I had a migraine this weekend. If you’ve ever had one, I don’t need to say anything else about it. If you’ve never had one, suffice it to say, you simply want to die (no, that’s not an exaggeration). And there’s nothing you can do about the pain but wait it out.
What does this have to do with your acting career, you may be wondering.
I’ll tell you.
It’s about the benefit of fast action.
Here’s the thing. With the migraines – it’s all about prevention. Changes in food, sleep habits, exercise, finding out what triggers the headaches and then avoiding that behavior. Simple enough.
But in certain instances, the migraine is coming anyway. That’s when fast action is necessary.
See there’s a little pill that can prevent the migraine from coming (doctor prescribed, not dealer prescribed). If you take it in time. As soon as the migraine makes itself known, it’s time to take that pill. Many times (although not always) the migraine pain can be avoided.
But here’s the thing about me.
I like to procrastinate. I’m a “wait and see” kind of person. I like to “do things my way” and I am especially an “I don’t need any help” type. I’ve written before about the pros and cons of stubbornness.
So I like to wait it out. See if I can make the headache go away on my own. My way. But I’ve learned 10 out of 10 times it doesn’t work.
One of my coaches likes to say, “If you’re way was working, you’d already have what you want. If you don’t have what you want, it can only mean one thing: Your way sucks.”
When it comes to dealing with migraines, I’ll admit it. My way sucks.
It’s living proof of that definition of insanity – doing the same things over and over yet expecting the results to change.
And I see a lot of actors doing the very same thing in their career.
- Talking about the things you want, but not doing anything to get them.
- Wishing, wanting, yearning for new opportunities, but taking the same actions that have led you to your current frustration.
- Knowing you should be marketing yourself, but not doing it.
- Knowing you should be following up, but putting it off.
- Doing a ton of research on casting directors or filmmakers, and then never doing anything with the information.
- Reading a lot free blogs and taking free classes, filling your head with so many strategies and ideas that you get overwhelmed and do nothing.
- Trying to do everything yourself, even when you aren’t sure if what you’re doing is even working.
- Thinking about networking, but putting it off until you feel “more ready”.
- Wanting to sit down and create that piece of content, but waiting until you have “more time.”
- Wishing you were happier, but insisting on the same old crappy thoughts over and over.
Is this starting to sound familiar to you? If you’re frustrated with your career results, and you haven’t made the necessary changes to get better results, then my friend (and I say this with A LOT of love), it may be time to face the fact that your way sucks.
As long as you (or I) continue to do things in the same way, we’ll get more of the same results we already have. So if you want new results, it’s time to do something new (and FAST)!
Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard when it comes to success (whether in acting career, migraine health, or life in general) is this:
“Successful people make their decisions quickly and change their minds slowly.
Failures make their decisions slowly and change their minds quickly.”
Why is this? What’s the big deal about making fast decisions and jumping into fast action?
Why does this work?
Action is the magic ingredient when it comes to success. You can’t think your way into it. You can’t plan your way into success. You have to physically do something.
When you spring into action, you enlist the help of the universe. Ok, maybe that’s a little woo woo, but so am I, so we’re good here.
Ever come to a definite decision about something you wanted? Not a wishy-washy decision, but a firm one, then took immediate action in the direction of that goal? What usually happens?
Serendipity happens. An unexpected opportunity falls into your lap. You randomly decide to go to a party where you meet just the right person who can connect you with the person, resource or opportunity you are seeking.
I know this has happened to you.
And it will continue to happen to you if you continue to make a stick to your decisions, and back them up with immediate action.
Ever made a decision and took an action or two, then changed your mind, second guessed, doubted the plan and abandoned it altogether? How’d that work out for you? Changing your mind often and dropping the ball of action put you firmly on the road to nowhere (and not in the catchy song kind of way).
If you want to get new results, your job is not to figure out all the minute details of the plan. Your job is simply this:
- Know what you want (be very clear).
- Decide without a doubt that you are going to make this thing happen.
- TAKE ACTION in the direction of your goal.
- Keep doing it.
- Apply faith liberally (faith in yourself, faith that it’s coming, faith that all is well)
- If you need help, ask for it!
Without action there can be no result.
So stop thinking about it. Stop hemming and hawing and trying to figure it out all by yourself. Stop waiting until the last possible second to do what you already know you should be doing.
Learn from my migraine story – there’s no need to make yourself miserable.
Don’t try to make the perfect plan. Take imperfect action.
Action is the one thing most of us love to procrastinate. Why? Because it’s scary. What if I make a wrong decision? What if I don’t get what I want? What if I’m not good enough? What if this doesn’t work? What if everyone thinks (knows!) I’m a failure?
When faced with the choice between
Stepping up to the plate to be the person you are meant to be, to face all your fear, anxiety and doubt to find out without question, whether or not you’ve got what it takes (and risk all kinds of failure)
Putting it off until later
Most of us will choose “put it off til later.”
It’s safer. It’s more comfortable. It sounds so much more reasonable. Manageable even. Because when I tell myself I’ll put it off until later, I can actually fool myself into believing I’m actually going to do it later.
But there is a world of difference between “knowing” what to do and actually doing. Knowing is not enough. It doesn’t count. And it will never get you what you want.
Putting it off til later may feel like a safe choice, but it also comes with a price. The pain of knowing that you gave up on yourself and your dreams. And that fucking hurts (almost as badly as a migraine).
It doesn’t have to be that way.
There’s actually good news. The choice is always in your hands. In fact, this very day you can choose to take fast action in service of your career. In service of your dreams.
When presented with the opportunity to risk going for what you want, or staying home and playing it safe – take fast action to go for it!
Don’t hem and haw and “think about it.” The more you think about it, the farther away you get from your intuition. The more you think about it, the more you begin to side with your fear. The more you think about it, the less likely you are to actually do it.
A “wrong” decision is much more helpful to your success than no decision. Even wrong decisions can lead to huge success. Because you learn what you were previously missing, and that one piece of experience can make all the difference the next time around.
You want something? Take fast action to get it, because no one is going to make it happen for you. But you have ability to make it happen for yourself.
And here’s something else I want you to know. You don’t have to do this alone. I am here to help you.
Here’s what to do.
1. If you like my stuff, make sure you get on my email list to get more of it (see that form over there on the right? Just fill it out and click the button. Easy peasy).
2. If you are an LA actor, spend the day with me. This Saturday June 23 I’m doing a one-day intensive in LA. Whatever it is that you want in your acting career, I can help you get there faster, easier and with a lot more fun. Seats are limited and I almost never work in person. So don’t miss this chance. Yup. Take fast action right here right now before we run out of seats.