Let’s talk about the benefit to being new.

Whether you’re new to the craft, new to the business, or new to any particular element of *running* your business, there’s so much goodness to come from being NEW.

  • When we’re new, we’re allowed to make mistakes without judgment.
  • When we’re new, we’re expected to face a learning curve.
  • When we’re new, we’re encouraged to find leadership and seek advice.

But after we’ve been at it for a bit, somehow these perfectly acceptable behaviors become things we do less of… and I’m not sure why!

Once you’ve been at this for a while, you feel STUPID when you get excited about a project that ends up in the dead pile. You are EMBARRASSED to be told by an agent that you need new headshots *again* after you just dropped a month’s rent on your last set. You find yourself RELUCTANT to ask questions because, “Ugh… shouldn’t I know this by now?” and you risk heading down the road toward Bitterville with every bit of this.

I use a lot of fitness analogies in my writing about showbiz (this is not new, BTW. While my ultra-buff bod may be a new thing, I have aaaaaallllllwwwwwaaaaaayyyyysss used sports and fitness as parallels to showbiz because, man, it WORKS so effectively to illustrate points without being so close in to the experiences you’re facing as to stress you out to read).

So, today’s fitness analogy goes like this.

I was at Pilates yesterday and the owner of the studio decided to have us do something on the Reformer I’d never experienced before. Now, seeing as I’m *new* to Pilates, this is pretty easy to do — have something be new to me. But, seeing as I’m pretty awesome at everything I try, I found myself getting instantly frustrated at this new thing. I’m trying to get into this ridiculous position that everyone else just glides right into and I’m thinking, “Okay… what am I MISSING?!? Why is this so HARD?!? Dammit!” and then I catch myself.

I quickly right the wrong-direction of this self-talk (I start by last-naming myself, BTW) and say, “Gillespie! Ask for help!” And as the studio owner does the rounds, I say, “Okay, what muscle am I trying to engage here?” because knowing the WHY behind the WHAT is a big factor in my success in most things.

She tells me the goal, she gives me a tweak (seriously, she suggests a 15% pivot and this unlocks so much for me because I can WORK with something that specific and she’s learned in our short time together what works for me — and as all good teachers will do, she leans into that strength), and now I’m doing a closer-to-intended version of this move. Because I wasn’t afraid to be new about it.

Because I know that my newness serves me in this moment.

Most importantly, I don’t attach some negativity to “being new”! In fact, I embrace it! But only after that initial ping of, “Ugh! What’s wrong with me!” which is the point at which most of us *stop* the flow of energy. We dwell in that place of feeling messed up about it all. We self-judge because we’re so sure others will judge us… and WITH THAT CHOICE, we block progress.

So here’s what I want to encourage in you — especially if you’ve been at this a while: lean into your newness. Even in places where you’re NOT so very new. It will potentially surprise and delight you if you’re ready to let it!

ASK for help. SHOW UP for yourself in class. TRY things that scare you. Let yourself be CHANGED.

After all, as an artist, you’re asking your audience to be ready for the change *you* would like to plant in their lives with your every performance, right? So shouldn’t you be willing to go there too?

PS — New Yorkers, my one-day intensive is FULL but I still have space to meet with you for private sessions and the SAG-AFTRA Foundation events are going up on their website now. Be sure to reach out even if all you wanna do is hit a pole class with me! Seriously! 🙂 Flight is FUN! (Talk about a great way to celebrate being NEW at something!)

I’d love to know what you’re gonna show up NEW for today! Comments are open below… so lemmeknow! 🙂 I can’t wait to celebrate your willingness to show up ready for the change that can take place when you’re not afraid to be NEW at any age, at any level of experience, right now!

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. Avatar John Austin Wiggins August 22, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Hey Wonderful You! Fantastic post, as always! And first, thank you for the alert regarding your SAG-AFTRA Foundation event going up. I was up at 4AM EDT, unable to sleep, when I read it, and so was able to grab a seat for the Casting Access event on the 15th! Awesome sauce!!!
    My leaned-into newness for the day was self-taping, which has been one of the more difficult things to get going on for a long time. Won’t bore you with excuses. Safe to say they had a lot to do with mindset. But when self-taping came up on Day 27 of GIGftNT recently, I felt ready to give it a go. Plus my partner, Steven, who is a yoga instructor, has in the past year opened his own yoga studio, and he offered to let me make a self-tape set-up there. Ok, it’s taken a few days, but today I went and made a set-up, using natural light, my cell phone on Steven’s cell tripod, his yoga blocks both to sit on and elevate the camera/tripod to an acceptable height, and taped some overdue exercises for GIT (while being perfectly ok with moving at my own pace!). I had a lot of fun with the exercise ! Here’s the first take: https://youtu.be/OFcdg6STwGs
    So, there’s lots to work on, which is great! So I will go over to GITftNT and post knowing that you and those experienced ninjas will have lots of great suggestions! Thank you in advance!

  2. Avatar Lore August 22, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    So much yes! I am training in jiu-jitsu and feel the same frustrations, especially as I’m almost a brown belt now yet often feel like a newbie as I struggle to coordinate my limbs and maintain structure. As you said, you just gotta take a breath, stay curious and leave the unhelpful self-criticism at the door. I find I sometimes even need to remind myself of the things I am good at and that the reason I’m training to begin with is to LEARN, not to repeatedly do the things I am already competent at. The only competition is between my past and present self, there is zero point comparing myself with anyone else.

    This is also so timely as I just had my first go playing a mental health patient for nursing students (hooray for interesting paid work), which I will be doing for the next two weeks, and being completely new to it meant that, whilst I was certainly very nervous, I also unconsciously gave myself permission to make mistakes and explore and ended up learning so much! Now if I could just apply that to everything else I do…

  3. Bonnie Gillespie Bonnie Gillespie August 29, 2017 at 1:39 am

    John, I am so excited for all the jamming we’re gonna do in New York! SO! Excited! You already know I’m *crazy* about this new self-tape gameplan! 🙂 Love that you’ve moved past the resistance and gotten fired up!

    Lore, I’m in awe of your JITS life! That’s so awesome! 🙂 Yes to competition between present and previous self. YES! So good! I love that mindset so much. And I think you probably DO apply it to *more* than you think you do. Just keep leaning into that. You’ll get there.


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