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Inspiration for Actors in the Trenches

Thoughts That Motivate

by Connie de Veer | February 14, 2018

Any goal, whether it’s booking an important gig, writing a web series, or getting an agent, can be either fueled or stalled by our steady diet of thought.

Every actor knows this routine. The first glimmer of a creative idea or desire changes our whole state of being. We’re excited. We have energy. Our goal feels possible, within our reach. Thoughts, images, and ideas start to build on each other. We feel like our real self.

Sustainable motivation

Then something changes. Our creative actor minds start to consider the steps necessary to achieve our goal, and doubt creeps in, or judgement, or comparing ourselves with others. With our focus stuck on obstacles and negative “what ifs,” we lose sight of the possibilities that were clear only moments before. We may try to motivate ourselves with “shoulds” or “oughts,” and that’s just not sustainable.

A steady diet of negative thoughts will pull us away from our goal, slow us down, or worst of all, keep us stuck for months, even years at a time. Thoughts are quick, and they can change with a little practice.

Your emotional state is your guide

When we pay attention to the feeling attached to a thought, we’re half-way to changing to a more productive state. Our emotional state is a useful barometer of our diet of habitual thoughts.

If you feel sad, angry, or scared, take those feelings seriously. Your feelings might reveal that the thought you’re thinking does not come from your highest, most resourceful self. It may be a reflection of a steady diet of fear or limitation-based thoughts that have unconsciously become a habit or core belief.

Choose your thoughts

You can choose your thoughts. When you change your thought, you change your emotional state. An emotional state that’s calm, optimistic, open, and confident is a more resourceful state than one grounded in fear, lack, or worry.

Try this: Re-direct to a better feeling thought

Each time you find yourself stuck on a negative train of thought, pick a thought that makes you feel better, something easily within your reach. It can be anything; it doesn’t have to be tied to a goal. In fact, it’s probably better if it doesn’t. Think about your dog, or your baby niece, or chocolate.

Hang out lightly and easily with that good thought for a little bit. When your thoughts stray to the negative, re-direct them to the good feeling thought. Now make a regular, daily practice of that.

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