Before he and I met, my husband was a bit of a theater nerd. He still is at heart, but busy work schedules and picky taste have prohibited him from acting in shows lately. He wants the right show to dedicate the work to. I can appreciate that.
Anyway, he has met some truly phenomenal people through theater, two of whom are currently trying to make it big in New York City. They were in town for a while, visiting for another theater friend’s wedding. Yesterday, the four of us got together to catch up and chat. Those are my favorite days–I love talking to people. People are truly fascinating.
But that’s beside the point. One of these two friends is actually, technically, making it as an actor. He’s had several background roles for various shows and movies. In fact, I was watching a movie a while back and saw his face on the screen! That was the most exciting thing to happen to me that day. How many people can honestly say they have a friend who worked on set with Tina Fey and Paul Rudd? I can. That’s awesome.
He and I got into a conversation about how to make it, not just as an actor, but as a creative in general. Hell, this probably works with almost anything you aspire to be. He said to me, “You need to have a very clear picture of who you want to be in your head, and you need to act like you already are.”
Essentially, it’s the “fake it ‘til you make it” thing, but it’s actually so much more than that.
I have held this same belief for years. When people ask me what I do, the first thing I say is, “I am a writer.”
Take note of the word choice there. I don’t say, “I’m an aspiring writer.” I don’t say, “I’m an amatuer writer.” I don’t say, “I’m trying to become a writer.”
In the simplest terms, in the most basic and most beautiful definition of the word, I am a writer.
If you walk around and tell people you aren’t successful, not only will they look at you like you have yet to achieve something, but you will act as though you haven’t, either. You will come off insecure, not confident and forthright, as a writer should.
The fact of the matter is, if you want people to take you seriously, if you want them to believe you are every bit as capable of your dreams as you believe you are, you need to paint yourself as more than a novice. You need to become the successful writer or actor or artist, even if your resume may speak differently. You need to tell people that, yes, this is who you are, and one day, the world will see it just as clearly as you do.
Otherwise, you’ll wake up one morning and realize, painfully, you gave up on your dreams because even you doubted they were possible.
Today, stop doubting yourself. Sit down and figure out exactly what it is you want to do and who you want to become. Then, start treating yourself appropriately.
The first step to succeeding is believing you’re already a success and that nothing can stop you.