OVERCOMING MENTAL BARRIERS

By: Brian Gilleece

Everyone has them. Everybody has that little guy/girl in their head saying, stop, you have done enough, I want to give up. Even the best athletes, even the most respected actors, even agents, producers, writers, show runners, even managers. Everyone. But in order to be able to reap what you have sewn you need to push your limits and eliminate anything in your way, particularly things in your head that YOU can control.

1. REMOVE YOUR FEAR OF FAILURE

Most people get stuck in life because of their fear of failure. What is so bad about failure that we fear it so much? You need to understand that failure will not harm or kill you. It is there to show you what your mistakes are and teach you what you need to know. Throughout life, you go through hardships before you grasp the lesson. Failure is a basic part of life. You need to fail before you can breed success. There is no way of succeeding at anything without having failed at some point. Don’t think of failure as something you can avoid but as a teacher or ally who is there to show you the path to success. Once you have shifted your way of thinking, you will fear failure less.

2. DO WHAT YOU ARE AFRAID OF

We are all afraid of something. It could be a concept as broad as failure or something smaller and more specific, like spiders or heights. Our levels of fear all differ. If your fear starts to affect your life, however, you must find ways to get over it or at least reduce it to a more manageable level. Try exposure therapy. It is a technique which involves being exposed to what you fear in small doses and in a controlled environment. This enables you to gradually get over your anxiety or distress. Repeatedly doing what you are afraid of can help you get over your fear. For instance, if you are afraid of speaking in large groups, you can reduce your fear by practicing short presentations in front of your family or close friends. Do it again and again until you feel more confident about your work and the fear dissipates. Been thinking about doing a stand up class? Taking a workshop? Doing a monologue? Just do it! and soon it won't be so scary.

3. USE YOUR DOUBT AS MOTIVATION

Having a little bit of doubt can be useful in some cases. Doubts are an indication that you are pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. Being innovative involves going beyond what is expected or the norm. When you go beyond your limits, you start to discover something new about yourself and what is around you.Doubt helps you anticipate and see possibilities. It will encourage you to explore and dig deeper. Great innovators see what has already been done and enhance it or use it as an inspiration to create something totally new. They go past their personal doubts to achieve great things. This same principle should be brought to your work. Working a scene for an audition and feel like something is "too much", give it a try! Choose material to practice with that is uncomfortable, take a work out class that is out of your wheelhouse, keep your self doubting and pushing.

4. CHECK YOUR REALITY

How we perceive the world is not always accurate. People make assumptions of what others think of them. We sometimes let these assumptions control the way we think and behave. What is worse is that in most cases, these assumptions are false. You need to realign your perception to what the world really thinks. Confirmation is one way to do it. Do you think that your work is not good at all? Find an objective individual who can tell you the truth and show you how you can improve.


Whether it is for acting, writing painting, music or a different facet of life, you can get a mentor or a personal coach who can tell you what you are and what you can do. A mentor or coach can guide you in areas you need assistance with, and help you improve. A mentor or coach is not there to tell you what you want to hear, but what is true. Many MANY successful people have mentors they have received guidance from. In acting, this needs to be your coach, and you need to be explicit with them that their honesty if of the most importance, you are not there just to stroke your ego, but to be better everyday. Coach your Coach into really helping drive your work.


WRAP UP:

"Don't think in terms of scarcity but dream to abundance" - Robert Grant


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