Self-Sabotage: The Silent Killer of Careers

Believe it or not, we are headed into the last half of pilot season 2019. Did it scream by? It sure did. And of course, episodic season is on the horizon. So how do you make the most of it this year? I wish I had a magic wand every time someone asked me that, but alas, I don’t have the answer most want to hear. Actors want an inside tip or a “secret advantage” to getting that audition and booking that role. Unfortunately, the truth can be hard to hear for some. So, what is the answer for having a productive upcoming episodic season? Eliminate self-sabotage! What is that? Self-sabotage is that inner, small voice that nags at you; it points out what you did wrong; how you made wrong choices and the list goes on and on. If you don’t nip this in the bud, that inner voice will turn into a bellowing orchestration of every reason you should leave the business. Sadly, many heed it and leave something they love for no good reason. So how do we eliminate this pesky devil? 1. Stop comparing yourself to others. The worse thing an actor, or anyone for that matter, can do is to compare themself to others. A true story I share frequently is about one of my former clients. She was a great actor; very studied, but also a natural talent. She attended some of the best acting schools and met other actors, most of who were recognizable or famous. They would come in and talk about how they booked this Guest Star or that Lead in such and such a film, and my client fell deeper and deeper into despair. Comparison nearly killed a career that soon after started to take off when she realized what she was doing; selfsabotaging any chance she had of becoming a working actor. 2. Recognize you are on a journey and not only moving toward a destination. This is a mindset and a very important one. Actors should live in the reality that they are on a journey and every now and then they will hit a milestone and celebrate it. If you live with the goal of winning an Academy Award in one year and in that first year you don’t reach that goal, which is completely unrealistic, then you will believe you have failed. It doesn’t matter how many projects you booked, you’ve set yourself up for failure. But if you live day to day enjoying the process, loving your craft, you might just find yourself accepting that award one day. 3. Appreciate and recognize the small successes and accomplishments. As human beings, we are always looking for the next thing, the next level, the next accolade. It really is a character flaw, but I’ve yet to know one person who doesn’t do it now and then. As an actor, you must celebrate every successful acting class, every audition, every small milestone and rejoice in the fact that you are moving toward a career as an actor. This upcoming episodic season and year ‘round, do not let self-sabotage rule your day to day life. If you can understand how to eliminate this from your mind and heart, not only will your acting career benefit, but your entire life will be filled with more happiness and peace.