The thought for today is about how often actors and screenwriters have limiting beliefs around whether they can truly have a successful Hollywood career. And these limiting beliefs actually assure that they will stop you. They lie at the root of your inability to succeed.
You might have heard the story of the baby elephant who has a leg tied with a chain to a tree from an early age. It realizes it can’t leave that area, so later, even when it grows to be enormous in size, it thinks it can’t leave.
They can put a very small chain or rope that the large elephant could easily break, but because of its limiting belief, it doesn’t even try to get away…. poor elephant….
But poor humans, too! Because we do the SAME THING!
For example, as an actor, you may think that the reason that you can’t get an agent or auditions is because you’re not attractive enough, you’re just too plain, don’t have enough personality, you’re too old, you weigh too much, or you’re not lucky enough to be born into a family with connections.
The truth is that many famous actors have “ordinary” faces and troubled personalities. They’re all ages, and many of them have had horrible ups and downs in their lives and don’t get along with their famous family members and so on.
Or as a screenwriter, you may believe what someone told you about how you MUST get a literary agent before you do anything else — but yet you can’t get through to any agent or literary manager or even any of the big production company — and so you feel frustrated like you’re just out of luck, so then you give up or downplay your efforts because you figure it won’t work anyway. But many screenwriters got their first agents after they worked with a production company to get their first film produced.
Succeeding doesn’t require any of those factors so many of us have limiting beliefs about. But buying into those limiting beliefs and acting like they’re true simply hold you back.
For instance, it’s a fact that you’re unlikely to get a lit agent out of the gate, so you’ve lost before you start if you think that’s necessary — but for two, there are hundreds of smaller production companies you CAN get thru to!
Likewise, there are working actors of all types, ages, shapes, sizes, and colors — especially in our present day! Some of those things might limit you from being a professional football player, but those things alone won’t limit you from being a professional actor.
I think I think it’s fair to say we have limiting beliefs that are obviously incomplete at best and, at worst, just plain wrong. And it’s sad that we let them hold us back. And I do include myself in that.
So what can we do about it?
We first have to put these ideas to the side of our mind and not allow those thoughts to make the decision for us.
Then we have to change our state of mind to take a professional more objective approach to our goal, our intention. We must be authentic, and most importantly, be true to ourselves.
Belief plays a part in what you’re able to do as an actor, a screenwriter, and in every area of life.
And while belief is not the only thing that matters, it is the foundation of where you launch your actions from.
What are your limiting beliefs?
Sometimes they can be hard to identify because you believe them to be so true that you don’t even see them as beliefs, you just think it’s how it is so it doesn’t occur to you it could be different. Like a fish swimming in water… You ask it “How do you like this water?” and it says, “What water?”
What actions are you not taking because of your limiting beliefs? And what beliefs might you let go of to be able to take your next steps forward?
If you’re an actor and you don’t have a great agent – it’s time to find an agent or manager who believes in you, champions you, and pitches you, so you can start getting the auditions you need to be a working actor.
If you’re a screenwriter who hasn’t been marketing your script because you’re worried it’s not good enough, then get a script critique to get feedback on where you are. Or if you’ve already done that and it’s just a matter of having the courage to go out to the market, then it’s time to start approaching smaller production companies (not the big ones) to partner up with them to shop your script.
For all of us, any time we are “trying” to move ourselves to the next level in any area of our life, we need to start by locating our limiting beliefs then dismantling them.
The dismantling happens when we recognize the limiting belief as being just that, then secondly, we decide what action we’ll take that we need to take that that belief has otherwise been stopping us from doing.