5 Ways To Overcome Self-Sabotage

Do you feel stuck in your career? As much as we’d like to blame our agents or the economy for what is lacking, sometimes it’s best to take a real, honest look at how YOU might be getting in your OWN way.  It’s time to take a good look at self-sabotage and how you can take your power back!

Here are 5 ways actors sabotage themselves, and what you can do about it:

1) Don’t blame + complain

A lot of actors (hopefully not you?!) love to blame their agents, casting directors, traffic, and even celebrities for the lack of work/auditions that are coming their way. It’s definitely the easy way out, but it also makes you the victim of your circumstances and makes you feel powerless. In fact, go to any audition in any town, and you’ll probably overhear a few actors on a negative rampage.  The problem is, it perpetuates negativity.  You convince yourself you can’t move forward and then gather more evidence from other actors.  All this blaming and complaining just makes it easy to stay stuck and helpless.

What to do?
Walk away from any negative energy, and become aware of your own.  Practice not complaining for one week.  One day even!  Practice praise and appreciation of yourself, your career, and even your agents!

Affirm: I no longer engage in blaming and complaining.  I have the power to change my circumstances and I begin looking for the good, now.  The more I focus on what IS working in my career, the more positive experiences come my way.

2) Let go of fear?

So many performers are plagued with fears.  If you could hear the internal thoughts of actors in the waiting room of an audition or callback, it would probably sound something like this…“ I hope I they like me,”  “I don’t have enough credits,” “I’m too old, (young, tall, short, pretty, ugly) to play this role.” “What if I don’t remember my lines,”  “I really need this job” and any other fearful thought you’d like to insert. This fear-based thought process robs the actor from bringing their best, authentic self into the room.  The funny thing is, F.E.A.R. is really just an acronym for FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL.

What to do?
Acknowledge that your fears are just lies you’ve been telling yourself to keep you “seemingly” safe.  Know that you are bigger than your fears, especially since they are your ego’s way of controlling you.

Affirm: My fears are merely false evidence appearing real. I release and let go of any fears I have right now. I am here to have fun.  I can let go of needing to please anyone but myself.  I do not have to be perfect or get the lines perfect.  I let go of my need to please and embrace my imperfections as they make me unique.  I deserve to be here.  Who I am right now is enough.

3) End procrastination

When you are a self-employed actor, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not know what to do next or where to begin.  When we lack a clear vision of what we want, it leads to a lack of action, which leads to a lack of results.

What to do?
Begin with the end in mind and work your way backwards.  Create one clear goal, and list all the baby steps you can take, and pick one and begin.  Don’t worry about HOW things will unfold, just get busy taking inspired action.

Affirm: As I begin with one small step, it leads to the next one.  I take inspired action and trust my intuition.  I know what to do next.  I will learn as I go.  I release the need to be perfect.  Everything always works out for me.

4) Stop comparing

This is actor death!   Focusing on how many auditions your roommate had, how many IMDB.com credits another actor has, or who booked what pilot is asking for trouble, if it makes you feel frustrated, angry, or depressed.  In fact, if you can’t be happy for someone else’s success, don’t ask!

What to do?
Understand that the more jealous and envious you are of another’s career, the more you are actually holding yourself apart from what you want.  When you feel negatively towards another’s success, what you are really feeling is doubt about your own.  When you can begin to be happy for those who are doing work you’d like to do, you are actually telling the Universe that you expect it too.

Affirm: I bless those that have created the success I want.  The more people close to me who are successful, the closer I am to success as well.  I know there is enough for all of us, and the right roles are on their way to me now.

5) Don’t over think the future

It’s easy to fast forward to how your whole world would change if you just booked this commercial, pilot, film, theatre role, etc.  Whether you are fantasizing about the money, prestige, status, accolades or just the feeling you’d have, it will never help you get the job.  The energy you use to over-think your future always creates a feeling of desperation that you don’t want to bring in any audition room.

What to do?
Take the pressure off yourself by being less concerned with the end result and more focused on the present moment.  Find the thoughts and feelings of the character in the scene vs. the runaway thoughts of the actor who wants a job.

Affirm: I focus on being present in this moment.  I let go of needing this job or controlling this audition.  I focus on aligning myself with the thoughts and feelings of the character I’m playing and having fun in the room.

Now that you’ve become more aware of how your thinking might have been sabotaging your best efforts, try some new thoughts and affirmations for the next 30 days, and see what changes occur in your career.  Good luck!

~Wendy Braun

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