I’m going through some pretty heavy-duty upper-limit problems, impostor syndrome, and enoughness fluctuations as we expand Brand Bonnie Gillespie beyond its comfy showbiz niche. What does that mean to you? Well… nothing unless you also invest in your own GROWTH (as uncomfortable as that can sometimes be) and sometimes doubt whether you can cut it at the next level.

(Psst! Spoiler alert: YOU CAN!)

As a means of taking my own medicine, I recently did something I encourage my clients to do when they’re facing a new level of success and start to feel their knees shake a wee bit: I reached out to someone with a LOAD of gratitude for where we first intersected.

Have a look!

* * *

Ah, lovely,

You leave the membership today. I know I mentioned long ago that you were the FIRST.

Our very first person in the whole wide world to learn about our brand-new, not-yet-created, OMG-could-this-really-be-a-thing 100-day journey called Get in Gear for the Next Tier.

I still have the yellow legal pad upon which I wrote, big across the top: “Get in Gear 2017!” back in November of 2016.

I was just one month sober and feeling the creative spark of the kind of support that could help anyone accomplish anything, really, because it was based around the framework of ENOUGHNESS at its core. I remember making the decision that we’d go all-in on emotional work from the start. Two letters. Clarity about the past and future version of the artist starting this 100-day journey with us.

And I decided that Day 3 would be where we do the Matrix blue pill/red pill moment for which the whole course would become known. Heck, today, I’m in a similar position as I design the curriculum for our next offering (one that’s for a population beyond actors and showbiz creatives). I’m filled with creative bursts and ambitious desires for what this could be. And I keep picturing THE RIGHT PEOPLE who are a part of this launch later this year.

I distinctly remember writing your name, first, right under that header for “Get in Gear 2017!”

As 2017 kicked off and you began leaving comments in the dojo — empty and brand new with NO comments those first days each new page opened up (my sometimes creating the page just hours before everyone showed up to consume the goodies) — I got to know you and I got to see you living as the best in the world at what you do. I got to know you as a woman fortifying her enoughness and sharing her toys. And I was so proud that you were our very first person to see what we were creating (before it was even created) and say, “Yes! I will be a part of this!”

There is so much emotion and impostor syndrome that comes with reaching beyond a niche for which I’ve been known for nearly 20 years. Even though I know these devils well and have coached clients who already had multiple Emmys at home through such experiences — where upper-limit problems and resistance converge into something really sticky — I find myself sitting in that tingly sensation that is part THRILL for what possibilities lie ahead and part TERROR for all that could go wrong.

And then I remind myself that taking a breath, being present, and adding a dose of gratitude to the experience is what will convert my FEAR to FIRE. (Tweet it.)

You are the gratitude element to this equation. 🙂

Seeing your membership conclude today gave me a lovely burst of memories and connection to those moments before we knew for sure that GIGFTNT would even attract a hundred members (much less HUNDREDS of members, most of whom continue to stay so so so much longer than we’d been told to expect that anyone would) and a reminder that I have new firsts ahead of me with our Enoughness offerings and it’s going to give me just as much joy to go through these experiences at a whole new tier.

I am so grateful for all you’ve taught me and all you represent in my world. Truly, you are wonderful and I will never forget you. You were our first!

Go fly, make us proud, and do stay in touch of course!

* * *

Thank you for letting me share this with you. Expanding beyond the safety net of Self-Management for Actors is a daily confrontation of my enoughness and I appreciate at a whole new level the issues that my clients have faced as they progress from copy-credit-meals to first paid role, from co-star to guest-star, from supporting to lead, from indie to studio, from obscurity to known commodity, all the way on up to holding those gold and shiny trophies!

If you’re feeling the twitchiness of your next level, consider heading back to your last one, sharing some gratitude there, and reminding yourself you’ve survived this before and that’s what growth IS. Surviving the stretch.

Breathe. Be present. Be grateful.

It seriously is the formula for getting back to work with less fear and more fire!

