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You are What You Think You are

We naturally self-sabotage.  It’s just part of being human.  We are our own worst critics.  This can work to your advantage, of course.  Your inner critic can push you do go further, do better, keep going.  But, when self-sabotaging gets too overwhelming, it can have the reverse effect.  It can make you feel as if you don’t want to do anything productive at all.

One way you might be tempted to self-sabotage is by “taking your mind off” of things you should be doing to engage in exciting, yet unrelated alternatives.  For instance, you might decide that instead of spending time memorizing your lines, you’d much rather go out with friends.  While you may have a great time for a few hours, if you’re unprepared for the audition the next morning, this is a problem.

Human beings love instant gratification.  To ensure you stay on track, make memorizing more fun.  Satisfy your need for immediate results by signing up for an actor’s workshop.  Surrounding yourself with like-minded people working toward similar goals will allow you to have some socialization while you continue to focus.

You can also teach yourself to delay the need for just a bit by telling yourself you’ll practice for a few hours, then catch up with friends after the audition to celebrate.  After all, if you do well, you’ll certainly have a reason to!

Another natural self-sabotaging behavior that commonly occurs is stress-produced fatigue, lethargy, and foggy thinking.  If you feel overwhelmed by the task at hand, your mind and body may support you by responding in this way.  Make sure you give yourself breaks and switch things up periodically, so boredom doesn’t creep in.

To combat overthinking, try to focus on the present goal to be accomplished.  Try not to worry about the future or dwell on negative past experiences.  Stay centered.  You can practice mindfulness techniques to stay centered and improve your present-thinking skills.  Doing so can seem very counterintuitive at first, but it’ll get easier with practice.  Try sitting still with no distractions, meditating, or deep breathing.  In time, your mind will start to live in the moment without overanalyzing and making work seem too overwhelming.

You can also engage in short-term activities you love in between your hard work, such as going for a run, listening to your favorite song, or allowing yourself to watch an episode of your favorite show.  But, only one!  Once the feel-good chemicals start flowing again, you’ll be re-energized and ready to get back to it.

Eliminating self-sabotaging means limiting negative thought patterns and reframing to think more positively.  Once you have some credits under your belt, your confidence will begin to overcome this toxicity.  In the meantime, it’s important to stay focused!

 

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