As this truly insane year draws to a close, I’ve been reflecting more and more on where I’ve gone and what I’ve learned. The tragedy of 2020 has provided a stark reminder that tomorrow is never promised, which means that we must love as hard as we can EVERY day. The uncertainty of 2020 has shown us just how resilient and resourceful we can be when we are down in the trenches. On a personal level, this year inspired me to unapologetically pursue the dreams that will make me the happiest that I can be.
Did you know that the majority of people go through life never living up to their greatest potential? To me, that is an incredibly sad fact and one that I hope to see change little by little within my lifetime.
Thus, I wanted to share a bit more about my journey, as well as (hopefully!) provide some words of encouragement in case you are currently where I was for the past few years: waffling, doubting yourself, and playing it safe for the appeasement of your ego and the expectations of others.
Without further ado, here’s a quick background on my 2020 journey:
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Since August of this year, I have been living in Los Angeles to pursue a career acting in film and TV. Honestly, I’d been yearning to make it out here for over FOUR years; but the timing and circumstances never seemed right.
Ironically, my timing and circumstances truly weren’t “right” this year either due to the pandemic, everything being shut down, etc. The difference is that this year, it dawned on me that there really is no “right” time to make a big change in your life! If you wait around for everything to line up perfectly, you’ll never take the leap.
Basically, I decided to take my leap back in May after getting inspired by some key conversations with people who have been in the industry much longer than me. Once I decided that I was going to make the move this year (instead of the infamous “one day”), I gave myself a timeline for moving – August 1st – and started doing my research and preparation.
Things began to fall into place from there once I got clear on my intention and goals. Prime example: within a week or two of my decision, I found the place that I would end up staying when I first arrived.
Struggles and Triumphs
Fast forward from August to today, December 9th, 2020. As I write this blog post, I’ve experienced the following in the past 5 months: moving twice (I moved again 2 months after arriving to L.A.); accidentally and PAINFULLY yanking out my ear piercing; getting my car side-swiped on my way to get that piercing put back in; and amidst all of that I experienced heartbreak, self-doubt, isolation, uncertainty, self-induced pressure, and more.
I’ve also experienced some amazing highs:
- Finding a commercial agent, theatrical agent, AND manager all within the past 2 months
- Booking myself on multiple projects prior to signing with any of the above
- Booking my first big commercial gig despite the pandemic
- Experiencing a freedom within myself that I have never felt before
- Immense growth, both personally and professionally
- A clearer vision for what I want in my life and how I’m going to get there
- A renewed sense of belief in my dreams, my abilities, and my overall being
- Cultivating healthy and meaningful relationships here that help make every day easier
- A greater connection to my divine feminine energy and power (more to come on that in a future blog post)
With any new journey, you have to be prepared to welcome the storms as well as the sun, because both work in tandem to drive you toward your highest good. Even though my lows were incredibly stressful in the moment, I knew they would not last and that good things were coming my way once I got through the challenges. I just had to be patient.
Now, I’m excited and invigorated to welcome 2021 and see what I can do with the lessons I’ve learned – even in the middle of a pandemic.
All of this said, I now want to share some advice if you feel yourself on the precipice of greatness in your own story, but perhaps you can’t bring yourself to take the plunge just yet.
Tips for Your Journey
Word Choice is Key
You may notice that I use the word “journey” a lot when talking about life, goals, accomplishments, etc. Well, there’s a reason for that: to me, the word “journey” sparks a sense of excitement, and places me as a heroine in charge of my own destiny.
Likewise, you are the hero/heroine of your story as well! Life does not have to merely consist of your every-day routine. If you view your life as a journey – as an adventure, really! – then you’ll feel more inspired to truly make it so. Once you shift your mindset and word choice, you’ll notice a shift in your actions as well.
Confront Your Past to Welcome Your Future
I attended a webinar last night that was all about goal-setting for the new year and getting out of your own way, and one of the strategies that the speaker shared was very profound to me in its simplicity. It revolved around assessing your past by celebrating your wins (both big and small); acknowledging what did/didn’t work for you; and examining your actions by looking at the emotions and beliefs that surrounded your failures.
Something else that I took away from this webinar was the importance of creating measurable goals and setting milestones to keep your future on track. I’ll admit it: as a very right-brained, abstract/emotional-thinking, artistic person, the idea of creating quantifiable goals is daunting. Especially being a creative in the entertainment industry, where you as a person are the commodity, I’ve often felt like I couldn’t truly set goals in this arena (ex: becoming a series regular on a network show) since it was all “out of my hands”.
Now, I understand that putting a timeline on a goal pushes our subconscious mind to bring it to fruition; and that creating smaller milestones help to keep momentum when the goal still feels far way (ex: booking a smaller role on a network show first).
No matter what, you can’t move forward with clarity and focus without addressing your past – both the good and the bad!
The Gift of The Present
A lot of times, we get caught up in the present for the wrong reasons. We doubt, berate, and judge ourselves non-stop, even though we would never treat a loved one that way! Another major point of growth for me this year has been to challenge that negative voice whenever it comes up.
Part of this ability to challenge the negative voice comes from identifying and confronting your limiting beliefs. These beliefs are often subconscious and stem from childhood wounds that we internalized as fact. These can come in many forms, such as believing that you’ll never be good enough, that you are not worthy of love, that you have to act a certain way to gain approval – the list goes on and on.
The next time that you feel fear or self-doubt arise, try digging deeper to discover why certain events triggered that response in you. Why did you respond with these emotions? Where do they come from? Why do you believe them to be true? What positive and realistic affirmation(s) can you create for yourself to counteract the limiting belief(s)?
Trust me: when you start taking the time to do this difficult but rewarding inner work, you’ll feel so much more invigorated to cultivate a life that brings you joy and fulfillment.
There’s No Better Time to Start…
Than right now. As I said at the beginning of this post, this year has driven home the lesson that no day is promised. Therefore, give yourself permission to start chasing that dream of yours TODAY. Not tomorrow, not next week – but today. Even if it’s the tiniest of baby steps, such as simply researching what you want to do or where you want to go. It doesn’t matter how you start, as long as you do.
Wishing all of you a happy and safe holiday season. I hope you step into 2021 with purpose, drive, and confidence in yourself to cultivate a joyful and meaningful existence!