Use A Success Journal To Stay On The Right Track
When I first moved to Los Angeles from New York, I expected the transition to be smooth. After all, I had worked so hard to meet industry people and build relationships in The City that I expected things to be a cinch in LA. When I arrived, I was ready to pick up where I’d left off and head out to auditions right away. Unfortunately, things weren’t quite so easy. As a city, Los Angeles has nothing in common with New York, not to mention that none of the people I’d built relationships with were even living on the same side of the continent! At the time I was hanging out with other actors who were more established in the LA community. I’d often hear them talking about their auditions and start thinking things like, “Why don’t I have an agent yet? Why doesn’t that CD know me yet? Why aren’t all my ducks in a row?” Those sorts of thoughts weren’t helpful, and left me feeling awful.
It can be tempting to compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20.
It was too easy for me to look at other actors and wonder why I wasn’t as far along in my career instead of being proud and excited about where I was and seeing the potential for my career to grow as theirs had. As actors, sometimes we forget that everything we’re doing matters. I love using a success journal to keep me positive-minded, focused, and clear about where I’ve come from and where I’m going.
Write It Out
If you are proactive with your career and taking action steps however big or small, then you are putting together important pieces to the puzzle of your career.
I recommend making a point to acknowledge yourself for all your hard work once a day. Dedicate one month to getting back on the path to success by writing daily in your success journal. If you’re the kind of person who forgets, go ahead and set an alarm on your phone for 7 pm each evening and take a few minutes to yourself.
Write down all that you accomplished in the day. This could look like acing your acting class, sending your post cards, going through new head shots, or even cleaning your room. These little things really do count.
Reflect and Celebrate
At the end of 30 days look back and re-read the things that you accomplished. You will be amazed at how much you got done, even if you only wrote down three things per day.
Don’t forget to celebrate! Go to a movie or get a massage in recognition or your achievements. The journey of acting is long. It has its ups and downs. You did a lot of work in the last month toward your goals and it deserves to be acknowledged.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a thought from my teacher, Dallas Travers. In a coaching session one day when I had just moved to Los Angeles I was expressing my worry about not having enough auditions or contacts in this new city. She looked at me and said, “Stop worrying. You’re basically in kindergarten right now. Don’t worry about what the big kids are doing, just do what you need to do to move forward.”
I challenge you to keep a success journal for the next 30 days and see how your mindset starts to shift. Then come back and leave a comment below: how did it go? Did you realize how much stuff you could get done in a month?