Written by Sherly Sulaiman
“Sherly, I got the part!” my client, Mary (not her real name), exclaimed on the phone, as she excitedly explained that she got the part in the pilot for which she was auditioning.
I could almost see the tears of joy in her eyes. Quite different from the tears of frustration she shed only a few weeks earlier while lamenting her “dying career” and how she was a “failure” and hated her life.
We had a few Hypnotherapy sessions that helped her uncover the roots of her insecurities and fears and replaced them with confidence, strength and trust. She faced two primary issues. One was that she didn’t believe that she deserved success. The other was an insecurity that was initiated during elementary school, when she was belittled in front of the class. She felt that identifying these causes and replacing them with positive and empowering traits significantly helped her booked the show.
This turbulent emotional journey is quite common amongst actors, singers, writers and artists in general. I know it well through friends, clients and my own personal experience.
Artists (including entertainers, painters and writers), perhaps more than any other occupation, consistently place their creative hearts on their sleeves. They particularly thrive on the highs when they get the job and everything feels like it makes sense in that victorious moment. But when they don’t get that job that they really wanted or thought they would get, it can be utterly devastating. Some rejections may be accepted as part of the job. Actors know that they won’t get every role for which they audition. However, sometimes not getting a job can trigger some dark, deep-rooted beliefs of not being worthy or good enough. These beliefs are not exclusive to artists alone. Most people have this on some level.
Left to their own devices, these beliefs can haunt you throughout your life. It is there through various relationships and countless jobs. It waits for moments when you feel alone, wronged or rejected then torments you about how you are not good or worthy enough. It can happen at different times from relationship break ups to not getting the job you wanted or feeling that your career is over (some in the media have suggested that this could have played a role in Robin Williams’ depression fuelled suicide).
These negative beliefs wait in dark corners, for moments of vulnerability then they pounce on you, like a robber in the night. They rob you of your life because when they are active in your mind, they are stealing the present moment away from you. You are not in the now, instead you are that awkward teenager or unbearably shy child that was scarred by those harsh words from a parent or got teased by your peers.
Why is this happening? You thought that all those insecurities were behind you; that you have grown and evolved into a stronger and wiser person. You have read all those Self-help books and self-development courses. You thought you were fine. But then something triggers you and you are back in a confusing and emotionally painful state.
Often, the events that initially created those beliefs took place in your childhood. From that moment, an unconscious program continues to run in your mind, much like the software in your computer. Your unconscious mind is like the hardware that stores everything. You need to learn and gain insight into your mind so that you can change, delete or update the software ¾ your beliefs.
Whether or not you are an artist, these inner battles of insecurities exist for most of us. We are all artists on some level, trying to create the best life we possibly can.
Mary felt great when she booked that pilot, but it would only be a matter of time before she felt depressed and unworthy again if we had not uncovered the root cause of her insecurities and self worth issues.
Artists are like the proverbial salmon swimming upstream. They are constantly going against the flow. While the world is telling them to get a real job, they remain committed to following their passion. Their belief in themselves is the strength that propels them through their upstream journey. Without it, they drown.
Do not rely on that job, career, relationship, or anyone’s approval for your sense of self worth. You must trust that you are worthy regardless of external situations and outcomes. Believe that you are good enough and you will be.
Sherly Sulaiman (BA, ICBCH) is a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and NLP (Neuro – Linguistic Programming) Practitioner. She has more than 15 years experience in the Health and Wellbeing industry. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and treats patients at her Santa Monica facility, New Stress Relief.