Are actor's egotistical? Are they narcissistic? Do they seek validation? If you answered yes to all these questions, then you're kind of right.
But before you judge yourself or any actors you know, take a moment to understand what being an actor really means.
An actor must take those traits and through a process of creativity translate them into one golden word: CONFIDENCE.
The dictionary defines confidence as: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. It's the spice in life that allows actors to spill their guts to millions of people.
In a matter of days, through things like surrounding themselves with the wrong group of people—actors can go from possessing wild amounts of confidence to people who can barely look you in the eyes.
Without possessing confidence in themselves, actors face lackluster performances or worse might start to doubt their talent.
How Do I Know I’ve Lost It?
Low confidence can manifest itself in many ways and everyone’s different. However, if you’re like me the minute I found myself in a constant stream of negativity and judgment on my abilities I knew my confidence was waning. Not too long after, I struggled with my auditions, relationships with loved ones, and day to day activities. Some of the obvious signs are:
Not believing in yourself and your abilities.
Not looking anyone in the eye.
Having a weak handshake or low energy.
Being nervous in social settings.
Not knowing your lines at an audition.
Becoming aware of low-confidence allows you to course-correct before the spiral inevitably continues.
Make Confidence A Daily Habit
Most people don't understand how to stay confident. Take this scenario, do you start working on an audition, ready to give a kick-ass performance, only to psych yourself out in the room?
You might be thinking, "I'm not a confident person."
Wrong. Let's reframe. Does brushing your teeth work? I mean, you do it a few times and smell good, but by tomorrow it has worn off.
Is brushing your teeth nonsense? No, you just have to do it daily.
Confidence works the same way.
Pinpoint The Problem
It helps to start at the source. If your confidence is low, take a breather and try to pinpoint what situations are making you feel unconfident. In what ways have you felt your confidence go down?
The next thing to do is to ask yourself why you're lacking confidence in those areas? Is it something external or something you can fix internally?
For example, are you messing up on your lines which is making you nervous in your auditions? Can a solution to that problem be holding your sides in the audition room, or working twice as long on memorizing your lines?
Pinpointing the problem is going to be your best remedy. Regaining confidence usually takes a while so better nip the feeling in the bud as soon as you feel it.
Therapy- Ain’t no shame in the game!
Actors are prone to constant rejection and so like anyone else that takes a toll on your self-esteem over time. With constant career instability, a true mark of a strong actor is to seek help if necessary. In my experience with therapy, having the ability to talk things out gives me a fresh perspective on something I can’t figure out on my own.
Some methods of Therapy, such as talk-therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, can help people with low-self esteem learn about their processing biases (biases in how they select and distort information, or choose certain memories to focus on) that help maintain unhelpful perspectives.
There are many ways to find access to a qualified therapist. You can ask for a recommendation from friends and family, get a referral from your doctor, search online for well-liked therapists in your area, or even sign up for an online counseling service like BetterHelp or Talkspace.
Hang In There Until You Get It Right
How do you break this jam up? You’ve got to accept where you are in this moment and understand that tomorrow is a new day and this lack of confidence will pass. It sounds cheesy, but acknowledging it and not judging yourself is all that matters.
Be grateful for the small things. Take as much time to yourself and with friends as you need. Treat yourself to a walk or a beach day or night out with friends. You may be overwhelmed and missing out on the gifts you can gain from nature or close friends.
Annihilating some of your short term goals is another great way to regain confidence. The progress you make demonstrates your capability and inner-power. Creative projects are just as important. Find other ways to express your creativity if you feel like your acting is being suppressed.
The bottom line is confidence is regained by going out and doing. If you continue to get out there and knock down roadblocks eventually your confidence will return. “Confidence from being a man who does, who takes action, is a force to be reckoned with.”
Your time on this planet is limited, so I hope you can get out of your funk quickly because the world needs your uniqueness out there. Taking action is a great way to build and maintain a high level of confidence.
Let’s talk about confidence! Do you have tips on how to remain confident or to gain it back when you feel you’ve lost it? Share your thoughts below.