Don’t Take the Bait

Y’all know I’m a big fan of dispassionate labeling. (News to you? Get up to speed here.)

One of the ways this plays out in a major way for me is in stuff we’ll call BAIT.

Now, I’m way practiced at using the whole accurate assessment of a situation combined with lack of judgment about where I am with stuff thing *except* for when it comes to bait. And that’s why it’s bait.

If I don’t get it wrangled, I’m sunk. I can undo a week’s worth of momentum in the right direction with one little bit of bait. I can decide “all is lost” on anything I’ve been working on. I can spin out.

We’re creatives. Creatives can get all up in our heads. Creatives can easily spin out about straight-up stoooooopid stuff. It’s why dip management is our work (not dip elimination; there will always be dips… just gotta let ’em not turn into a lifestyle).

I’ll take you back to a time when I was collaborating with another casting director. She and I were talking, emailing, Skyping, chatting, nonstop communicating all day, every day about this project we were working on. There was a LOT of back and forth.

And for some reason — while I could handle all the face-to-face and vocal communication like a champ — something about her emails would send me off in a tizzy.

She had the ability to write things in such a way as to just GET ME.

I could be having the best day. WE could be having the best day. Legit, we could have *just* gotten off the phone and she’d send a “Oh, one more thing…” email and I could feel my pulse quicken. I could feel my breathing change. I immediately felt in trouble… and also 100% incapable of responding to her emails without being defensive.

And THAT was the disempowering part.

Because emotions by their very nature are fleeting… unless we attach a whole lot more to them than we have to. (Tweet that, baby.) And for some reason, I would attach A LOT to these fleeting emotions, making ’em hang around and potentially sinking my whole awesome day.

Not fun.

How I fixed this was by creating an inbox called BAIT and filtering every email from her to it. I couldn’t see what was in that inbox ’til I specifically clocked in to OPEN it and — because I knew whatever was inside could potentially derail my every good intention and send me spinning — I always took a nice, big breath before heading into the BAIT folder.

I was always prepared and never blindsided.

I went in with armor on.

And creatives need armor, y’all.

These days, I’m so good at accurately labeling bait that something will even just slightly attract my attention in that special kind of way and I can tell it has the potential to make me reactive rather than intentional in my emotions (and, *woof*, who wants to give away that kind of power?!?). The next step? Dispassionate labeling!

“Oh, hai BAIT! Look at you up front and center in my life right now!”

And I do my damnedest to NOT take the bait.

Except for when someone misspells the word WHOA. It’s my kryptonite. I simply cannot leave that alone. I *know* it’s not my job to correct spelling on the internet, but sweet JEEBUS, does it feel like my mission in life to do so where the word whoa is concerned.

*ahem*

Anyway.

How can you set up a filter for your bait while you train yourself to be less reactive to it? Since we know it’s unlikely to NOT take the bait at first, how’s about doing something that allows you to be a little more intentional when you do have to face it?

Whether this is a social networking limit you put on yourself, a filter for feedback from that certain someone in your acting class, or a “count to ten” method you use before debating politics with your relatives, think about how you can both LABEL bait *and* begin to treat it like the temptation it is.

Reminding yourself, of course, that it’s trying to tempt you away from the “eyes on the prize” focus for pursuing your creative career with all the ninjosity required to really GET TO your next-tier reality, sooner.

It’s valuable to find ways to deal with bait because otherwise you’ll spend way more time on its lure than on what’s really important in life: making your dreams come true every damn day.

Los Angeles ninjas — final reminder that we’ll be iceskating outside near the beach on Thursday! Yup! It’s meant to be 74F and sunny… and all the info is over here in the ol’ events calendar. No RSVP required. Just head west and let’s hit the ICE!

Thank you, everyone, for enrolling in our totally FREE year-end training Get in Gear for the New Year! I’m so glad you’re popping NAMES in the box on the form where we asked who sent you our way! We have amazingly valuable prizes we’ll be rolling out for most referrals!! Ooh… early leaders include Alex Wright, Twinkie Byrd, and Bethany Kay. Way to go, ladies! Excited to see who takes the lead from here!

*smooches*


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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