PS — As you might have noticed by reading this BonBlast, the ol’ brand is soon to shift. So please be on the lookout for our NEW email address if you’re the type who lets your spam filter stay in charge without a second glance. If you have ANY questions, plop ’em in the comments just below! 🙂

PPS — Alumni only! If you’ve wanted to work with me on your enoughness in an intimate mastermind setting, the Expansive Capacity application deadline is TUESDAY, so please click this right now so you can join in for our next topic: Your Relationship with Your Body.

THANK YOU for your support and encouragement at this incredibly exciting, thrilling, terrifying time! 🙂 Phew! It’s a lot. Glad you’re here with me as I grow through it!

All my love,

Bonnie Gillespie autographed the internet

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

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  1. Sean Frost March 26, 2019 at 2:30 am

    What do you do if you feel left behind, and even resentful, because you can’t (or think you can’t) afford to take GIGFTNT? Especially knowing that you guys have done all you can to make it affordable? Maybe just realize that it is simply a budgetary issue and make what sacrifices are necessary in order to invest in your future?

    1. Bonnie Gillespie March 26, 2019 at 8:20 am

      Have you entered the scholarship contests we’ve run multiple times? Have you put aside some coins each week to try to make the payment plan even more affordable? What things have you done already? That’s what I’d examine first!

      1. Sean Frost March 26, 2019 at 8:38 am

        That’s just it; I need to be serious enough to put something aside each week and, really, just be patient. The program will still be there. Relax, Sean. And F the FOMO.

      2. Sean Frost March 26, 2019 at 8:43 am

        I did the scholarship contest a couple of times, didn’t win, got discouraged and just took my ball and went home. Pretty immature of me. I can’t win if I don’t play, and just like taking inspiration, not bitterness, when others get roles and advance, I need to take the fact that others win as confirmation that I can win, too. Maybe a small chance, sure, but there is NO chance if I don’t effing TRY.

        1. Bonnie Gillespie March 26, 2019 at 2:57 pm

          Looks like you’ve figured out the first coaching you need is from inside your own head to be on your own side and start giving yourself the advantage that is JUST SHOWING UP to do the work even when you can’t afford the gym membership. 😉

          I always think about those people who work out NEAR workouts in the park (that’s a big thing here in LA). There are these workouts people pay for and then — just a few feet away — there are savvy/sneaky people who come to the park at the same time as the workouts and do their own workout along side those who are getting guidance from the coach.

          Sure, it’s not as good as having the hands-on expertise directed right toward you and customized for your needs, etc., but at least it’s SOMETHING and that gets you at least part of the way to where you want to go, vs. stewing in that FOMO because you can’t afford the park workout.

          Basically, ’til you can afford the park workout, you should still get your ass to the park for a workout. 😉 You know this, of course.

          1. Sean Frost March 26, 2019 at 3:05 pm

            Yep. Speaking of which, just went to the gym after hurting my shoulder and being out for almost a month. It was a little scary, but the shoulder is at least at 85% l, so time to launch in again (see what I did there? 😉) and start just with biceps. And I didn’t reinjure myself. What’s that they say about if you fall off a horse? 🙂

  2. Sean Frost March 26, 2019 at 2:50 am

    Thinking about it, I think the most useful thing to do is feast on the free stuff until you can manage the cost of the not-free stuff. What you don’t do is sit and stew and eat a bowl of FOMO stew with a side of self-pity. Not that I’ve done that. Ever. Nope. Not me. 😉

    1. Bonnie Gillespie March 26, 2019 at 8:23 am

      For sure. Create your own 100-day challenge using the free SMFA material. Many people have done that way before we had Get in Gear (because I’ve been encouraging 100-day challenges in my free resources since I first did one in 1998)!

      1. Sean Frost March 26, 2019 at 8:48 am

        There’s a good idea, thanks.

        Your comments and questions are so encouraging to me. Helping me say to myself, “Come on, Sean, you little bitch. Fight (work, sacrifice) for what you want. And grow up. I swear to God this is worth it! Nobody is stopping you but yourself. Fight!”

