Don't Let Someone Else's Harvest Make You Feel Bad About Your Winter

I recently had a conversation with the My BIG Year Group about the “highlight reel” that seems to bombard us on Facebook. We all do it: I mean, who’s really going to post a photo of themselves when they’re puffy, hung over and depressed because their boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with them the night before? No way! I’d personally much rather post about good news, or an image from a trip I took.

So sure, on an individual level it feels like we’re all actively choosing to put our best foot forward when we select the content we’ll post online. But collectively, when we scroll through the Facebook feed, the result is that we see tidbit after tidbit of hugely successful and happy news.

I did a little research, and it turns out that we’re on to something. In fact, a study conducted by the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found that “not only do Facebook and depressive symptoms go hand-in- hand, but the mediating factor seems to be a well-established psychological phenomenon: ‘Social comparison.’”  Those are the words of Alice G. Walton, Forbes contributor and mental health journalist. Read the rest of her article here: New Study Links Facebook to Depression: But Now We Actually Understand Why.

How This Relates To Your Acting Career

When we think about the nature of life, entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn’s ideas ring true. He compared life to the seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter. There will always be winters. It’s natural to have times of quiet and reflection –times that are more about survival than bursting with activity. Times that might feel like hibernation, or recharging.

At the same time, winter will never last forever. “Spring is opportunity,” he said, “Spring always comes.” And that’s the time to take action. Put the wheels in motion, take a risk, plant your seeds. 

"Put the wheels in motion, take a risk, plant your seeds." CLICK TO TWEET!

Summer, of course, “gives life. Give it nourishment,” he said, which I take to mean that when you’re in the midst of opportunity, give it everything you got.

Maybe you’re moving and shaking in a new acting class or rethinking your marketing materials or filming a web series that really has you feeling inspired. You’re busy! But give it your all, because the harvest is right around the corner. You work will pay off. In the fall, you reap the rewards of your work. The auditions come in. Maybe you start booking work, or getting really great feedback from casting. You finally catch the eye of the agent you’ve been mailing to for the past 8 months and have a meeting.

Things finally feel like they’re moving. But you know what? The harvest never comes for those that don’t plant the seeds in spring, and it never comes for those who don’t honor the winter and allow themselves time to regenerate.

Where Are You Now?

Right now, I’m in a harvest. At the moment, I have a television show running and 6 commercial spots from two different companies that are either currently playing or coming out shortly. Yeah, I’d call that a harvest all right! But you know what? That won’t last forever. And to be completely honest, I just came out of a winter that felt like it would last forever. 

Anyone who meets me now might assume that I’ve have this killer acting career in my back pocket for a long time. But they didn’t see all the failures – "the winter" – that I put in before finally reaping this harvest. They don’t see me four years ago taking a break from acting because I couldn’t take the “rejection” anymore.

They didn’t see me go into my agent’s office to quit a month before the audition that landed me on Chicago Med. They didn’t see me cry in front of a casting director. They didn’t see the hours I spent considering if I’d chosen the right path, if I should give up and move on, if I should give up and go back to school for psychology.

Behind every success, there is TEN TIMES more failure, tears and sweat. Every happily engaged couple you see on Facebook went through their fair share of devastating break ups. Every actor who finally books a series regular on a sitcom went through dozens of casting director workshops, failed auditions, pilots that were instantly cancelled, probably even different iterations of their “team”. Every amazing photo you see from a friend’s trip to Bali had them working overtime to save up for the trip (not to mention the 23-hour flight and accompanying mosquito bites).

It’s hard not to look at someone’s highlight reel and think they had it easy. But remember, winter is natural, and it’s temporary. You may be in a winter, a spring, a summer or a harvest – but wherever you are is just perfect. Keep planting your seeds and taking care of yourself. If you’d like a little help reconnecting with your acting career, let’s talk. Click HERE to connect with me one-on- one.

Oh! And P.S., I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments area below...

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Courtney RiouxComment