November 28, 2011

Is Your Self-Esteem Keeping You From Being Successful?

Shift #1 - The Power of Self-Esteem

As I posted last time, there are 7 major areas of your life that you may want to bring more consciousness to if you want to book consistently. As you look closer at these 7 areas, you might discover that you never were quite in alignment or have fallen out of alignment with one or more of them. I am going to start with the internal shifts; the power of self-esteem, the need for Consistency and follow through, being proactive and maintaining your level of creativity and then continue on with the outer shifts; what you project, level of skill and knowledge of the business.

Today, Self-Esteem...

The shift in self - esteem is the shift in how we view ourselves, others and what we want or desire. When your self-esteem is high, you have a constant supply of inspiration and motivation: You're confident that you can handle the challenges of this business, and you can!

It’s no secret that actors with a higher level of self-esteem tend to be more successful. They are not necessarily more talented, but research has shown, they are more successful at accomplishing their goals and fulfilling their dreams. That’s why Self-Esteem is the foundation that all the other shifts rest on. To look at it another way, your self-esteem is what holds you in alignment.

When I mention self-esteem, most people think of it as being cocky or full of yourself. That’s just not the case. In it’s most simplest definition, self-esteem is about trusting your mind, which means that you are capable of handling whatever comes at you and the knowing you are worthy of attaining your goals and desires. Think about those two sides of self-esteem for a moment.

Trusting you mind - If you don’t trust your mind, how do you make choices? Acting is about making choices. The actor who is not in conflict with their choices has a greater advantage over those who are. Everything in our business involves not just making a choice, but a creative choice; what you bring to your acting, your headshots, choosing an agent, the workshops you take and on and on. There’s no easy way around it, you have to make a choice. Your success depends on you making a choice that serves your highest good. If you don’t trust you are capable of handling what comes at you in an audition, it will trigger fear and ultimately disable you.

Feeling worthy and deserving - If you don’t feel worthy, it’s hard to maintain any consistency towards your goals, you devalue yourself and your work, you seek inspiration and often avoid perspiration. Let’s face it, you’re constantly in and out of the game. When our self-esteem is low, we devalue what we create and find little joy in the creation. One of the beautiful things about being human is our desire for self-expression.

Here is were I plug one of the 2 books I recommend for all actors; The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden. He is the leading expert in the field of self-esteem. According to him, self-esteem is “the confirmed belief in your right to be successful and happy, in being worthy and deserving”. Understanding the connection between your level of self-esteem and your capacity to achieve success as an actor is absolutely critical to you.

In this business, you must be your own best fan and motivator, so you can’t be in an adversarial relation with yourself. In other words, you can’t be in conflict with yourself. The conflict will stop you in your tracks. Through your ups and downs, you must maintain confidence and trust in your ability. When your self-esteem is high, you still suffer setbacks, the pay off is that you are more apt to recover quicker than those with low self-esteem. When your self-esteem is elevated you will look to yourself for validation. Looking to yourself for validation instead of relying on others will keep you strong and capable. You alone determine your worth and the value of your contribution. And only you have the power to raise your opinion of yourself. No one else.

So, how do we do that?

In Nathaniel Branden's book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, he explores the importance of self-esteem in various aspects of personal achievement. He prescribes living consciously and purposefully, practicing self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, and personal integrity. The hardest thing for most of us to do is to explore our self-esteem and make the necessary shifts to get in alignment?

Here’s a question to ask yourself:
If you were to raise your self-esteem just slightly, how would it change your outlook and/or approach to the business?

If exploring this shift further rings important to you, post your comments and start your discussion here.