Performers deal with fear all the time. Fear of not being good enough is a huge one! There is also fear of making mistakes, fear of failure or even fear of succeeding. Failing and falling down only means you have to get up. Taking chances that may have you looking badly is part of the journey. Let's be honest. Everyone will not like you. Not everyone will care for your brand of humour, or style or looks or talent. And that is okay! You are who you are. You are a unique gift to this world. Stop and breathe that in. It's true. You will never be someone else and you will never be repeated again, ever. You are a miracle. And what is inside of you is special. Your talent is uniquely you. Only you can bring it.
John Kimble from the William Morris Agency says, "I believe every person on the face of the earth is unique. Therefore you are not in competition with anybody else."
It is important to say this mantra to yourself every single day, "What other people think of me is none of my business." Say it in your car, when you wake up, looking straigh into your eyes in the mirror. Post it on the mirror. This will change how you think. And when you have done this for several months, you will notice you care so much less about what people think and you will gain new strength to follow your own heart.
I hate when people are born with great gifts inside them and never realize them fully because they are too afraid to take chances, to fail, or to succeed. It breaks my heart because we are all worth so more much than we remember we are. Artists are notorious for self sabotage and fear "interfearing" with success. But remember, because you are born with your gifts already inside you, they are your birth rite to share. God has placed them within us not to hoard and be selfish with, but to share with others and make the world a better place. (if you believe in God). If you don't, it doesn't change the fact that we are all born with gifts and they are there to be shared, period. Not sharing them will only cause you personal stress. And that is no fun to live with.
The great singer Michael McDonald told me one day after a concert, Wendy not everyone will like your voice. Not everyone likes mine. I sing for the people who do and I sing for myself." Man was he right. I sing because I love to sing. It fills my soul to be creative and to express. And when that dirty things called fear creeps back in, I have to work hard to embrace it and get past it. The most successful people in the world have to do this too. When Mayor Bloomfield was asked to sing at a NY event he panicked. Even though he had spoken in front of thousands of people at countless events, he had never sung at any of them. Doing something new was terrifying. Even a very successful and wealthy man can be afraid of not being good enough, or making a mistake, or a fool of himself. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people feel the fear and do it anyways. Unsuccessful people feel the fear and let it stop them in their tracks, or cause them to run away from opportunity. Half of success is just showing up.
Artists are sensitive, often insecure, and deeply self centered by nature have to work very hard at this. Being an artist means taking chances and being willing to bare all of your heart and soul in front of strangers, and opening yourself up to public criticism and rejection. We stand on a stage and say what do you think? It can be so scary, but our art calls us in a haunting, never let go of you sort of way. As artists we must do this, or we feel trapped inside ourselves. And that can be unbearable for ourselves and others. Just ask the people around us!
I recommend a concept called Contrary Action. It means to take an opposite action than you currently feel like taking. If you get afraid and start to back out of an audition, you take contrary action and go anyways. If you think speaking to a producer or director is scary and you procrastinate on the call you should be making, take Contrary Action. You will have to force yourself to take Contrary Action. But what will happen after 6 months of this is you will have realized that none of what you were afraid of was ever as scary as you had imagined it to be. And sometimes you will have really enjoyed it. Wow! To learn more about Contrary Action and how to apply it to your life for drastic changes you can purchase my Book "Contrary Action, An Ordinary Girl's Dialogue with God straight from my Contrary Action website. Yes, the title mentions God, but it is not a religious book. It is a spiritual book that will truly help you make drastic changes and create the life you really want to be living. It has worked for me and many others!
So to wrap this up... if you are alive and if your are human which I assume all of you are. That dirty things called fear is present in your life. You do yourself a huge disservice by letting manipulate you. You are strong and in charge of your thoughts and emotions. You can choose what to give your power to. We have tremendous power and the ability to manifest what we intend. Use that for your own benefit and the benefit of others. Focus your Power of Intention and all that good energy you have inside yourself on taking Contrary Actions and being the creative, expressive person I know you really are.
This applies to people in all walks of life. We need scientists to follow their dreams and intuition and share their gifts. We need doctors to do it, teachers, veterinarians, etc. etc., and even plumbers. No offense...we really need them to do it. However artists are my personal favorite people. I am moved to the core by people who are willing to be vulnerable and share their humanity. Actors, Writes, Singers, Directors, Producers, Musicians, Casting Directors, Costumers, Special Effects and so many more have the amazing opportunity to express their creativity and bring forth light and love into t he world through their art and talents. Yaaay! I love them and I thank them.
You follow your dreams and your heart. Your gifts will be appreciate by many, not everyone, but enough to matter.
If you touch just one heart with your gifts haven't you made the world a better place?
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Wendy Alane Wright Smith