cost him the gold medal in the 2018 Olympics, he put it all in the rearview mirror and focused on the road ahead.

But how?  What did he do differently this time?  What did he tell himself this time, that helped him to claim the gold?

You might be very surprised at what it is (and how you can apply Nathan’s Olympic champion mindset to every audition, every self-tape and every moment on the job).

I’m always fascinated by the inner game mastery that happens at this level, and I love sharing what I uncover with you.

Here are 3 Valuable Lessons From The Olympics That You Can Apply To Your Acting Career.

1) Find something you enjoy that helps you to relax.

Nathan brings his guitar wherever he goes as a way to relax and unwind, even in the midst of high-pressure competitions.  Since he’s been traveling the world for years, he refers to his guitar as “a piece of home no matter where I”m at.”

What about you?  Whether it’s music, meditation, knitting, reading or something else entirely, finding something you enjoy that keeps you relaxed and focused, but not overthinking, can help take the pressure off of high-stress situations (whether it’s an hour before your Zoom callback or even on the job).

And, ultimately, it’s great to have something you love to do that has nothing to do with acting. After all, we’re illuminating humanity, so the more you can cultivate other interests, the more you can bring to your work. 

And if you’ve tried meditating before, and it  just felt like “worrying with my eyes closed.” you’ll love this free guided meditation that actors worldwide use for Easing Anxiety + Improving Well-Being.

2) Build a trustworthy team.

Find the right people to create a team that can help you. As Nathan mentions: “One person can’t do everything.”  So he’s assembled an amazing team over the years to guide him, support him and expand what he thinks is possible.

What about you?  Every area of the business requires a different expertise and different connections and relationships.  Making sure that for every area you are pursuing, you have representation that focuses directly on that side of the business will help you more than having one agent who “does everything.”

You don’t need to do it all in a day either.  

Team members ebb and flow over time, but whether it’s representation, coaches or mentors, seek to work with people that uplift you, empower you and lovingly challenge you to reach your true potential.

3) Mindset makes all the difference.

We all make mistakes, and even Nathan says, “I certainly learned the most from my mistakes.” The key for him was mining the gold (no pun intended) and actually learning from it.  And in doing so, Nathan switched his focus.  

With all the pressure to win a gold medal, this year he stated in multiple interviews that he “sought to skate with joy,” rather than a singular focus on winning a medal, like he did in Pyeongchang.


The new mantra that helped him get to gold:
Be there. Be present. Enjoy the experience.

What about you? Notice how Nathan let go of focusing on “winning a medal” or in your case, “booking the job” and went for the joy of doing what he loves.

He also learned to let go of the past. So often we allow our seeming failures to follow us forward instead of leaving them in the rearview mirror, taking the lesson and moving on in a new way.

But today is a new day, and you can realign with the joy of what you do. When you rekindle the fun you have in acting (and in life) and seek to enjoy more moments, you’ll see that the journey is not only more rewarding and fulfilling, but that you can have fun along the way to achieving your goals and in doing so, maybe even win “gold.”

What you’ll discover is that it was less about winning the award or booking the job or gaining the recognition, but it was about how much joy, fun and fulfillment you discovered (and who you became along the way).

It’s hard to have a happy ending to an unhappy journey, so I hope you see the value in worrying less about past mistakes and finding the joy in where you are right now. Be there. Be present. Enjoy the experience.

Wonderful words to live by wherever the day takes you.

Let me know in the comments below which lesson resonates with you the most today. And if they all do, then declare “I’m having more fun along the way” and I’ll know you’ll do just that.

Love + Gratitude,

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