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One Fact That Will Keep You From Being Overwhelmed Ever Again

February 27, 2013

If you are feeling overwhelmed – whether it be by your career, the state of your love life, your day job, or personal matters, read on, mi amigo.

As actors … and as people, we forget this one tiny, ever so important fact:  Everything starts in the mind.

Let’s look at the facts.

FACT: Our mind instructs our body what to do.

Harvard scientists have been able to study Tibetan monks who are able to control the temperature of their skin through mediation, sometimes within a range as vast as 17 degrees Fahrenheit.

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FACT: There is truth in “The Secret.”

Yes, it’s just a book, but it’s based off of The Law of Attraction, something philosophers have been studying for years.  Yes, these quote un quote “laws” are difficult to grapple with because they have to do with the consciousness and the consciousness is not very concrete BUT we only use somewhere around 5% of our brains so let’s approach this concept with some openness and humility.  I know (and so may Oprah) that we can intend for things to happen and happen, they will.

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FACT: We create our lives.

No, we don’t have complete control over certain outcomes, like whether or not the casting director likes us.  (Amy Jo Berman already gave us 26 Reasons Why We Didn’t Get The Part.)  If a scene calls for a complete meltdown and in last night’s performance, tears fell down your face, you can’t always guarantee the same thing will happen tonight.  And last spring maybe you grew some stellar roses in that tiny “excuse for a garden” city garden, but who knows if the same thing will happen this year. 

However, we CAN be targeted and EFFECTIVE with our marketing to CDs, directors, producers.  We CAN set up our circumstances, givens, and moments before the same way we did last night during our kickass performance.  And we CAN give our “excuse for a garden” city garden the same exact treatment we did last season in regards to water, soil, sun, fertilization. 

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The fact is we can choose what our body does.  We can intend for things to happen and act accordingly so that they do.  We can make choices that are directly in line with our desired outcomes.  This idea that I CHOOSE my mindset helped me when Dallas Travers offered me the best advice I have ever received:

“Overwhelm is a choice.”

When you are overwhelmed, it is because you have chosen to be overwhelmed.
When you are not overwhelmed, it is because you have chosen not to be overwhelmed.

In the acting world,

  • Thinking about the abundance of actors but relatively deficient amount of available Broadway roles, we can feel overwhelmed.
  • Thinking about our ever persistent fears and insecurities: Am I good enough?  Am I in shape enough?  Do I have that unspoken charm? Am I exceptional? … we can feel overwhelmed. 
  • Thinking about our never ending to-do list (and really, it won’t ever end so don’t expect it to.  It’s not supposed to), we can feel overwhelmed.

But (surprise surprise) to feel overwhelm is merely a choice.  And your challenge for today is not to choose it. 🙂

Onwards and Upwards,

The not so Newbie Actor Signature

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2013 10:43 am

    Great book on this very topic is “Ask and it is Given”

    Great post.

  2. Jake permalink
    February 28, 2013 2:15 pm

    Dr. William Glasser book Choice Theory speaks about this subject. I use this in my teaching. All My Best.

  3. California Triple-Threat permalink
    March 2, 2013 8:34 pm

    This is just what I needed.

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