How to reduce self-talk
The most powerful things are our thoughts, emotions and actions. Your words have the greatest influence on them. Actors can feel trapped in their heads, worry, stressed and overthinking things out of their control.
You are not the only one. Both actors and non-actors can be guilty. We all have things that worry or concern us. You can worry about Trump, the world, and whether or not the casting director (CD) liked us at that audition. Sometimes our worries can be so overwhelming that it is difficult to sleep at night, get to bed, or question our decision to become an actor. However, most of the time, we will see growth in what we focus our energy on.
Fear and anxiety can paralyze us if we cannot control them. Instead of reacting to or worrying about circumstances beyond our control (such as the success of the audition), we can put our energy and focus on those we can influence and direct. One of the most powerful and simple ways we can influence others is through the language we speak.
Steven Covey is a legendary figure in business and management. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989) was his book. His book has many great insights for actors, especially habit seven, if time management is something you are interested in. Habit 1, one of the Seven Habits, is all about knowing what you can control and cannot.
Covey believes that recognizing concerns and worries can help us look at our options and make changes. We should stop worrying about it when we realize we can’t control it. Then ask ourselves: “Why am I doing what I am?” “
“Is this a lot of energy?” Covey suggests that instead of focusing our energy on things we can control, we should put it into things we can control.
Let’s look at an example where auditions are involved. Many people get nervous about auditions, job interviews or public speaking …)… We must stop and think about how we can help if this happens. It might not be the right casting decision. We can influence the audition. It is possible to change the mindset and stop worrying about being nervous. It is possible to remind yourself that we don’t have to be “always” nervous. The CD wants to meet us. The feedback we received from a self-tape was very positive. The tape will be self-tapeable for a few days. After that, we can review it again and receive coaching and advice.
Support… etc. It might not impact the outcome, but it could affect our performance (which could influence the outcome ).
Anxiety and self-doubt can set in after an audition. It is easy to start questioning our choices and what we “should” or didn’t do. Are we able to control it? No. No.
This is something you can influence. It was possible. It happened. By taking note of the future, we can make a difference.
Therefore, why should we do this to ourselves? Our inner voice is always loud. Many people are constantly interrupted by a chorus when they hear a cheery voice. Sometimes, it’s too loud. This could be a defense mechanism to stop risky behavior from happening. Perhaps we learned it in our childhood. You can learn or manage it using the wisdom and power of your inner voice.