May 21, 2012

SHIFT #3 "Being Proactive"

In my last two blogs on being in alignment to book consistently, we laid the foundation with the shift in self-esteem. Which meant that you were to bring more consciousness into how you see yourself in relationship to your goals, taking responsibility for those goals. We also talked about increasing your knowledge of the business you are in. To get all necessary information needed as it pertains to your current goal(s), whether you’re starting out and needing to find the best acting coach or building your fan base and body of work. With a plan in hand we now need to bring our awareness to the shift of pro-activity. What exactly does this mean to the actor? 

According to Steven Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, being proactive means “taking action and responsibility, based on your values and goals, on those things over which you have influence over”.  Although this is a great goal, as actors, we often find ourselves in a reactive state. 
When in a reactive state, you tend to empower things you have no influence over, leaving you feeling frustrated, tired and powerless about your life and career. 

To determine if you’re living a proactive or reactive lifestyle, look at how you’re spending the majority of your time and what your thoughts are focused on.  If you spend more time doing the same things over and over, getting the same unwanted result or feeling frustrated and helpless because of what is or isn’t, then you’re more than likely trapped in a reactive state. 

I highly recommend Steven Convey's book, but until you get around to reading it, I have a few suggestions. To start the shift to a proactive state, for most, you will need to raise your level of energy (reactive living is very energy draining), start living more consciously and take responsibility for your own happiness and success.  In other words, if you don’t have a sufficient amount of energy to combat the feelings of frustration, helplessness, and negative thoughts about yourself or the business, you will not have the willpower or even the desire to change. If you’re not conscious of your state of mind or your actions, how can you change anything about yourself?  If you don’t take responsibility for your own happiness and success, who will?  When you stop denying and start taking responsibility, you move from a reactive state to a proactive one. 

Determine your goals.  Make a list of your main frustrations with respect to those goals. 
Then determine which of those frustrations you have influence over and which ones you don’t. 
The ones you have influence over are the ones that need your focus. 

Defining what is actually in your realm of influence will help you better define what actions you need to take. By focusing energy and thoughts on what we have influence over, we move from a place of helplessness and frustration to a place of empowerment.