Just Do It: Part 2
Ever wonder what our lives would be like if we took all the energy we waste on resisting and channeled it towards doing? Steven Pressfield describes resistance as the space between “the life we live, and the unlived life within us.” As a matter of fact, he dedicates the first third of his book The War of Art to the ways resistance manifests itself in our lives. Not doing is so much easier than doing, so how do we change that?
I had the pleasure of taking a webinar with Courtney Rioux, a Chicago based actress and life coach. Prior to the webinar, I had recognized the urge to DO something(s) new to feed my soul, but for some reason, I didn’t know how to hold myself accountable for that something(s). Courtney stressed the importance of writing down goals and giving yourself due dates in the following format:
I am _________________ by _________________.
At first, I found the “I am” statement restricting, but after I started to write, I found it profoundly liberating. By putting statements in the present tense, I leave no room for error.
I also wondered about the due dates. What happens if I don’t reach my goals by the given dates? Well, this has happened to me on several accounts, and much to my surprise, the world has yet to implode on itself!
On each due date, I take a look at my goals, celebrate my achievements, and ask myself why I haven’t accomplished some of them yet. Why haven’t I booked my first commercial when I was “supposed to” by January 31, 2015? First, I look at what I have done: I’ve sent postcards to the major Chicago casting directors once in the past six months. I’ve interned at P.R. Casting. I’ve taken three On-Cam classes and five improv classes in the past year. Etc. While I have not necessarily done any of those things with the sole purpose of booking a commercial, they haven’t hurt!
Other important questions include the following: Was I completely prepared for each audition? Did I dress the part? Was I on-time? Etc. Now, onto the next question: What is out of my control? So much! Was I the right look? Did I remind the director of their ex? Did the director pick a 5’2” woman and need a shorter man to be her husband?
A well-known Chicago casting director once told me about four actors that were cast to play a family in a major fast-food commercial. The actor playing the husband had a wife that was pregnant and due on the day of the shoot. If she went into labor during the week of the shoot, the whole family would have been let go because their backup actor to play the husband did not look like the rest of the family who had already been cast. YEESH.
The point is this: There is so much out of my control! And the final step: I change the due date. I wanted to book my first commercial by the end of January, but it just wasn’t my time. Now, I will have booked my first commercial by August 1, 2015.
And so . . . writing down goals helps to keep you on track while also reminding you of the infinite reasons why you haven’t reached your goals yet. I haven’t booked my first commercial yet, but I know I am doing everything in my power to accomplish this goal. Goals feed your soul and calm your soul simultaneously.