Well, didn’t this just turn out great? Last week’s piece on High Self-Esteem, Low Ego linked back to an oldie but goodie called Banishing Self-Doubt. Perfect timing to hear from a new reader who happens to be a life coach with some great tips on doing just that! Thanks, Denzil!
I’m a new reader of your column at Actors Access, and working as a professional actor is also relatively new to me (2009 was my test balloon). Last night I was reading your 11/13/06 article about “Banishing Self-Doubt” and even though 2006 feels like a million years ago, I thought I’d pass on a few thoughts about this timeless issue.
In my work as a life coach, of course self-doubt comes up a lot when people are making big changes or have aspirations. There are three tactics I like to use:
1. Try a mantra, for five minutes a day, of saying and feeling: “I am enough. I am fine and perfect being who and where I am right now. This is who and where I am supposed to be.”
We’re all so driven and busy and aspiring, that I want my clients to experience a real place of peace and rest, from which they can leap and try and work their asses off. But without a place of rest, one’s energy and power are siphoned away by constant doubts. In addition, practicing this mantra begins to open up some new space in the emotional field, begins to create a new pathway of self-talk to compete with the negative stuff.
Just feeling, “I am enough; I am exactly where I need to be,” for a few minutes a day — it might be the only time to feel that in 24 hours — the practice builds resilience, which god knows, we need.
2. If you’re afraid that you really suck, and get wrapped up struggling against that being true, just stop fighting for a moment and try some radical acceptance. I think what I hear from clients is that the fear of sucking is sometimes much more powerful than the reality of the situation.
Try saying, “Well what if I do suck and/or have the limitations I am fearing? What do I want to do about that?” Begin by accepting the reality of who and where I am (rather than fighting against the fears), and strategize or ask, “So now what?” This is a way of forgiving one’s self for not being something or someone else/different, accepting even one’s own worst faults, and finding the strength to keep going with the sweet business of life.
3. One last thing I recommend is to talk more about your future than your past. When asked, “Tell us about yourself,” follow the heat and talk about what excites you, what turns you on, what you want to learn next. Enthusiasm is infectious. It shows you’re motivated and engaged and pushing the envelope.
Well I hope these suggestions will be useful to other actors and anyone who struggles with self-doubt. Thanks for reading, and for all your very helpful writing. Oh, and thanks for turning me on to OddJobNation.com — very funny stuff, and excellent branding (by which I mean clarity of concept and execution).
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001169.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.