On your journey to success, you will inevitably meet up with some obstacles. But these roadblocks, hiccups, bumps, brick walls, or devastating blows don’t have to prevent you from living the career you desire. Many actors (or people in general for that matter) believe that the only way to get what they want is to first overcome the obstacles in front of them. This focuses your energy on the problem rather than your desire. What if getting what you want was actually as easy as adjusting your focus? It can be if you let it.
A problem only exists if you decide it does. If you take an obstacle and multiply it by zero, you, in fact, get nothing. In other words, when you chose to do nothing at all to the obstacle you give it no power and it ceases to exist.
The Possibility Web prevents you from being distracted by what’s in your way and allows you to focus on what might be possible instead. Now you can keep on truckin’ towards accomplishing your fullest potential.
Put your blocks in a box. With your goal in mind, write down each and every thing that prevents you from attaining what you want. For example, your goal may be to book a speaking role in a big budget feature film. Your list of obstacles might look something like this:
You don’t have a SAG card
You need more training
Your agent sucks
You don’t have enough time
No wonder you’re stuck! I’m depressed just looking at this list of limitations. After you’ve listed your obstacles, grab a big fat marker and draw a box around your list. Now draw an enormous and super-strong lock on that thing and lose the combination immediately! You can choose to multiply these obstacles by zero and release any concerns around them. With your blocks all boxed up with nowhere to go, you are free to focus on possibilities.
Now, with your blocks neatly tucked away, ask yourself an opposite question connected to the possibilities that exist when the obstacle disappears. These questions will free you up immediately and open your mind up to many new ideas, emotions, and actions that didn’t appear when your focus was on eliminating the obstacle. Here’s what I mean:
What would you do if a SAG card didn’t matter?
What if your acting chops were ready today?
What if you don’t really need this agent in order to get work?
What would you do if you actually had time?
Think outside of the box and answer your questions. What would you do if you knew you could not fail? What would you do if obstacles were replaced by possibilities? Write your answers down and create a web of possibility around the lock box. Remember, your goal here is to brainstorm in order to find motivation and new ideas, so don’t edit here.
If a SAG card didn’t matter, you would stop worrying about it so much and just pursue the work.
If your chops were ready, you’d start attending casting director workshops and finally register for that showcase you’ve been meaning to get around to.
If you didn’t need an agent, you’d start acting like your own agent by pitching yourself, crashing auditions, and rubbing elbows at charity and networking events. You’d drop your headshot and resume off to other agents and managers in town. And surely you’d fire your current agent.
If you had time, you’d work at least one hour each day at perfecting your marketing tools and treating your acting business with the respect that it deserves.
You’d stop watching so much reality television and begin working on that web series you wrote last year.
You’d get up a little earlier each morning.
You’d relax about time in general and have more fun.
Draw straws and be daring. Take a look at the possibilities you just created by answering the opposite questions. Select the two or three ideas that stand out or inspire you. Sha-zam! It looks like you’ve got some short-term goals on your hands. Now brainstorm what actions you can take to turn these possibilities into your reality.
Now that you’ve got a list of inspiring actions that connect to what you want rather than what’s in your way, pick one. Sometimes, it’s just that simple. From there, your path will unfold.
Take a few minutes this week to explore how you can turn the obstacles in front of you into easy opportunities to book more work, find that dream team, and be a happier actor all around! Have fun.