The Voiceover Actor Road Map The Working Actor Road Map Classes and Coaching Resources Free Masterclass Podcast Peter's Story Login Sign up for our Mailing List

Episode 253: Fear and Courage

core work Oct 11, 2023

Private Coaching

Fear and Courage.

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

"If everybody feels fear when approaching something totally new in life, yet so many are out there doing it despite fear, then we must conclude that fear is not the problem."

Fear is not the problem. It's our attitude and our actions.

One of the things I coach with people is I look at their goal, and then I look at their thoughts around that goal, or their affirmations, their affirmative thought around that goal, and then I look at those actions around the goal.

So we make sure that the affirmative thoughts, or the thoughts that you are having around being a Working Actor, are not thoughts like, "Oh, I'm not good enough. It'll never happen. I'm too old for this shit."

Whatever it is, that we start turning those thoughts around because we need to have our thoughts and our actions supporting and backing up that goal.

That is how you create success in your life.

But for me, when I started first to learn this work, I was like, "Yeah, but I'm fucking terrified, and I am filled with anxiety, and I cannot imagine calling my manager and asking, how come I don't have any auditions, or I haven't had any auditions for a couple of weeks."

But yet, those were the things that I needed to do, either to get more activity or learn that manager was really not that into me and I needed to find someone else.

Fear is not the problem. But what the problem is, according to Susan Jeffers, which I concur with, is how we hold and manage our fear.

It's our attitude toward fear.

So again, remember that fear is not the problem. How we hold and manage the fear is.

Last week I talked about how you will never be given more than you can handle, but you will be given more than you can control.

And manage is another word for handle.

If how we hold and manage fear is the problem, guess what is the phenomenal, exciting news about that?

Then there's something we can do about it. There is something we can actually do about it. Because if it's in our realm of being able to handle or manage. Hey, that's our job, remember, controlling is not.

You're never going to be able to control your fear. Believe me, I spent a lifetime trying to do it doesn't work.

But I can manage how I handle it. I can manage how I think about it and what I do about it. And the thing is that if I stay, in that belief, that fear actually is the problem, then I'm staying in that victim energy.

Then I'm staying in that catabolic energy, that hopeless energy. "There's nothing I can do," bullshit. There is something you can do. Now I'm not going to say that it's going to be easy, and I'm not going to say that it's simple. But it is doable. In fact, it is simple. It's just not easy.

So if we accept the truth that how we hold and manage fear is the problem, and I stress that is a truth, that is a Universal Truth, not an ego truth. That is an infinite truth. Then we put ourselves energetically of taking responsibility, and then we can move forward.

So if we put ourselves energetically saying, "You know what? I understand I have fear. I, but I can manage it. I can handle it." By just doing that, we take ourselves out of catabolic energy, victim energy and in to anabolic energy, which is the energy of taking responsibility.

But if we stay with the idea that fear is the problem, guess what? We stay stuck.

So many people, I was at a networking event yesterday and it wasn't an actor. It was just a neighborhood networking event. The number one thing that everybody told me was "I feel stuck."

The reason why you're stuck is that you are afraid.

So let's get you unstuck.

Now, if again, how we hold and manage fear is the problem, we can move out of fear and then we can accomplish our goals or our wants or our needs.

So Susan Jeffers talks about a how we hold our fear, and she has a chart.

When we hold our fear, we have some kind of what? Pain.

And that pain is caused by feelings of helplessness, feelings of depression, feelings of paralysis. But when we move into that anabolic energy, we take responsibility of managing and handling our lives as opposed to controlling it or just not doing anything, then we end up with choice.

We end up with excitement because "oh my god we're actually doing it now." And we end up with action.

And when I talk about this power, this idea of power of how we get ourselves to do what we want. I am talking about the power within ourselves, which is ultimately building self-esteem.

So if we have power over our perceptions of the world, we have power over our thoughts. We have good, affirmative thoughts.

Then, we have power over our reactions.

Let's say something happens. I spill coffee on my new blouse. My immediate reaction will then be, "Oh God, that was so stupid. Or I'm so stupid."

But then I want to tell myself, "Stop."

I want to stop. And then I want to take a step back from what I just said to myself.

What just happened? Stop. take a step back.

And I use that example of putting your hand on your face and you cannot really see your hand. But if you move back a foot and you look at your hand, you are then in a place of what you are in a place of observation.

When you are in a place of observation, you can ask yourself that valuable question, "is this healthy for me to behave, to think this way, or is it unhealthy for me?"

Then, of course, I'm going to realize it's unhealthy for me to have such a negative reaction to just what was it? A fricking little mistake.

So what am I going to do? I am going to respond. I'm going to respond with a loving thought. I love myself, and I approve of myself. And here's a genius idea. Go get some club soda. Go get a towel wipe off your blouse, and take it to the dry cleaner.

Was it worth beating up on yourself? For all of that?

For just spilling some coffee? No.

Because nothing is worth a dig at my self-esteem.

Nothing. I have a phrase that says, "A Response is a reaction with a pause and a thought behind it."

And when we have power over our reactions or our perceptions, we are using that process of stopping, taking a step back and observing, looking at it for what it is from a distance because, again, we're in that valuable place of observation and then responding to the situation.

Power to do what is necessary for our own self-growth and career and all of these things make you feel better about yourself.

It creates healthy self-love, and we need self-love to be in this business of show because the business is not going to supply you with that love.

And this is the biggie. As a casting director, I also [00:13:00] am letting you know you cannot ask it to. As a casting director, I cannot be the one telling you, "Don't be afraid; it's okay."

Now, obviously, as a coach, it is. But if I'm in a job situation, I cannot be the one nurturing you. That's not my job. My job is to cast the actor who knows they are doing a great job and who has assured me that they are in great hands.

That's what I need. I don't need to be validating your existence on this planet.

I have way too many other things on my plate. I need you to know you're good. And I need you to assure me. I'm in good hands.

This power that I've been talking about in the podcast before and in this one gives you the ability to get yourself to do what you want to do.

It gets you out of your own way.

It is empowering and ultimately, it creates a tremendous sense of serenity.

But guess what? It always. It always. is, it's always magnetizing.

It's like when in sports, when you see the person who breaks away and runs with the ball and crosses the finish line, or gets the goal gets the goal, or scores the touchdown.

That is so exciting. And it's also exciting when a casting director sees an actor be great at their work.

It just makes me want to cast them over and over again.

You do not have to be incapacitated by your fears. You do not.