A friend texted me to catch up and see how my first few months in New York were going. I was having a down day and his question caught me off-guard, so I responded from where I was emotionally in the moment.
“Lots of good callbacks but I only booked a few weeks of work.”
As soon as I wrote these words, I saw that what I had written wasn’t the truth! I had responded from a very particular viewpoint of my circumstances, a viewpoint that has a lot of conditioning behind it. But it didn’t feel good – I could feel my body slump as I read the words.
Luckily, I have a lot of tools to get me past my conditioning, and I saw an opportunity to get to work. I want to feel good, I thought. How could I reframe this so that I feel good? I wrote another text:
“I got lots of awesome callbacks for awesome jobs, started building relationships with big casting directors, and I booked a cool job that only keeps me out of the city for a few weeks!”
Same experience, different story. I read it again, and my body straightened up. I felt good. And it had nothing to do with what had happened. It had everything to do with what I told myself about what had happened.
“…there is nothing is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
– Shakespeare, Hamlet
If you’re prone to telling your story in ways that don’t feel good, I invite you to try out this tool. Take out a sheet of paper or your Notes app on your phone, and write a short description of a recent event that bothers you. Now read that description to yourself and notice how your body feels. Does your body shrink a little? cringe? tense up?
Now, take a deep breath and focus on how you want to feel. Empowered. Joyful. Good.
Write a new description of that recent event. Write a description that feels good in your body. This is not about lying, this is about finding your power in the situation, and telling your story in a way that keeps you in a healthy mindset. For instance:
Slump story: “I blew that audition for Tara Rubin casting.”
Straight story: “I had a great opportunity to read for Tara Rubin casting, and I did my very best in the moment. I can’t know what they thought about my work, but I choose to feel good about it and I also know some things I can do even better next time.”
Slump story: “I keep getting called back but I’m not booking the job. What’s wrong with me?”
Straight story: “These casting directors are getting interested in me. I know the right job is on its way and it’s my pleasure to keep showing up and doing my best so they’ll know I’m their person when the right job comes their way.”
EXTRA CREDIT: Lean into your community of cheerleaders by texting a friend your straight story. “Hey, this awesome thing happened!” This is a great way to practice bragging and allowing your inner circle to hold the vibration of empowered, joyful you.
Share your experience in the comments! What story did you turn around? How did it feel? I love hearing how it’s going for you!