What Do Your Words Have to Do With Your Acting Goals?

Written by Dallas Travers, CEC

Everyone knows the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. But what about how we treat ourselves? Your inner monologue, or self talk, is one of the most important elements to success. You can lay out the perfect plan, but if your self talk does not reflect your goals in a way that inspires you to take action, you’ll hit roadblock after inexplicable roadblock.

Did you know that the average person has more than 50,000 thoughts per day? The large majority of these thoughts occur as negative questions.

For example:

Why is the industry so tough?
Why doesn’t my agent send me out more often?
Why do I always get a callback but never book the job?

Sound familiar?

Your language informs your actions. In fact, your nervous system is programmed to support the questions you ask yourself. So if you do nothing but focus on and talk about the obstacles preventing you from booking, guess what? Your experience will quickly align with these negative thoughts.

I teach a great practice called Living Mantras to my students. You can check out the skinny on what Living Mantras are and how they work here.

The basic idea behind Living Mantras is to consciously ask yourself questions that reflect the goals you want to accomplish. This practice helps counteract all of the negative stuff running through your brain on a daily basis. It may sound silly or over-simplified, but this is easily one of the most powerful shifts you can make toward your goals.

Now, the practice of Living Mantras is not about being Pollyanna. It’s not about “faking it ‘til you make it”. Instead it’s about opening yourself up to new possibilities one inch at a time.

So, if the idea of positive thinking makes your skin crawl, listen up. Here are a few quick steps to create mantras that get you to your goal without sounding fake or woo-woo.

Step 1: Identify the goal.

What is it that you want to accomplish in your career? Be as specific as possible here.

Here are some examples:

I want to book a series regular on a sitcom.
I want to make $100,000 a year as a working actor.
I want to land a lead in a Broadway play.

But what if you run up against a negative thought you just can’t shake like, “But I never book callbacks. So, how am I supposed to book these jobs?”

Easy. Focus on the goal, not the obstacle. I’ll help you inch your way past this pesky obstacle in just a second.

Step 2: Design mantras that reflect your goals.

The secret to Living Mantras is to form them as questions. So, turn your goal into a simple question you can ask yourself each day.

For example:

I want to book a series regular on a sitcom.
becomes
How did booking this comedy series happen so quickly?

I want to make $100,000 a year as a working actor.
becomes
Where did all of this acting money come from?

I want to land a lead in a Broadway play.
becomes
How does my leading role feel so good?

Step 3: Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

How does the mantra make you feel? Does it feel like an accurate reflection of you, or does it feel like a lie?

Your mantra will not work for you if it doesn’t feel good. So, if you just can’t find it in yourself to believe the mantras you’ve designed, you’re reaching too far.

For example, if your goal is to earn six figures as a working actor this year, but you’ve never booked a paid acting gig in your life, a six-figure-style mantra probably won’t cut it.

So, instead of saying, “How did I become such a wealthy actor?”, you might say, “How does it get easier everyday to believe in my worth as an actor?”

Now, you’re working on a mantra that will take your mindset to the next level instead of reciting a bunch of affirmations that just don’t resonate.

Dr. Wayne Dyers says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I can tell you from experience that when you up-level your inner dialogue, your external world will follow suit. When you practice mantras every day, you’ll be astonished at how quickly your mindset will shift, your actions will become bolder, and you’ll begin to feel completely in control of your own success just by changing your own inner dialogue.

In the comments, share one Living Mantra you’ll start using today.


Respected as one of the entertainment industry’s leading experts, Dallas Travers teaches actors the career and life skills often left out of traditional training programs. Her groundbreaking book, The Tao of Show Business, has won over five awards including first prizes at The Hollywood Book Festival and the London Festival along with the National Indie Excellence Award. She has helped thousands of actors to increase their auditions, produce their own projects, secure representation and book roles in film and television.

 If you’re ready to jump-start your acting career, get your FREE Thriving Artist Starter kit now at http://www.dallastravers.com

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