  3. Elizabeth A. Zimmerman March 26, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Someone is stepping away from SMFA?
    But, why?
    Do they feel that they’ve learned everything they can from it?
    I still take on-camera and audition classes. I still take cold-read and character classes. I continue to pick up information from them.
    Is this person moving on to be a ninja teacher of SMFA?
    That’s the only good reason I can think of.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie March 26, 2019 at 8:19 am

      LOL No. Not leaving SMFA. She’s taking a break from ongoing membership in the 100-day group. There are many other places she’s still plugged in with SMFA. 🦋 See you in the gym, babe! 😉

  4. Julie March 26, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Hi Bonnie- As always, very insightful but I have some questions! Why is your “first” leaving the membership? Is this sad for you? A loss? Could she/he continue and chooses not to? Is the gratitude letter a way of turning around the negative feelings? Or is it legitimately time for her/him to end and you’re joyful all the way to your core and therefore this is whom you chose?
    Thank you for any insight as it will help me understand the intention and results of expressing gratitude and more importantly, whom one chooses to express it.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie March 26, 2019 at 3:14 pm

      Okay, so first the logistical stuff: The 100-day membership is a 120 day term, followed by ongoing (monthly) membership for as long as you want. In our wildest dreams, we never thoughts someone would stay in for more than a few months to maybe go through the 100 days again or revisit some of the days from their new tier. So, that we actually completely deviated from what the “online membership model” gurus will tell you to expect was already amazing and shocking and awesome and very cool. 😉

      So, the program was designed to last 100 days, with everyone having 120 days to get through all of that and then IF they wanted to stay on for monthly membership, that’s awesome! They can use those 100 days as their framework for revisiting at a new tier, doing a deeper dive while coaching with me (often, I’ll say, “What were your results when you did the work on day such-and-such?” in a coaching session, so it really helps to have that framework), or just enjoy the benefits of being in our grads-only Facebook group, mentoring others, getting discounted coaching with me, participating in live rounds, etc.

      So, while technically, YES, she could stay on in the membership indefinitely (and of course there are members who joined just MINUTES after she did who are still with us in the dojo), it was more that she was the representation of that moment when a brand new program, coming entirely out of my brain HAD VALUE to a stranger.

      That moment that someone we’d never worked with, never met, never talked to, never emailed with, never connected with on social media, plunked down her money and said, “I believe in whatever this is going to be,” for something we hadn’t even built yet was special. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. And when I got to talking with our first member in coaching situations months later, I let her know she was first. She cried! She couldn’t believe it and it meant a lot to her too, because the program had changed her life in so many profound and unexpected ways, and she remembered taking that chance on us and feeling excited… and here we were letting her know she had excited US too. 😉

      Since then, we’ve connected very deeply in person and online and of course through the program itself for well over two years, so it was more that her decision to take a break from the ongoing membership at the GYM we call Get in Gear for the Next Tier presented a wonderful opportunity to be grateful for those feelings we had when I first wrote her name on the yellow pad, under the name of this brand-new program we had no idea would succeed so wildly.

      So when I get nervous about what we’re building toward and all the FIRSTS ahead for us again this year, I can think about how positive this whole experience with her (and with all the ninjas, of course) has been and it settles me down when I have anxiety about all the things we DON’T know about what we’re building and who will show up for it and how it can shape so many lives in similarly beautiful ways over time.

      I hope that helps shape the WHY behind the WHAT on this. 🙂 I never get sad when someone leaves our world because — in nearly 20 years of advising actors and other showbiz creatives — I find time and time again, they ALWAYS come back around at some point. It may be years between experiences, but they always find their way back into our lives when they need to (and most folks stay active in coaching or some other SMFA offering so it’s more of a shift than a LEAVE anyway).

      So, if I were an actor about to test at network for a pilot and I were feeling all sorts of fear and anxiety about the unknown, I would use this model to reach out to someone who cast me in one of my very first projects and say thank you. Or to someone who was my acting coach long ago and say thank you. Or to someone who repped me long ago and say thank you. Because it would remind me that life is filled with FIRSTS and they’re not scary on the other side. 😉

      I just used the fact that this particular member was concluding her membership as a way to reach out to her directly. I could’ve chosen any of our inaugural members — those who’ve long ago left or those who are still in the membership — it just worked out beautifully to have the timing land like this, so I wrote to her and then shared with y’all. 😉 Thanks for reading!

      Stay inspired! 🙂


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